Yesterday's Accomplishments Won't Guarantee
Today, many salespeople find themselves operating in a more intricate sales environment. There are more players involved in the process of describing and defining the scope and requirements of the sales opportunity. Buying authority, in many instances, has been shifted “upstairs” in the organization where there are more players influencing the buying decision. Expenditures are being scrutinized more carefully by more people. And, delivery requirements are often more stringent.
In this more complex sales arena, the possibility for something to be overlooked and the potential sale to be derailed are greater than ever. Your ability to focus—and remain focused—is paramount. Your ultimate success depends on your ability to maintain a steady vision of your marketplace and your customers’ needs, and not be distracted by a variety of questionable possibilities (where you may not have the requisite knowledge, expertise, or deliverables) just because it seems like a good idea at the time.
Your success also depends on your ability to apply critical thinking to your prospects’ views of their situations, and then, using your knowledge and experience, analyze those situations and conceptualize ideas quickly and accurately. Today, being action-oriented is not automatically considered a virtue; your actions must be backed by accurate analysis and careful thought and planning.
In less complicated selling environments, many salespeople have been able to succeed by virtue of their personality traits or their technical expertise alone. But today, it is necessary to communicate with your prospects in a number of ways—face-to-face meetings, e-mails, phone calls, and group presentations—and you can’t rely on your personality or expertise to get by. The ability to express your thoughts clearly and concisely—verbally and in writing—is critical. Your careful analysis and recommendations are lost if you can’t communicate effectively.
The continuation of yesterday’s success is not guaranteed. To succeed in what is becoming an increasingly more complex sales arena, you’ll need the skills to focus intently on your prospects and customers, accurately analyze their situations and relate their needs to your company’s core competencies, and effectively communicate the connections between those needs and your company’s deliverables. The greater the degree to which you hone those skills, the greater levels of success you will ultimately attain.
@2011 Sandler Systems, Inc.