Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Are your Sales Reps Prepared? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

If you asked your prospects “How prepared are your sales reps for client meetings”, what do you think they would say?

Each year Forrester asks this question of Executive Buyers worldwide, and the results reflect the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of current sales rep capabilities:

> The Good – A majority of buyers (62%) indicate that your vendor sales reps are knowledgeable about your company and products. This reflects the time and effort you put into product-focused presentations, collateral and training.

< The Bad – Most reps receive very low grades (30-40%) on their knowledge of the buyer’s industry and preparation for questions they would ask.

<< The Ugly3 out of 4 sales reps are perceived as having little to no knowledge about the buyer’s specific business., ability to relate to the buyer’s role in the organization, understand issue they need help with and the ability to provide relevant success stories / case studies to share.

The results are nothing short of stunning, reflecting a decided Value Gap between an average sales reps ineffective product-focused approach, and buyer’s expectations for a more buyer / challenge / value centric engagement. Instead of a product pitch, your customers want conversations to learn more about their industry peers, challenges they should be addressing, improvement opportunity advice, and the value you can uniquely provide.

Forrester’s research highlights a growing Value Gap over the past several years as a more empowered, skeptical and frugal buyer escalates their expectations, while the average sales reps fails to improve quickly enough. Even though many organizations have turned to new methods like Challenger (CEB), providing the motivation and framework for change, the Value Gap persists.

The Value Gap can only be bridged with a further investment on top of these new methods, via an incremental commitment and investment in:
  • Value Messaging - providing the value messaging, provocative industry insights, value messaging and quantification and evidence to fuel each unique customer conversation.
  • Value Selling Tools – to bring the messaging to life, with interactive client-facing visual value storytelling, dynamic insights and customer intelligence and personalized value quantification / financial justification.
  • Value Training – to provide the competence, confidence and credibility in applying the value messaging and value selling tools to improve each customer engagement and evolve the conversation from product to value.
So how do your buyer’s rate your sales reps capability, and what are you doing to migrate the Bad and the Ugly to Good? Moving beyond  introducing a new method, a valuable step in the process, the successful evolution to a more value selling approach needs fuel. It’s now time to get serious about the challenge and implement Value Messaging + Value Selling Tools + Value Training along with the Method,

Source: Why Don’t BuyersWant to Meet with Your Sales People – Mark Lindwall, Forrester

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