I recently had the privilege of attending a Dale Carnegie class called “Sales Advantage”. It was an eight-week course that met for 3.5 hours each Wednesday evening. The instructor guided us through the sales process with lots of examples and role-plays. It was intense, educational and fun. It also forced many of us out of our comfort zones – especially the impromptu public speaking requirements.
This Dale Carnegie class teaches sales process. I would call it the art of selling. Yes, there is a definite process and, yes, there’s a lot of art involved: the art of connecting, the art of building rapport, the art of discovering needs, the art of handling objections and so on. Some great sales people know how to practice the art of selling instinctively; others learn from masters like Dale Carnegie. These concepts can be applied to every selling situation; they are universal.
The mechanics of selling involves looking at a specific industry and target customer and mapping out the steps to identify leads, develop opportunities, close deals, provide products/services, and build loyal customers. While basic sales stages – Prospect, Qualify, Present, Close – may be similar across industries, additional stages may be needed for a given market. For example, a custom product may need a stage called Customize between Qualify and Present. Until the solution is customized for the prospect, there is simply nothing to Present.
Selling steps within each stage can differ quite dramatically across industries. Some markets require RFPs; some don’t. Some involve several layers of channel partners; some are direct sales. Some deals require elaborate financing structures; others simply require a credit card. The mechanics of selling account for the specifics for a given company and can even vary by product or sales channel within a company. The mechanics of selling are not universal; they are often quite unique. Some companies even go so far as to name their sales process to make it easy to remember individual stages and steps.
At TopLine Results, you get the best of both worlds. Our sales team understands the art of selling, and our process consulting team understands the mechanics of setting up a sales process that makes sense for you. It is not created in isolation; it is developed with a multi-functional team comprised of your team members who provide the inputs to and receive the outputs from the sales team.
Incorporating and optimizing both the art and the mechanics of selling can be a competitive advantage leading to growth. We’d like to help you achieve that advantage and outgrow your competition! Give us a call to get started: 1-800-880-1960 or firstname.lastname@example.org.