Recently had the pleasure of gaining John Holland’s perspectives on the keys to high performing sales teams. The titles of John’s best-selling books, in many ways, nicely summarize his thinking. CustomerCentric Selling and Re-Thinking the Sales Cycle. A summary of our recorded 30 minute conversation:
In B2B Sales, It’s Striking What’s Changed + What Hasn’t
Since CustomerCentric Selling was published in 2002, buyer expectations + behaviors have changed; sales approaches typically haven’t. Research suggests buyers are now well on their way to making decisions before they want to speak with salesperson, yet effective salespeople are as important today as ever to helping buyers buy. Saavy firms have responded by helping their salespeople engage in meaningful business conversations with executives.
There Are Four Keys to Exceptional Buyer Experiences
Milestones, sales skills, messaging, and auditability. On auditability, traditional subjectively reported data from salespeople are being replaced by real-time, objective, data based on buyer reactions to sales efforts. It’s increasing the transparency of what’s working and what isn’t and the speed with which both can be detected. Saavy firms know these data function like a light in dark room; they’re using these data to confirm and hone their paths to success in sales performance.
Auditability Improves With Customer-Centric Metrics
Exceptional firms are using metrics, based on buyer reactions to sales efforts, to do reality checks on what’s working and what isn’t; on what portions of the pipeline are really alive, vs. where efforts may be being wasted on deals that aren’t going anywhere. Are your buyer experiences exceptionally good ones? These types of reality checks are huge.