The world of sales is in a constant state of flux. It can also be said that the evolution in the sales domain has surpassed well beyond the tactics and other transformation forecasts. Optimised sales cycles, seamless go-to-market strategies, tailored experiences, aggressive revenue drives etc. – couple of terms which are synonymous to successful business entities today. But then, there is something which separates the successful ones from the not-so-successful ones.
With the gap between successfully performing and average business making firms gradually widening, the criticality of figuring out the differences and bridging that gap is underscored majorly – before the competitors gain an edge.
When it comes to sales, it is not just about making that successful pitch and getting the customer sign on those dotted agreement lines because that’s more of a beginning while the real work begins after that, i.e. the deployment or execution of the promises made during the cut-throat pitching.
Of course, when pitching, your energy, enthusiasm, empathy and eloquence play a key role in successfully capturing the first milestone – getting the customer onboard.
- Energy – To transmit the confidence in your product or service to the prospective customer as well
- Enthusiasm – To keep the other party excited about the value propositions you’re offering because attitude, is indeed contagious, be it a grumpy and negative one or the opposite
- Empathy – To make the prospective customer place their trust on you because they won’t do so if they won’t feel that you care about their business as much as they do about it themselves
- Eloquence – Having a poise and fluency in your messaging about the value-adds that you bring to the table, will certainly ensure that the intent for commitment and precise benefits get across
Now, once you’ve the customer onboard, the real litmus test begins – whether or not you’d be able to deliver the tall claims which got you the account in the first place. That is where the construct of your solution or service plays a key role.
4 E’s Which Make All The Difference
This is the first step towards a fulfilling and a long-standing relationship in businesses. It is about going all-out to ensure you have all the possible information about what they really want. The eventual result of the activity is an exhaustive, extensive and extremely fine-point comprehension of customer’s objective towards investing in your solution or service.
You factor in the channel ecosystem and involved hierarchy in this process while also dissecting the desired market and target segments. At times, during this process of gathering the requirements, you may also come across a situation where you may find a gap between what the customers want and what do they exactly need – this gap analysis also formulates a critical part of this step.
In this solution architecting step, your gap analysis formulates a steady foundation apart from the other requirements you gathered in the first step. This is the first ‘Time for Action’ step and here you refresh your consultative selling skill-set and bridge the gap you found between the customer’s need and want with the value adds which your service/ product brings to the table. It is all about enriching what you already get as the starting material from the customer.
It encompasses program conceptualization, solution designing and setting up the operational flow of the process. Creating the precise data flow pathways and establishing the integration points along with the definition of resources, roles (and role-based privileges) are also accomplished in this step.
While the ground work is done when you have sewn together the requirements, objective, resources etc. the actual implementation prep starts from here. This step requires you to step out from the discussions and meetings and begin on the journey of engaging the entire ecosystem with solution understanding and its on-ground implementation. Because your being convinced in your head and in documentation may not serve the purpose till the time, the execution team is on your right side about the same.
This includes planning of activities, capturing and consolidation of information and working on the sales and marketing pitch. Alongside tasks may include things like schemes and offers roll out if that makes sense for the subject product domain. Tracking the adherence of the plan and most importantly the communication which holds everything together, completes the picture when we talk about this ‘engage’ phase.
The last straw in the whole E-philosophy construct is this final step of execution. This is like the final ‘showdown’ if referred to in the poker dialect. Ensuring a seamless execution, this step includes constant monitoring of adoption and performance in order to keep the entire ecosystem mobilized all the time.
It is all about managing the program in its entirety in this step. It encompasses the tasks of data validation and reporting as well as review management and progress tracking. Information (and the requisite action) on necessary trainings and refreshers also come under this umbrella of implementation. Here, you also leverage business intelligence tools and analytics for managing the program in a scientific manner while giving you enough ammunitions for creating a plan-of-action for optimizing the processes in the future.
A Choice…Which Is Mandatory!
Let’s face it, the opportunities are out there but the whole process of discovering them and closing them successfully encompasses a lot of pitfalls, blind spots and blink-and-miss bits which filter out a lot of names from the list of contending cohorts.
Not taking the basic foundations of selling for granted and striving to make constant improvements on those fronts, be it prospecting for the customer or eventually, deploying the solution, is the key to create positive long-term impacts on your sales figures. It is all about laying the tracks correctly for ensuring a consistent and evolving revenue flow.
As a sales enablement player, what is your go-to philosophy when it comes to perfecting the solution deployment? As a customer, what apart from these foundational elements of solution-construct would help you have more confidence in the partnership with your service provider? Do let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.