In today’s complex world of B2B sales, selling cannot be restricted to salespersons alone. Various non-customer-facing teams need to be regularly trained on how to handle a customer sales interaction. The singular focus should be the customer’s business objective and how each team can help. It appears very simple. But simple is not easy.
Let’s say you are the Sales head of a video content platform and want to sell a very complex (and very lucrative) advertising solution, i.e.‘The Elephant’. You are hosting your annual convention and the client CMO you are trying to net comes for the event (Nice!) and meets with your department heads; each responsible for ‘a unique part of the elephant’. Unfortunately, none of them are trained to Sell and all of them are ‘Blind’ to what each other does!
Mr. CMO meets with the Technology head, who just cannot explain why your platform provides a compelling advertising experience for the viewer (and hence a great place to host the customer’s brand). Next, he meets the Content head, who missed sharing interesting viewership insights that would have helped your sales team pitch a branded show as a part of the solution.
In every interaction with different departments, there was no coherent or interesting story of HOW every feature of your complex solution helps solve the client’s business problem (First principle of Sales). The client walks away, shaking his head “What a disjointed organization! I should think twice before doing business with them!”.
What a wasted opportunity to sell the customer on a million-dollar campaign!
What if your department heads were trained to handle sales interactions? For e.g. How does the work you do make for a compelling customer experience? How does your department put the customer’s business objective at the centre of their design and execution? What dreary details should you omit while talking to customers and how can you contextualize your work to the customer’s business goals?
Let’s fast forward to next year’s party with everyone fully trained on customer-selling.
Your client CMO (of a company selling sports cars) is talking to the Head of Ad operations. The Ops Head explains to the client “How effectively the ops team places the car ad in the movie, just after the hero wins the race. This gives the brand the association with happy occasions, successful people and triggers the connection with the product every time someone in the audience goes car-shopping.” No talk of complicated ad technology, paperwork and procedure, which actually takes up most of the day. Instead, focus fully on how the client will benefit with the support of the customer-caring Operations team.
Imagine such golden moments with each department, who take pains to explain how much they obsess over client satisfaction and why they work so closely with the sales team to keep the clients happy. The client walks away thinking “Such an interesting and customer-focused group of diverse talents! All the features of ‘the Elephant’ PUT TOGETHER with this team, will help solve my complex problem.”
Send every member of every department for sales training. And then your “Elephant” will be seen in the right way – different useful parts coming together as a complete solution for your clients.