People don’t buy from salespeople, they buy from trusted advisors.
Trusted advisors lead people to come to the right conclusions.
The quandary lies in the fact that companies don’t hire trusted advisors. Companies hire salespeople. Then management give salespeople quotas and tell them to become trusted advisors. The salespeople try to build credibility by giving great information, but at the end of the day end trying to close the deal.
How do you convert a salesperson into a trusted advisors?
To me, the key comes in identifying the key factors that prospects needs to take the put them on the buying track, then require the sales reps to drive the prospect to achieve those goals without concerning themselves with closing. Once the barriers to sales have been overcome, closing will become simplified since the prospect has already been pushed to realize the value.
At the time of writing this article, in our particular product case, the hoops we need the prospect to go through are;
- sign-up for a trial,
- discuss any technological hurdles that will impede their purchase, and
- make the prospect understand that at some point our service will cost something.
Once a prospect achieves these 3 steps from a sales management point the opportunity should be have a greater than 50% probability of closing. What remains unknown is when the opportunity will close.
Tightening up the closing cycle is up to the sales reps personal guile.
A secondary advantage of this using this system, is that it is its own training system.
The “manual” to sell our product is baked into the drivers our experience has shown us help prospects get into a buying mood. That “manual” is coded into our CRM so sale reps can’t move unless they follow certain steps. The “manual’s” mantra (sign-up, technical talk, & budget conversation) is repeated with every sales rep at every pipeline meeting.
The manual is also DYNAMIC, quarterly the key drivers pushing prospects to buy are reviewed
Finally the system makes better sales reps.
If a salesperson knows their pocketbook is reliant on the prospect ability truly understand the technology they are selling and the technology it plugs into, they work hard to be able to help prospect through the trials and tribulations of getting our product working. Typically through these conversations, our salespeople can show their expertise in the field and beyond and become trusted advisor.
How are you turning your reps into trusted advisors?