Typically sales organizations approach training consultants to relieve a source of acute pain. Most often this pain is felt as commoditization attempts by professional buyers, price and margin pressure, irrational competitive behavior, and internal stakeholder dissatisfaction with sales.
Companies generally set themselves up for failure when they search for a stand-alone training class that focuses on solving acutely painful elements. Ultimately, they omit consideration of less obvious needs, ones that might be causing the pain.
The acute pain described above is not a localized solution to a localized problem. It is often cross - functional in nature and most likely tied to unclear internal management of your value proposition and therefore a fuzzy proposition to your sales teams and, ultimately, your customers. It is also very frequently integrated with value capture processes such as deal reviews, win/loss, and forecasting.
When sourcing a sales/negotiation solution provider, it is important to note the changes in the market that require a more thorough vetting of providers. The simple fact is that selling has evolved faster than the solutions that support it. As we are all aware, selling began as a personal relationship process. It then evolved to a point where the sales rep became a keeper of information relative to products, services, specifications, and other kinds of data.
Today, however, since that data is readily available to customers on the Internet as well as many other sources, the salesperson is no longer the keeper of the information. The salesperson’s job now is to help the customer make supplier decisions on suppliers that help the customer’s organization achieve its goals.
The Corporate Executive Board and Google recently reported that buyers are now 57% into their purchasing process by the time of their first contact with salespeople.* Yet, very few, if any, sales and/or negotiation processes take this monumental shift in the buyers’ behavior into account. This fundamental shift in the buying process has essentially changed the nature of selling.
Would you like an overview of ideas on how to source solutions for root cause selling and negotiating issues that drive business results given changes in the environment? We have such a document available for you. It is not intended to be absolute but rather, to drive ideas for innovation in the way organizations define a need, determine current state and desired state, and make supplier selection that drives the highest probability of meeting business needs at the lowest risk.
* CEB MILC Customer Purchase Research Survey, 2011.