4C The Future

Written by Beverley Hamilton


Foreseerepparttar future, that’s what your customers expect, that’s what you need to deliver.

In an ever increasing global marketplace,repparttar 127189 degree to which companies can deliver ongoing value to their customers’ evolving needs, determines their continued success. Value is a personal thing and successful companies discover what value means to their customers quickly, effectively and continuously. The challenge is great and meeting that challenge requires companies to recruit, train, develop and reward their people to deliver current and future value. Skills, knowledge, behaviours and thinking need to be uncovered and honed to enable people to deliver their best forrepparttar 127190 company and their customers.

If that is true, what implication does that have for leadership and senior management teams? The strategies that enable a company to gain and maintain customers are only as effective asrepparttar 127191 people that implement them; so recruiting, training, developing and rewarding those people effectively, is crucial. A phrase commonly used isrepparttar 127192 war on talent; but should it be a battle? What if a company’s talent strategy was such thatrepparttar 127193 right people were attracted to rather than fought for?

Atrepparttar 127194 frontline of any company is its salesforce. The salesforce ofrepparttar 127195 future will need to reconsiderrepparttar 127196 way it “sells”. “Tomorrow’s customers won’t just be looking for products they’ll be looking for solutions and services. In order to deliver them, companies will have to know everything about their customer’s organisation and how their products and services touch them… not only will companies have to figure out their customer’s current needs but they will have to work hard to anticipate their future needs as well….it will mean changing people’s mindsets from product centric to customer – service-centric” (1)

Building relationships to sell products is no longer enough. The salesperson ofrepparttar 127197 21@ needs to be a solutions provider and business partner for their customer. The increasing availability and usability of technology by companies means that there is greater transparency of price and product, so companies looking to develop and maintain long term customer loyalty need to transform their saleforces into customer advocates.

Traditional selling methods and their associated skills, will be less relevant, and more emphasis on building trust and rapport, creative thinking, needs analysis and partnership management will deliverrepparttar 127198 value customers expect. In a global context, these skills are even more critical as there are added dimensions of managing global strategies in local markets, understanding cultural differences and dealing with location, time and technological variations. One person may live in UK, have their HQ in Germany and their client base in EMEA, another may live in USA have their HQ in France and their client base in Asia. Effectively managing people and strategies in this context increasesrepparttar 127199 need for havingrepparttar 127200 right people inrepparttar 127201 right jobs to best serve those differently located customer bases. “Companies will have to burst out of their traditional habits to become true learning organisations.” (1)

To prepare customer advocates ofrepparttar 127202 future and evolve current salespeople into customer advocates, there are 4 key areas that companies should focus on


CAPABILITY “Skills, knowledge and talents are distinct elements of a person’s performance. The distinction being, that skills and knowledge can be taught whereas talents cannot… Talents are recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behaviour that can be productively applied.” (2) They are a person’s mental filters. This has implications when recruiting and developing salespeople. In order to identifyrepparttar 127203 skills and knowledge a customer advocate needs may mean approaching recruitment and training in a different way. If you can’t train talents e.g. being proactive, you need to select for it. Assuming you have selected salespeople with talent and potential how do you determinerepparttar 127204 training, and development that will optimise their talents and uncover their potential.

Firstly identifyrepparttar 127205 business outcomes you need your salespeople to achieve. Without business orientated outcomes training and development becomes a “so what?” activity adding no value torepparttar 127206 individual,repparttar 127207 company orrepparttar 127208 customer. Secondly, create individual learning paths to optimise current skill and knowledge strengths, minimise weaknesses, develop potential and utilise talent. This may mean no more “sheep dip” training programmes. This may mean no more performance reviews constantly telling someone they need to be more proactive.

How to Sell High Tech Solutions

Written by Amy Fox

How to Sell to High Tech Solutions by Amy Fox, President, Accelerated Business Results

Many companies are looking to improve uponrepparttar speed, security, and accessibility of business technologies, especially satellite and broadband connections torepparttar 127188 internet. While customers are becoming more savvy, many don’t speak ‘tech-ese,’ and they still are baffled by terms such as routers, IPSEC, T-1s, WIFI, and broadband. While these buyers may have a genuine interest and need forrepparttar 127189 products they investigate, more often than not their sales experience ends up a frustrating and confusing one.

Don't Talk Tech! Salespeople are often caught inrepparttar 127190 hype for their own products. It’s easy to lose touch with a client’s perspective with this approach. The other major blunder a tech salesperson may make is their need to be perceived as experts in their field. Talking tech torepparttar 127191 point of no return does not usually yield a promising sale. How does one handlerepparttar 127192 tendency in tech sales to “show up and throw up?” It is critical to address ineffective sales approaches inrepparttar 127193 tech market, because these mistakes are oftenrepparttar 127194 most significant barriers to high performance.

Communicate Don't Baffle Bringingrepparttar 127195 human side to selling high tech products is not easy, but it must enter intorepparttar 127196 equation or else a salesperson’s success is at risk. Communicating with clients, not baffling them, is key to building long-term relationships. Technology is evolving, andrepparttar 127197 customer needs to become aware ofrepparttar 127198 new technology and not be intimidated by it.

Focus on Client Needs I conduct high technology sales training throughoutrepparttar 127199 United States for a variety of clients. For sales professionals inrepparttar 127200 high tech field, I often stressrepparttar 127201 need to shiftrepparttar 127202 focus fromrepparttar 127203 salesperson torepparttar 127204 client. This is difficult, because products are complex, and sales people get caught up inrepparttar 127205 innovation and creativityrepparttar 127206 product may provide rather than focusing onrepparttar 127207 client’s needs. Typically, a salesperson approachesrepparttar 127208 client with a laundry list of questions or a lengthy Powerpoint presentation. Sometimesrepparttar 127209 questions are canned, orrepparttar 127210 presentation is a reflection ofrepparttar 127211 salesperson’s agenda. The questions or presentation are designed to steerrepparttar 127212 conversation towardsrepparttar 127213 highlights ofrepparttar 127214 products for sale orrepparttar 127215 expertise ofrepparttar 127216 salesperson.

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