Do you know the key drivers for your new business development?
I have already talked about how a solid retention strategy and customer penetration strategy on existing customers are a crucial foundation to your company’s growth model. So then, how does new business development fit into this growth model?
I have always referred to new business as the lifeblood of the business, it allows you to expand further and increase your customer base and strengthens your market position by allowing you to play offensively against your competitors.
What are the key drivers to new business success?
From my experience, not all that different from the drivers used in retention strategies – adding value. First of all - knowing your market is crucial. As sales people we must be aware what is going on around us to be able to sell effectively. It baffles me that sales people would try to sell to a market that they don’t fully understand- and then wonder why they’re not selling!
In my opinion there are 3 core pieces of data that sales people must be armed with before they attempt to engage with prospects and 1 important thing the salesperson must DO :
Overall Market Drivers
This is a no brainer. Every sales team should have their finger of the pulse of the industry they work in. Keep an eye on developing trends and influencing factors from outside the industry that may affect spending decisions either positively or negatively.
Key personas and their challenges – The Buyer Persona
This is a new way of thinking but I know many sales people who now keep a file of key persona types and their challenges. This is one of the biggest weapons when developing a sales strategy. In our daily life we need to sell to a number of different personalities with different responsibilities and who face different challenges. Basically these personas will identify key segments of people within your industry who will have similar challenges and show similar patterns in the purchasing process. Proposals are often put in front of people who have responsibility for either finance, business development, operations etc and it is important to know what each of their challenges are. Knowing these personas and the unique challenges they face will help you shape your sales messaging.
What you can do to help solve these challenges
This is where value based selling is born. You know the unique challenges of your prospects – Now you have to show them how your products can help them overcome these challenges. Provide them with real life examples of how this was done in the past. Effectively, you want to ‘sell the problem you solve rather than the product’. This is where the most successful sales people grab the initiative.
Do not be afraid to challenge the status quo of the buyer and have the audacity to present compelling arguments that are sound and well thought through and dare to ask for the business. Too many salespeople never ask the question for fear of rejection. Get over it ! It’s a numbers game, some say Yes and some say NO…that’s life.
This value based selling strategy requires a strong relationship between Sales and Marketing. Marketing should collate the industry intelligence that allows you to develop the personas, challenges and key value based messages. It should be an intertwined and collaborative approach between the two departments. This is a continuous journey and one that we have embarked on here at Palletways. To keep up to date with how we are doing follow us on Twitter @palletwaysuk or on LinkedIn PalletwaysUK