Don’t you love earning new business! Starting a new engagement with a client is exciting, exhilarating and yes, sometimes scary. But I relish the challenge of collaborating with a client to uncover their real needs and to then craft the best solution. It’s the joy of being a consultant and it’s the joy of being in sales.
So, when a new prospect recently told me that his sales team didn’t seem to be having fun anymore, I immediately asked how many new sales they were closing. The answer was “well, not as many as anyone of us would like”. Our conversation continued while I asked many more questions and worked with the client to begin to uncover their roadblocks to closing more business. After discussing the sales team’s skills, their work ethic, their knowledge of and execution of the selling process, I asked about their targeted prospects. And there in lies one of their problems. The sales team was basically throwing the proverbial dung on the wall and hoping something would stick. You guessed it, not much was sticking.
The sales team was working with an old definition of “prospect” and working under the assumption that the market’s needs had not changed. They were wrong.
When your team isn’t closing enough news business, start by looking at your prospects and asking these questions:
Do your prospects and customers still need your services as much as they used to?
Should you reconfigure your product line or your pricing to meet market changes?
Is there an unserved niche that you can capture with some tweaking of your current offerings?
Is it time to consider morphing into a new business model?
To answer these questions, ask your current customers and your prospects this question:
“If we were your perfect supplier / partner, how would we be different from the way we are today?”
This one simple, yet powerful question could deliver the answer that would focus your sales team on prospects who need and want your offerings. The answers to this critical question could also lead to a much needed transformation. Starting offering what your customers want today– same old is just that – same old!
Need to create a more energetic sales team that closes more business and once again finds selling fun? Call Catalytic Management. We're the sales transformation specialists!
To stimulate your thinking about your value and business model, check out these great books!
The Delta Model, Reinventing Your Business
by Arnoldo C. Hax
Here's another great resource for renewing your strategy!