How would you describe your Sales Vision? Is it the length of the next sales quarter?
Try out this exercise. Mentally, stand on a sales beach, full of grains of sand representing your sales pipeline. Gaze out across the business ocean towards your sales horizon.
Is your short-sighted sales vision focusing you on a sales horizon occurring 90 days from now? Nothing further?
If so, it could be that your sales horizon covers insufficient distance to be effective over time. If so, it could be that your sales attention span is far too short to serve clients over the long haul.
First of all, extend your sales vision. As a result, change up your sales model.
Most sales teams are set up to serve quantifiable KPIs which, in turn, serve a fiscal calendar. So are other technical and business teams within your organization. This model keeps everyone internally focused on meeting quotas over time.
Time becomes your Master. How can serving existing clients comfortably fit into your organization’s 90-day sales vision? Your clients do not answer to your company’s timelines. Neither do their own customers. Hmmm…..
Extend your sales vision and therefore become multi-faceted.
When you expand your sales vision, you take into account all the variables involved in closing new business. Factor in variables responsible for contributing to the success of your customers. Your outcome? Ultimately impact your customer retention rate.
Your sales organization tasks you with closing new business at a certain rate while retaining existing customers at a “high enough rate.” Your current sales vision is pulled in two different directions, isn’t it? During the course of a business day, you decide “either” to pursue more highly compensated new accounts “or” spend time working with existing ones.
Two different tasks, two different focuses, two different sets of energy, two different compensation strategies. Apparently two different sales disciplines.
In reality, there is no either-or involved. Your sales equation involves both.
As a result of extending your sales vision, you start thinking customer acquisition and customer retention, simultaneously.
As a result of expanding your sales vision beyond 90 days, you incorporate a more fluid, multi-directional focus to the fine art of selling, serving and retaining customers. Focus on capturing customer success stories. Fuel both new account acquisition and customer retention initiatives with these business cases.
When you expand your sales vision beyond 90 days, you have the opportunity to become part of your customers’ successes. By continuously engaging yourself in how your products and services contribute to their growth, expansion and sustainability, you gain a seat at their business tables.
My advice? You are overdue to expand your sales vision beyond the next quarterly sales contest or set of tech support team KPIs. It is time to give yourself permission to grow as a business professional of worth. Take the time to learn which of your products and solutions work best strategically and tactically within your customers’ respective industries.
As a result of extending your sales vision, you continuously collaborate with support teams. Why continue to marginalize yourself in your sales efforts?
Extending the quality, duration and level of your engagement with customers beyond the first sale has tremendous payoff, for you and for them.
Wake up each day wondering about the value of technical and business outcomes your products and services produce once implemented and installed within your clients’ organizations. Work towards the goal of buying into the long-term business value your solutions provide.
Avoid leaving customer success and customer retention up to the non-sales folks, the tech and customer support teams. Why should they have all the fun? Appreciate and value post-sales support teams as essential elements of the entire sales process. Realize that sales process is a driving component of business strategy: strategy focused on leveraging customer success for customer retention.
In conclusion, you will start to focus more on becoming part of your customers’ strategic business vision. As a result, you will become a retained and trusted partner in their longevity in the marketplace.
I recommend that you adopt, adapt and apply your new sales vision to your professional goals over the next 365 days. The first day of your new vision begins today. Tell me why you want to achieve greater sense of continuity and professional purpose. Interested in working with me on implementing these strategies and tactics? Let’s discuss.
Babette Ten Haken is a management consultant, strategist, speaker and coach focused on customer success for customer retention. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing collaborative technical and non-technical employees. As a sales newbie, Babette walked into her first manufacturing plant – a slaughterhouse in Oklahoma – over 25 years ago. She fell in love with manufacturing. She serves manufacturing- and engineering- intensive companies, focusing teams on creating enduring business outcomes. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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