How to Lockout your Competition in the Sales Process
Standing out in an IT Sales crowd can be like shouting into (cyber)space at the best of times, let alone during an *actual* recession. It’s more important than ever to differentiate yourself and your services from your competitors. But how can one do that in an already saturated market. Luckily, ESP’s last virtual meetup focused on the million pound question: What methods are working to lockout your competition in the sales process?
How you sell is more important than what you sell.
For a lot of buyers, their days consist of video call after video call. Everyone’s pitches, faces, voices, backgrounds, and everything else can mould into one and it is extremely difficult to stand out in that. Buyer’s experience is always paramount but particularly when their day is a monotonous stream of calls and fortunately, sellers are in control of the experience that buyers receive! Any salesperson worth their salt knows that there is much more to selling than the end goal – the relationship that you build is the most valuable thing that you can take away from the process. Without the opportunity to meet buyers at events or pop into their office for a coffee, such an integral part of the selling process becomes difficult.
So, how have the sales leaders in our virtual meet up been facing up to this challenge?
Communication is key!
The way salespeople have been building and maintaining relationships with clients is by utilising the saving grace of 2020 – video calls. This isn’t a new realisation by a long shot, we’re all Zoom and Teams connoisseurs by now. However, the extent to which you use these tools will set you apart from your competition.
One of the sales leaders that joined us on the meetup shared that their sellers have been having daily meetings with customers and bringing different people from the business onto some of these calls. Not only does this create more of a natural, sociable conversation but it helps the sellers to note some things that might have been missed if there was just two people on the call. The restriction in different channels available to sellers requires being creative and confident in deploying different tactics.
This new selling environment has enabled sellers to become creative in their approaches. For example, writing down prompts to stick on your laptop! You’ll never forget a figure again. No one can see what you’re looking at – it helps to structure your conversation, offer facts and figures that sell your services, and gives you that level of comfort that could dissipate if you’re standing in front of a supply manager.
One of the sales leaders that joined the meetup expressed concerns about the future of the sales profession as salespeople don’t put enough effort into differentiating. As the things people are selling become more complex, the sales process becomes more long winded with more stakeholders involved, the excellent salespeople will quickly come to the surface and they’ll be the differentiator.
The way to make sure that doesn’t happen is confidence – sellers can deliberately steer buyer’s minds to a situation in which they know they can fix. Sellers can give themselves credibility by laying out where the buyer will be in X amount of time, the problems they are going to face, and what they can do to fix it. You want to help the buyer but at the same time steer them towards a place where you know your strengths are.
We all know video calls are a useful source for communication – what else can you do to lockout your competition in the sales process?
By respecting your time and have realistic expectations for managing your workload.
The realm of IT Sales hasn’t been impacted as badly as other industries and some companies have seen an increase in demand as result of the current climate. One of the attendees shared that their company has been cautioned against getting too excited and accepting to work with as many clients as possible. While their competitors are accepting with new influx of clients and responding to this newfound demand, the quality of their service is plummeting. It pays to be ruthless with smaller accounts to respect your time and the customer’s time – it helps to build a trustworthy image and can increase the chances of the customer working with you in the future.
Essentially, locking out your competition in the sales process boils down to people. If a seller can differentiate themselves from their competitors by being honest, creative, confident, connecting on a personal level and skilled in their job then they have a good chance of locking out their competition!
Our virtual meetups are an excellent source of information as sales leaders from across the country come together to share ideas, discuss what’s working and what’s not working for them. We’ve had great feedback that not only do our attendees learn something, but they also enjoy themselves!