Many sales professionals are like little kids in search of dessert: anything with sugar will do, except for sales you need to replace “sugar” with “cash”. Their focus is on generating transactions, the more the better.
But too many low-value (or negative value) transactions slow down your organization, making it less competitive, nimble, and profitable.
This is why you need to train your sales force to stop selling when they come across marginal or unprofitable prospects. This is serious stuff: you are far better off with no sale than with a money-losing sale.
Of course, it’s not enough to simply tell a sales professional to stop selling. You also have to set up a compensation system that rewards them for making the right kind of sales and discourages them from making bad sales. After all, people do what you pay them to do.
So how should a sales professional re-calibrate his or her efforts? Simply telling them to sell less probably does not sound like a path to increased growth and profitability, right?
The key is to focus on fewer - but much more valuable - customers.
They want to look for customers who will buy from you again and again, as I outlined in Always Focus on Your 4th Sale. This means moving past transactional thinking and focusing on maximizing the value of key strategic relationships.
Once you initiate such relationships, the next vital objective is to find meaningful ways to customize the services and products you deliver. I explained this in Deliver 10X the Value Your Client Pays You. Customization makes loyalty convenient for your clients, and it also helps you maintain healthy profit margins. This is because you are able to deliver measurable economic value to your clients, which makes them worry less about how much money you are making.
Another way to look at this last concept is that if your margins are being squeezed, you are customizing too little.
Add up all these ideas, and here’s the message you need to deliver repeatedly to your sales force:
Cultivate long-term relationships with:
- Customers who have high strategic value,
- Who will value customized products and services, and
- Who are willing to share details about their needs, so that we can better serve them.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn Pulse.
David Nour is a keynote speaker, consultant, and advisor that helps companies (such as Hilton, ThyssenKrupp, Disney, KPMG and over 100 other marquee organizations) drive profitable growth through unique returns on their strategic relationships. Nour has pioneered the phenomenon that relationships are the greatest off balance sheet asset any organizations possess, large and small, public and private. He is also the author of ten books translated into eight languages, including his new book, Co-Create: How Your Business Will Profit from Innovative and Strategic Collaboration (St. Martin’s Press, May 9, 2017).
Contact David Nour to learn more, subscribe to the Blog, sign up for the Rendezvous Newsletter or request his speaking schedule availability for your organization’s next event.