Empower Your Customers to Buy!


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Sales training is an important element to sales success. Yet, any sales strategy should be complimented by systems and resources that empower your customers to buy.

Years ago, employers would talk about hiring entrepreneurial skills; today, companies are not looking for entrepreneurial skills. The days of world class CEO Jerre Stead proclaiming: “people are our only sustainable competitive advantage,” are long gone. Today, organizations don’t put as much of a premium on individual greatness; at least not the large companies.

The enterprises of today are looking to deploy great systems and good people. Great people have an indispensable quality that can prove too costly. Whereby systems are easier to manage, upgrade and throw away.

The term disintermediation entered the vernacular of the business world nearly 15 years ago, meaning the removal of the middleman. Since then, many industries have been decimated; falling victim to technology, the internet and the availability of information. With the increased availability of information, there is no longer a need for a traveling brochure. As Gerhard Gschwandtner, publisher of Selling Power Magazine says: “Today there are twenty million salespeople in the United States and in ten years, there will only be four million.”

Most companies operate with a low cost mandate; meaning that if there is a lower cost alternative to do anything, any other choice had better be well justified. There are very few markets that are not price-sensitive. Sales organizations, like every other department, are focused on success. While that typically means grow revenue aggressively, there is also a growing emphasis on curbing sales-related costs and invoking squeaky clean cost models.

So how should sales organizations compete? How do sales organizations need to evolve? Part of the solution is to empower your customers to buy.

Empowering your customers to buy means that you are providing your prospects the information they need to make the purchase decision and to enable the fulfillment of the good or service. All of your material and online resources need to be measured against this objective. Are your customers forced to phone your office just to discover basic information? Do your sales representatives have to followup just to confirm basic information? If so, you are not empowering your customers to buy.

As you review your systems and the information and resources that your company makes available to customers, consider whether or not you are empowering action and fulfillment. This is not about being completely on “auto-pilot.” Yes, there is some level of self-service being assumed but your not terminating your sales force. This is about empowering your customers to purchase and liberating your sales teams to be more focused on strategic objectives, rather than transactional details that systems can support.

If you have a competitive offering, consider how well your sales machine (including all of your written material and online assets) empowers your customers to buy. If your offering is not competitive, you’ll likely still need strong sales resources. Otherwise, good systems allow your prospects and customers to take action. You’ll find that your sales people will be able to dig deeper into key accounts and perform other relationship selling-type activities that will drive market penetration.

Empower your customers to buy!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kevin Graham
Kevin Graham is an author, speaker and expert on empowerment, sales and leadership. As managing director of Empowered Sales Training, Kevin works with organizations to empower sales success. Formerly, Kevin was a top performing sales executive in the ultra competitive technology sector. He's qualified for President's Club status in three Fortune 500 companies, carried the Olympic Torch and played in a national championship.


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