In my firm’s monthly eCoach newsletter, I’ve been writing about our clients’ success stories for nearly 25 years. Each story describes a sales success and highlights the aspect of the Action Selling-based sales training program that contributed to the win.
Recently, after a customer told me about the megadeal his team had landed using sales skills they developed through our sales training courses, he called me back with second thoughts. He said: “I don’t mind you sharing what we accomplished. I just don’t want our competitors to know that we are using Action Selling to beat them.”
I get it. But over the past 25 years, of course, we have installed our sales system in many sales organizations, including multiple companies that compete in almost every industry. That is the case with this great new customer. So his story really is more about using Action Selling a superior level than just about using it at all.
What if the other guys have the sauce, too?
Suppose you’ve got your audience with a prospective client’s decision-makers on a megadeal. You know that they are also seeing three of your competitors–two of which are also trained in Action Selling. How do you win? The simple answer is that you out-plan them. Prepare your team better than the competition.
That was the challenge facing my customer, whom I’ll call Bob. He’s the director of global business development for his company. A key call on a major prospective customer was scheduled, with a million-dollar opportunity at stake. Bob’s team had just been through one of our sales training courses, so he contacted his Action Selling account rep to do some sales coaching to assist in the pre-call planning with his team.
That was a savvy move on Bob’s part. His team realized that one of the competitors had a capability that their own company lacked; in fact, the prospective customer had mentioned this in a previous sales call. They agreed that if they ignored the problem, they were doomed.
So, with the help of some excellent sales coaching, Bob’s team developed certain questions that they would ask in an attempt to neutralize the competitor’s advantage. On the actual sales call, the plan came together. When they finished their presentation, the customer’s comment was: “You were the best prepared of any company we looked at.”
As the team learned in our sales training program, planning a call involves sales skills every bit as important as those required to execute a call. In Action Selling terminology, they won the battle of the “Salesperson” decision. The rest is history–a huge deal at higher prices than the competition.
For information about how to improve sales skills and make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.
About Duane Sparks
Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).
Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).