A Tale of Two Salespeople – Conflicting Competencies

Salesperson number one shows up, fails to develop a relationship, assumes he (or she) knows everything, makes a presentation that the prospect doesn’t care about and leaves, believing he did a good job.  The prospect has eliminated this salesperson.

Salesperson number two is memorable, develops a relationship, asks great questions, learns what the prospect needs and wants, why, and solves a problem with a needs and cost appropriate solution.  The prospect feels that the salesperson said things that resonated.

Prospects won’t deal with salesperson number 1 anymore.  They no longer stand for salespeople who show up and make presentations.  They want salespeople who are prepared, know which questions to ask, and know how to identify issues and solve problems.  How would you rate your salespeople at selling more consultatively?

Most of the CEO’s, presidents and sales VP’s I speak with all want their salespeople to do a better job at selling value, differentiating their company and selling more consultatively.  They believe that their salespeople are doing OK at those things today but they could improve in those areas.  They couldn’t be more wrong.  When we evaluate their sales forces we learn just how far away their salespeople are from being able to do what management wants and needs them to do.  We conduct a gap analysis to identify the difference between where they are today and where the company needs them to be.  On average, companies score around 34, meaning the gap is 66 – they’re only 1/3 of the way toward truly effective selling.  What do you suppose your gap is?