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There has been a lot of analysis and research recently on the importance of sales people having the wherewithal to understand the right time to challenge a prospect during a sales cycle. In a highly complicated sales processes, it is vital for the sales person to break through to the prospect in a unique and smart way – by making the prospect not only think about the product or service they are making a decision about purchasing but also convincing the prospect that they are making the correct decision.

A great deal goes into this process. The sales person needs to have the right traits and skills to successfully navigate tough conversations. The marketing and product team need to create content that is insightful. And most importantly, there must be a positive and productive support system within the organization that allows for the sales person to have the appropriate resources and knowledge to push the prospect to think differently.

This theory fundamentally changes a business’ view on sales people. It is no longer relevant to rely on a team of people that are good at building relationships or that are good at managing a solid sales cycle. It is now pivotal to enhance the raw skills of the team to interact with prospective customers in a totally different way.

So what are these traits that are so unique to this breed of sales people?

    • Never settle: these sales people know that a prospective client has access to a ton of data through online resources as well as the competition. They are constantly pushing for new and different information to cause the prospect to think. They elevate themselves to a trusted advisor versus nice guy.
    • Interaction with the decision maker: it is vital to keep connected with the decision maker during the sales process and so often it is easy to constantly get pushed down within the organization. These sales people know that they must always have a reason to stay close to the decision maker – and they must be smart enough to create those reasons throughout the sales cycle.
    • Not afraid: where other sales people will tip toe around certain tough interactions, these sales people know the importance of aggressively owning these interactions. They challenge the prospect at the right time in a professional yet confident way. They are not belligerent or pushy – they have the right balance of ego and conviction.

In my next blog, I will cover the importance of the marketing and product function in supporting the sales team through this transition. Although the skills of the sales person is vital, it is just as important for the organization to be able to support the sales team by creating content that enhances their quest to constantly push their prospect through the sales cycle.

Do you feel that your sales team has the right skills to push and challenge their prospective clients?


 

sales insightsJohn Burns is the Director of Sales and Marketing at Mediafly, Inc.  His next post will be published sometime next month.  Please have a look at some of the products and solutions John has had a hand in selling: SalesKit and ProReview.


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By Lou Barreiro

June 5, 2014

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