Over the past several weeks we’ve talked about finding the right client and the best executives to work with in your client’s organization. Today we talk about how you can proactively develop clients faster by understanding their key issues and challenges.
Successful selling today requires applying your team’s unique capabilities to client’s key issues. Its critical to understand what the key issues impacting your clients’ business are.
Many times we can proactively address key issues within our clients. We can become their trusted advisors. Successful sales executives are helping their clients decide where to invest their limited time and resources to get better results.
I believe this comes down to identifying the client’s key issues to start your long term client relationship with. I have found there are several factors that can help you identify the key issues to try to approach the client with. The more of these key factors present, the more likely you are to succeed in getting clients to take action on your projects.
To be effective, a successful sales professional needs to identify then leverage these key issues to get a client to take action on their shared agenda. This first quality might be different than most sales professionals look for; you should look for challenges in potential clients that they already know exist.
Many sales professionals invest significant time trying to identify new opportunities to help clients. Over the past 30 plus years I have found going in after a client has attempted to solve a problem is the best time to provide them with a solution. The best issue for early client success is one that the clients know exists but have been unable to solve it. Ideally, these key issues are part of their business strategy and failure to achieve this goal puts their organization at risk.
The drawback of choosing a problem that already exists is that the problem may not be solvable in its current form. The client may be locked into an unrealistic solution and does not wish to be shown a different way of solving the problem. To be successful, the sales professional must be able to assess past attempts and future possibilities. Many of the client’s key issues requires the sales professional to work with many stakeholders within their potential clients’ teams.
Since the client’s key issues may require more front end resource allocation, many organizations don’t invest the money and resources required to earn this part of the client’s business. This means less competition and more cooperation if the sales professional is good at creating a solution for their clients.
To help a client manage this process, the sales team must build a stronger network within the potential client’s organization. The sales leaders must be good at managing multiple resources both inside and outside the organization. It also requires a more sophisticated sales process to achieve success. We will talk about this trend in future blogs. I believe sales has become a team sport and requires development of new skills for the sales organization to be effective.
There are several more factors to consider as we look for the best opportunity to increase our business development efforts. We will share several more key factors to consider in your business development efforts on Friday. See you then.
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