Note: this guest post is part one of a three
part series by Jack Nuanes of Selling at the C-Level. Have a guest post
you'd like to submit? Let us know!
In part one, we discussed that salespeople are
under-qualified to sell in this new economy due in many cases to
their lack of financial sales training. In part two, we covered
the responsibility of key decision makers in all organizations to
study and know what financial numbers are negatively impacting
their firm. We also talked about their fiduciary responsibility to
examine products/services that can change these trends.
In addition, according to ASTD's recent research report,
Accelerating Revenue Through Learning, Developing Sales Teams
that Win, "success in this economy is based on the ability to
shift selling strategy." Furthermore the report states, "For many
selling positions, salespeople need more business and financial
acumen than they have."
So hopefully we have painted a pretty clear picture that a)
salespeople need to well versed in financial performance sales
skills to compete in this economy and, b) customers will buy from
them if they do. To be absolutely clear, if salespeople use
financial performance selling skills they will stand alone from the
competition, close more deals and make more money. Plain and
How to Edge the Competition by Leveraging Your Prospects Financial
Let me illustrate this point through a scenario that many sales
people face each day. A salesperson is competing for the business
against three different firms. Each of the competitors uses
similar 'traditional' sales techniques that focus on forming
relationships and strategic/consultative approaches. Each also
stresses their features and benefits and has similar pricing
options. If you were the client who would you choose? If you were
one of the salespeople in this scenario how would you differentiate
yourself from the competition? The answer of course is in
understanding the financial numbers.
It is a fact that every purchase decision is a financial decision.
If this is true, then why do sales executives continue to only
focus on non-financial sales techniques to close deals? Wouldn't
it make sense that, in order to separate yourself from the
competition as a sales executive, you would simply have to
understand the numbers and how your solution improves those numbers
to state your case?
How did it end?
In my personal scenario, highlighted in blogs part 1 and 2, I ended
up closing the deal with the customer by showing her that I
recognized five key financial metrics that our services could
impact. She responded by telling me the one financial metric in
particular that was bothering her the most. As a financially
trained sales executive I knew instantly that this metric, Cost
of Sales as a % of Sales, was rising due to discounting.
Equally important, I recognized that the other four financial
metrics were also troubling and understood why they were going in
their respective directions.
As you can see, by evaluating the company's financial numbers I had
placed myself in the CFO's office and had the potential to have
five different meaningful conversations with a key decision maker
of a billion dollar company. Most importantly, as a prerequisite,
I did not have to engage in a long term rapport building process
with the CFO in order to schedule the first meeting, show up and
whip out a 50 slide PowerPoint slide presentation or ask
embarrassing pain or needs pay off questions. I simply studied my
client's numbers and within an hour had a game plan that worked and
ultimately secured me the seven-figure deal.
The Selling at the C-Level team has been training companies
around the world since 1996. Our specialty is to train sales
executives to sell effectively to the senior decision-makers of an
organization by using the financial data of the prospect. For more
information call 303-516-0000 or www.sellatclevel.com