“Sales are down, but it’s a difficult market”. “Our sales team isn’t performing”. “The opposition are too cheap”….
There’s usually a lot more to it, but it does sound like you need some help.
A number of studies over the last 20 years, particularly an ongoing study by the Corporate Executive Board (“CEB”)1have shown that B2B buyer behaviour has changed. Business customers are now more unsure, more risk averse and less able to discern the differences in offerings of suppliers, particularly complex offerings.
Yet high functioning salespeople and teams have identified the opportunity and adapted their sales and marketing techniques and methodologies so that their businesses continue to enjoy success in all types of economic conditions. In fact, the tougher itgets the more the gap between sales success and failure widens.
Research highlighted in “The Challenger Sale”2concludes that this style of salesperson is more successful in complex sales environments than all other types of salesperson. Notably, they state, that “in these types of environments, the Relationship Builder style of salesperson is the least effective of all styles”. This is not to say that relationship building is not important in sales, because it is. However, it is simply not enough anymore.
Importantly, developing and embedding a more successful style of sales and marketing behaviour is far more than changing the corporate attire of the sales team. It requires training, changes and development of behaviours, techniques and methodologies of the sales and marketing team in a manner that is supported and adopted by the organisation.
CEB’s research also highlights for your salespeople to be effective, “it is assumed that your products are well branded, differentiated and supported by high service standards”.
Critically, these factors have “less than 40% influence over customer loyalty and price has less than 10% influence over customer loyalty”.
Less than 50% is about price and product. Essentially these attributes simply get you in the game.
If you or your business is asking itself questions like those posed above, is it worth considering that it is time for change. Time to help your sales team be successful.
Axsia Advisory has specialist advisors that can assist your journey. It’s worth a call.
¹ Corporate Executive BoardCompany(USA)
² CEB. Dixon and Adamson. 2011. The Challenger Sale. Penguin Group (USA)