CEOs: Value in Sales Process Streamlines Sales Cycle

A panel of sales experts explained “The 18 Ways to Create Value during the Sales Process” in a recent breakfast workshop presented by The Entrepreneurship Institute (TEI). Two Productive Strategies professionals participated. Moderating was Phil Krone, president and founder of Productive Strategies, a marketing and management consulting firm. Senior Consultant Scott Pemberton served on the panel.

The workshop, “What Every President, CEO, and Owner Must Know about the Sales Process,” revealed how the very best business-to-business salespeople sell 12 to 15 times more than the average salesperson. The panel members serve on the TEI Chicago board as does Tim Kramer, who hosted the workshop at Wintrust Commercial Bank.

To help their reps, every CEO must know this about top producers: They create value as they’re making the sale not just at the end with the deliverable.

“That’s the true definition of consultative selling,” said Phil Krone, as he opened the workshop. “Learning to do that builds trust and helps prospects to see you as the expert faster. That in turn gives them confidence to take action.”

For example, one way to create value within the sales process, explained Lee Fahrenz, is to help a prospect become aware of a problem he didn’t know existed–in other words, helping him to know what he didn’t know. Fahrenz’ firm, Euler Hermes North America, offers credit insurance.

SALO’s Mitch Ornstein, whose company provides interim and project financial executive and staff services, offered another value: Help a prospect articulate, even originate, the objectives she’s seeking. Through your discovery, you help a prospect clarify objectives at both a higher level and in connection with your product or service.

Identify a marketplace need without an existing solution and bring it to your marketing department as a new product idea is another of the 18 ways way to create value, noted Scott Pemberton. To use salespeople as market researchers in this way, however, requires a process to ensure that they ask the right questions in the field and that the needs are carefully reviewed and prioritized.

Jeff Michalczyk, The Private Bank, discussed helping a prospect become aware of the implication or consequence of a challenge. Even if prospects are aware of a problem, they don’t always-in fact, rarely-appreciate the full impact of the consequences. Good consultative selling helps them see the devil in the details.


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