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In a recent engagement with a client the question was asked – “what does high performance mean for our sales team?” I am sure they are not alone in seeking an answer to this question.
If you are building a sales organisation that delivers complex solutions to customers have you taken time recently to reflect on this? Here are our top 10 thoughts to start you off;
  1. Focus on client value —Put yourself in your client’s shoes and understand their business (goals, objectives, challenges and opportunities) as well, if not better, than they do. Help your client to find opportunities to improve competitive advantage and support their development of business cases to realise these things.
  2. Challenge your clients thinking —clients value the external perspective brought by top sales people; specifically improving their understanding of the industry and what others [competitors and partners] are doing.  This is the Core of The Challenger Selling Model developed by the Corporate Executive Board (a view here). Are you clear on your point of view?
  3. Innovate – be the source of customer insight into your colleagues who are responsible for developing offers and propositions. Solutions orientated organisations live and die by their ability to monetize this insight whilst delivering value for the client. How do you do this?
  4. Understand your value proposition – Can you articulate your value proposition in the right language for each customer group? Understand the key drivers of value from the C-Level executive down to the operational delivery teams. Be relevant and valuable to them or lose mind-share to those that are.
  5. Plan and prepare actions – dont “wing it”. Plan engagement to ensure progress is made and prepare well to make this time effective for all parties.
  6. Pro-Activity – be proactive in your engagements with clients and use an inquisitive approach to continually explore opportunities for mutual value.
  7. Be trusted — clients will share intelligence with you if they trust you to help them and they will expect the same in return.
  8. Take responsibility— be accountable for the success of your client and with that will come long term reward. If something is not working then fix it.
  9. Deliver – if you make plans and commitments, you must deliver them.
  10. Reflect/Learn – don’t ever stand still and get complacent. For sure your competitors won’t. Take time to learn from the things you  do and challenge yourself and the team to do it better the next time.

We hope this is a decent start. What else have you found in your experience?




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