Restructuring with Sales
How has the current economic tide been affecting your business? Are there any positives to come out of it? Its safe to say this isn’t the kind of environment that inspires confidence. The latest global economic concerns have predicated a mass hysteria that really isn’t anything new, but is a crisis nonetheless. If your business is feeling the effects of the volatile environment you should stay proactive, rather than reactive. The silver lining of a crisis is that it forces you to streamline your business model. It’s the sort of sink or swim that makes you think about long-term sustainability in a way you never had to before. We have seen the competitive landscape shift as companies reorganize with a sharp focus on revenue and cost-cutting initiatives. The low hanging fruit has really been picked and squeezed, selling to early adopters in robust markets, without the need for a focused sales strategy.
You probably understand that economics is cyclical and this is why the current economic crisis shouldn’t go to waste. More than ever companies are scrambling for those problem solving solutions. What does that mean? More than ever, companies are ready to buy! Ergo, you have to be ready to sell your solution in a way that solves those restructuring objectives. Just yesterday Cisco CEO John Chambers said his customers don’t see a recession. As they reorganize you can be assured they are going to focus on the value they create and that their customers have come to appreciate.
“Our customers are saying they do not see a recession”
-John Chambers Cisco CEO
ROI alone is not enough to garner attention anymore because everyone presents it and everyone presents a good one. You must align the parts of your message you think are important with what your prospect thinks are important. In effect, it needs to be simple, yet differentiated.
You should treat all of your sales as partnerships and by that I mean your customers should get the feeling your success rides on theirs. You aren’t selling widgets, you’re guaranteeing success. Start by reaching out to your current and past customers. Getting the right information is about asking the right questions. (Join the discussion in our new sales community and share your best questions!)
Why don’t you buy?
Why do you buy?
What do we do best?
They will lead you to value you didn’t sell them. For example, maybe you provided new energy efficient windows to a university. You’d be surprised to find out that since installation class attendance has improved by 15% in addition to the anticipated energy savings. Discovering what resonated after the sale stirs a positive feeling of surprise and added benefit. Your genuine curiosity also improves your partnership, creating healthy up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
If that isn’t enough already, remember our goal is to translate this differentiated value to new prospects. The more transparent your positive surprise is to new prospects, the more receptive they will be.
Research New Prospect
Filter through a company’s annual report and 10k, Google headlines, and scour their website. You’re looking to understand the culture and initiatives in place. If you have a management tool, search for merger and acquisition news. Identify where you can enforce value and how you supplement current operations. Determine who Power is. Change is disruptive to any organization and your ability to recognize and overcome that barrier is crucial. Part of that is speaking to the right person. If you start too low in an organization you get resistance and a small budget. Latch on to current sustainability initiatives and missions that contribute to their long-term vision.
I mentioned partnering before; it’s important enough that it keeps coming back. Once you have differentiated your solution and distilled it down to what your prospect cares about, you know whether or not you have a zebra. With that in mind, present your business case to the executive you’ve identified as Power. Sure you will have your ROI along with other conservative estimates, including EVA, payback period and a monthly cost of indecision…, but you want their critical business issues front and center in the discussion. Your financial benefit claims ride on these rails. Your goal at this point isn’t to sell, it’s to partner. You have to earn trust before you can sell. If you peak interest, ask, and they will grant you executive sponsorship to verify your value. Once they confirm and adjust your figures internally, you will reduce your sales cycle, increase your deal size and improve your pipeline close rate.