“As businesses move to buyer alignment as a means of differentiation, your salespeople more important than ever.” – Shelley Walters – Director

As a professional  Sales Speaker and Director of a leading communications training company, I work with business to business organisations across various sectors, all of whom are facing a clear and present danger.

We have recently been working with a number of organisations who have realised that the ability to compete on price and product is becoming increasingly difficult. In a highly commoditized environment, the most viable differentiation strategy of the future is likely to be moving to one of client intimacy, where you align your organisation around the buying patterns of your market and offer an exceptional sales experience.

The clients we see having the most success understand that their sales people are their final frontier of differentiation.

“In that critical moment when sales people need to be the most convincing, nine times out of ten, they are not”.

by Oren Klaff, Author Pitch Anything

In a study done by Forrester Research, they found that as much as 53% of the reason that companies buy and remain loyal, is the sales experience. Yet many organisations are unknowingly training their sales people to be better and better at skills that customers don’t care about anymore.

Unfortunately, many organisations have not been as prepared as some of the clients we have been working with recently. Their salespeople are acutely aware that it is near impossible to compete on price, or product, alone. They need a differentiated strategy. They need to be equipped to differentiate both themselves (as authorities) and their companies.

Buyers have changed more rapidly than the average sales person, and in do doing we have missed a major opportunity to align ourselves with what clients want. To do this would require an investment in what the skills that buyers most value in a sales person.

Buyers do not want salespeople who are better at:

1. Cold calling

2. Assessing my personality and building rapport

3. The ability to push me into a corner with well-crafted questions

What do buyers want? They want someone who can deliver insight and help them manage the chaos.

More on that in my next post…

Remember, “Average is easy, but not worth it” – Shelley Walters

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Shelley Walters is a Sales Speaker, Blogger and Director of Conversation Intelligence Africa

www.shelleywalters.com or www.conversationintelligence.com