Chief Sales Officers! You want your salespeople to sell value – when most of your sales managers can’t execute the basic business conversations you need.
A few weeks back I shared how most sales organizations struggle to sell “value.”
That’s because most salespeople don’t know what “value” means (it’s never been defined to them) or how to uncover what value means to their customers (most important).
The premise of that article was that internal sales enablement can’t possibly build curriculums to help sales teams and leaders have these conversations – as they have never been taught or done it themselves.
It’s a classic case of the blind leading the blind.
It was very well received, and easily the top post of the month. So, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read it here.
Let’s start with a question: Are you a sales leader as well as a parent? (if you’re not a parent, keep reading, you’ll see where I’m going soon enough)
If so, you will know that your kids’ model what they see and hear you saying – not what you tell them to do!
Do any of these statements sound familiar?
“Have a broader business conversation.”
“Link back to the value of our solution.”
“Focus on outcomes and the ROI.”
Of course they do. But how many sales managers have actually learned to do this? Sure, it’s easy to tell someone what to do. But how do you model these skills so your sales teams can actually guide a conversation to the point where the CUSTOMER shares THEIR case for change (Their $X to $Y by When) and clearly define what their Personal Win is going to be??
When I ask very experienced sales leaders and managers to do this, many can’t (they end up ‘telling’ the customer what they can expect to get… the equivalent of telling the customer how handsome you are – not very believable).
So, if you as a leader struggle to guide a customer to share their beliefs about value and their desired outcome, impact and results – what model are your showing your salespeople?
How do you show up? Are you modelling excellence?
The ‘kids’ are only going to model what they see and hear from you – so if you’re not able to have a “value” creating discovery conversation, how will they ever learn to do it themselves?
And, hoping that your internal sales enablement programs will build a sales approach and curriculum that shows salespeople how to have business conversations when your own sales leaders/managers can’t, is a bit like asking a neighbour to bring up your kids only to be disappointed with how they turn out.
The fulcrum to fundamentally transform the kind of sales conversations your salespeople have is to hire people who can have business conversations and train your existing sales managers (and senior leaders) ‘how to’ as well.
Only when the ‘parents’ execute these kinds of conversations will the ‘kids’ do the same – and your results will follow.
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