Here are the Latest Buyer Perceptions of Sales People
Speaker 1:0:10Hello and welcome. You are listening to an episode of the sales show to stream or download a host of further free episodes that will power your sale success. Please visit sales chat show.com. We really hope that you enjoy and benefit from this episode.
Speaker 2:0:35Oh, I'm folks. Welcome to another episode off the sales chat show sales chat show.com, deriving your sales forward. I am Simon Hazeldine and with me in these sales chart show studio is Mr. Mr Graham Jones and this episode is looking at the latest buyer perceptions of salespeople, so some data, some insight into how we as sales professionals are regarded and how buyers think about whether we're doing a good or bad job. So on the Monitor in front of us here hearing the studio some quite bad news, folks that only 37 percent in a piece of research, 37 percent of buyers strongly agreed that the salespeople they were interacting with provided them with a unique industry insight not so goods had also piece of research from CD. What percentage of salespeople believe they are successfully differentiating their company products and services against the competition? A marvelous 75 percent of salespeople thought they were doing that well to a good standard.
Speaker 2:1:59When the customers were asked the same question, what percentage of salespeople are successfully differentiated themselves against the, against their competition? Customers have a slightly different opinion. They thought that Tony, three percent of sales people were doing that and you put those two together. That's, that's the bad news folks. That that's not good, but what's the good news? Well, the good news folks for those listening in is it doesn't look like the bar is set particularly high out there. You know, the average performance is pretty bad. As I'm fond of saying, when I speak to salespeople, average sucks. So there's no two ways. It's not a good place to be. So this is a fantastic opportunity for us to do a better job than our competition. So Mr Johnson, what do you think our listeners should be doing to outgoing the competition to do a better job? Well, if I miss a sales director, one of the things that I would be doing with my sales team is
Speaker 3:3:00to change their job description built around this particular issue. And I would include in the job description right up front the, the job of the sales executive or account manager is to become an expert in the customer's world. Not just familiar with it, but to become an expert in the customer's world. I think that would encourage the salesperson to then become curious about the customer's sector and stuff that's going on around the customers. A boardroom table, you might say unto really dig deep into that sort of area. Um, I think the way that the, uh, uh, the future is going, you, you, you could argue here that the role of the salesperson is to have solutions to problems the customer doesn't know they have. Yes. That's really the challenge. And also I think if I was a sales director, I'd be moving away from having a product specialists in my team and looking at industry sector specialist regardless of whether they're targeted vertically into various market sectors.
Speaker 3:4:13But if I had eight or nine members of the team, maybe there's an argument there that says, okay, well you're the expert on this sector. You're the expert on that sector. And your job is to bring to the team industry insights and expertise that we can all use when we come across often one industry sector. Is it predominantly, you know, as a, as a company that obviously you need to really understand your district. You've got multiple industry verticals. So like an industry champion. Yes, exactly. Yeah. So if, if, if I was a sales executive, I might turn to you Simon as a colleague and say, well, you know, Simon's clearly very familiar with the it world. So I just need to make sure that when I come across the mat sector, uh, I made sure that I'm talking to Simon casually, informally, and really pumping him for insights that they ought to be aware of when I go and make that call tomorrow on a practical thing.
Speaker 3:5:13I think I said if I'm doing sort of key account management workshops, etc. Clients is get them to look at a customer, do a good old pestle analysis. What's politiCal, economic, social, technological, legal, environmental factors that are affecting us, the world within which the customer has to operate. That's the stuff that's going on in their district. And then you know, from how other, how are those customers tuning that strategy to respond to those opportunities. And I think the other thing I would add at this stage is, is the, you know, differentiation is a lovely chunk of marketing jargon, but on the streets, what it actually means is that as a sales executive, you've really got to be able to say about your company. You're either the first company to.dot, dot, dot, dot, or we're the only company that dot, dot, dot or well, there's many of us, but we're the best because dot, dot, dot. So if as a sales direct to you can't use one or more of those three, then you're probably miles off the mark on this point. So first to only or best because that's really where the differentiation area lines. I think you're scratching your hat.
Speaker 4:6:31Think of your sister. That is a great way to do that is to go and interview your long standing customers who loyal, loving tibet, stable, telling you what you are differentiating factors out. And they can sometimes be a bit surprised that there are sometimes not not what you want to revise to study that I don't know about five, maybe 10 years ago of the top 100 brands in the world and they were asking that the brand teams know why do people buy your product, say in a year with a brand manager of a particular product and your team, how to fill in a survey questionnaire and work out what were the reasons people bought your product. What they didn't know was that the researchers were also the lasky top customers, why they bought the product, same questions and what are the top five reasons you buy that product or whatever.
Speaker 4:7:20And there was a complete and total mismatch between and these, you know, these are the top 100 brands in the world. These are people who are really good at what they do, but they completely misunderstood why people were buying their products. What were the reasons for buying those products? They've got it completely wrong, which they have not really gotten enough information or look to the background. And I think one of the interesting things about the study you mentioned earlier is that when you look at the things that were quite good in the study, nothing was brilliantly good in this study and it's worthwhile pointing out that study was amongst over 300 companies, most of whom were employee more than a thousand people. So we're talking about substantial businesses and that sort of. But the good things were things like was the salesperson credible? Was the same, has the company, got a good reputation?
Speaker 4:8:10Is the sales person responsible? Responsive to my questions? In other words, the good things are all skills. Yeah, you can teach your person to dress properly and behave credibly and how to answer questions, but actually what the customer, the boat, the buyer is demanding his experts to help them and that's what this study shows that the most businesses, two thirds of them and not getting that strong agreement. And I were, I would get your, get your painful in a room, get your salespeople in the room and find out where you've delivered value for our clients in a particular industry. Get that documented and then just grab and copy. Now with all the other clients in that industry vertical do it, mr or mrs customer, here's what we have done for companies like you doing what you do is the value we
Speaker 3:8:56have created. Then you go to more of a tailored value proposition goes. I think that that three percent differentiation is telling us my hunches that that is pretty much same old, same old sales presentation be used, one size fits all. very, very, very, very little little anatomy tailoring for you know the customers are smart. now they know you have just dropped their logo onto the front page of your powerpoint slide. You know that's not tailoring, that's, that's still is just generic with the customer logo dropped on the front. You have to be doing nothing. Tailored value proposition, certainly by industry show you understand those, you know, here's what's going on in this industry. Are you facing any of these problems and challenges? funnily enough, we asked, oh wow, here's how we've helped other people like you. I think sometimes when I'm companies on looking at developing their value proposition, they don't finish off the story.
Speaker 3:9:55I'll give you an example of that. Last week I was talking to a chamber of commerce and for those that don't know that it's obviously an organization that fairly low come helps develop small businesses in a particular community, etc. Etc. So I said to the chamber chromosome, what is your value proposition that you're offering your 1200 members, uh, back in the answer? Well, business support. And when I said, well, when you give people business support, if they have that won't ask that and then give them. The answer was, oh, peace of mind security. So interestingly, when you look at peace of mind and security, it's an emotional value proposition. It's not a rational value proposition. And as we know, because we've covered it before, this is graham's area, people will buy at an emotional level and injustice at a rational level. So when looking at the value proposition, keep pushing it and say, well, if customers had that, what would it gives them?
Speaker 3:11:00And if they had that, what would it give them an eventually you'll end up with a real nugget of emotional value because that's very interesting you say that because when we talking about and providing unique industry insight, that does sound as though it's going to be quite sort of new metric or measure it or quite logical. Whereas obviously you know, you've goT to always go to a person at the end of the, of the buying process on who's on the receiving end. Yeah. So anything else we think. So you've got to research your industry, go to research your customer, find out what's working that you, how you deliver value in an industry. Then go and sort of replicate that into other other ones. Other practical thoughts, tips I think said certainly I think it's about being genuinely interested and curious in the customer stuff. Uh, it's very easy. We've all done it to go to visit a customer, ask the first couple of questions and switch off for 25 minutes waiting for the customer to stop talking so we can get back to what we wanted to cover in the first place. This is the reverse of that is about genuinely showing interest in the customers staff and being responsive enough, flexible enough to tailor any response that then follows and sometimes may be coming back on another day rather than just proceeding with what we thought we were going to be talking about.
Speaker 2:12:21Certainly there was a piece of research, I think there's a few years old now selling to senior executives, white paper, how to salespeople established trust and credibility and it was, you need to understand my industry. You need to understand where coming from whichever way piece of research we're looking at. We keep hearing the same things. Being genuinely interested and understanding the world your customers operate.
Speaker 3:12:45The people that have been on the buyer's courses will be trained to ask sales people how much do you know about it? And if the sales person falls out that first hurdle, they're going nowhere. In todAy's world. There is an expectation today that we have done our research. At least we know something about what's going on in the customer as well,
Speaker 2:13:09but I think it says if it's not just enough to know. It's also. This is, this is inside, this is helping teaching them something they don't know and I know sometimes salespeople will say, well surely the customer knows more about their industry and it's not necessarily because they have their view of the world where maybe if your servicing across your sales to 30, 40, 50 companies in an industry, just get your sales meeting, your sales manager, sales director, brainstorm loss happening, brainstorm your success stories and then get everybody going out talking to everyone else about it. You have a broader understanding of the industry, particularly with reference to the problem or challenge that your solution or product is uniquely there to to help with. Yes, they are. They may understand the industry and maybe back to the new why should they, but you are the experts and how you can help it. Not 10.
Speaker 4:14:02Can I go back to your point about powerpoint slides? Yes, because it reminds me of a company that I was with. I was just at the same meeting. They right. They were presenting their slides to try and win some business from this company, a well known company, and they'd got their logo, all the slides, but unfortunately in the text they've got the name of their direct competitor who clearly had had the presentation that we. So if you aren't going to tailor your slides, it is more than just changing the logo. I can't believe
Speaker 2:14:38anybody would ever be that silly. Surely none of us around the table have overlap to client, state in the footer of a proposal. Oh, just really bad. It is. Looks, it's not,
Speaker 3:14:52it's not that uncommon a mistake, but the point is this is where you just got part of your planning and preparation. Is that fine or double check that it's not just that it shows that you are not thinking from the customer's perspective anywhere near. And I had, uh, a fellow professional speaker asked me to review her sales proposals. So she Asked me to take it up and she emaIled it to cross and my feedback was the person's name, but could be executives. name was in the title of the document as in the title on her sisters, but the customer's name was not mentioned once within the proposal. My feedback was it looks like a generic flyer more than it looks like a business proposal is very quite good copywriter, but they're copying the benefits will conduct, but they was clearly was generIc and I'm sorry that generic is not just doesn't cut it anymore, you know, and, and even worse unique insight because sometimes they're not even tailoring it to the customer's industry.
Speaker 3:15:55She switches, you know. So I think the good news for the sales professionals listening to this is that, you know, sometimes are there, the bar's not as high as I said at the star of the show. There's lots of things we can do to get a competitive advantage that probably not as hard to sometimes we just a little bit of extra effort and work as a team and come up some really good stuff. I think there are a number of checking questions here. I think question number one is where is the customer today? Question number two is where does the customer want to go in the future? Question number three is why? A question number four would be, what are the benefits to the customer getting into that place and what happens if they don't get in there and question number five. Finally, how can we help?
Speaker 3:16:44And if we can't tick all five of those questions, then my advice would be do not proceed to the next stage because you're already gonna. Drop her girly because it's not going to be tailored enough unless you can actually answer those five questions. And I know some of the people listening in are going to say, well phil, you know, I said, that sounds like a lot of work, you know? Yeah. So it's making lots and lots of presentations that don't succeed. President appointed a preparation and planning, good questioning. You know, do you want to spend your time when in business? So do you want to spend your time chasing business that you ain't going to win? And I'll take your point, even if it is a lot of work, if it's worth putting in to win the business and give the customer a good thrashing, then do it clearly. clearly is worth putting the tournament. Outwork your competition. But it's a work smart. So the older, the old cliche. So any closing thoughts, any false top tips for our listeners on this, I would definitely go back to going our show. Really happy,
Speaker 2:17:50longstanding customers, why they love you too. That's really, really important thing about the way. Then austin for a funeral, of course, once once they've said why is a sales director
Speaker 4:18:01paying for things that would help people develop an industry insights and new services and all the kinds of things that would support them rather than putting them on another training course on how to answer and deal with questions they already know that you forget that you can improve it marginally for what people are looking for is deep insights, so they need information services, they need new services, they need to go on courses about finance. It's all of that kind of
Speaker 2:18:29aside. I would start concentrating on if I'm a sales director, will get one of your customers, your, your longstanding customers to come in and talk to your sales team about their industry and let them do a q and a and pick their brain and it's, you know, you've got the right customer, the right time now. So I'm normally quite happy. So it's so fantastic. So, um, hopefully that's given you some challenge, some provocation and some food for thought folks about, you know, providing that insight, differentiating yourself from your competition so that the ultimate at the end of the day, what we're all interested in here and the sales channel show and anybody listening in is closing more sales. That is absolutely wait, get out your own head, get inside your customer's head. So thank you very much for listening to simon hazel, dean sitting opposite me, mr farrow, jessalyn. And um, my other side, Mr. Graham jones mean sales chat show sales chat show.com, a lots of other episodes available on the website. Please go and go in there and entertain and educate yourself. The more you learn, the more you earn, as the old cliche goes, and in the meantime, just like to wish you good luck and good selling.
Speaker 1:19:44You have been listening to an episode of the sales chat show to stream or download a host of further free episodes that will power your sales success. Please visit a sales chat show.com. Thank you very much for listening to this episode and from everyone here at the sales chat show. We'd like to wish you good luck and good selling.