Most companies today believe they have evolved far beyond “traditional” selling. They think this way because they define traditional selling as the “old-school” high-pressure, pushy, “press hard while signing here” sales approach. Salespeople today don’t see themselves as “used car salesman” because they have a more advanced sales process, no longer use controlling techniques, have better relationship-building skills, and truly care about the customer.
In too many companies, Sales and Marketing feud like Romeo and Juliet’s Capulets and the Montagues. Two families fighting, each side believing they know best. Neither group has much respect for the other. They might be polite enough during meetings (especially when the CEO, board or Sr. Leadership is present), but in private conversations each group thinks the other group is clueless.
In the past, companies competed based on things like manufacturing and distribution strength, the power of information. Today these factors are non-existent. Empowered customers are changing every industry. The successful companies will be customer-obsessed, like Facebook, Best Buy, Apple, and Amazon.com. In the digital work, there no longer are barriers to potential entrants or substitutes - competition can come from anywhere. Customers have real-time information about pricing, product features and competitors. They hold all the advantages. The only sustainable and defensible source of competitive advantage is to concentrate on knowledge of, and engagement with, your customers.
There’s a good chance that most of your prospects and customers work in a constant state of overload: too many emails, too many meetings, too many problems, too many deadlines….too much buzzing in their ears. It doesn't matter if your product or service will increase sales by 65% and lower lead generation costs by 44%— most prospects don't have the time or energy to consider replacing solutions that are currently doing an “adequate job”. It doesn’t matter how great a solution you may have - the buyer’s counter-arguments to protect the status quo will always win, because the final judge is the buyer.
The only thing your customer cares about is value. To achieve radically better sales results, you must become radically more valuable to your customers – strategically valuable. The game has changed and customers are begging for a new and different type of value. And when this value is created, captured, and delivered, customers no longer see companies as vendors. They see them as a partner and trusted advisor worthy of a seat at their board table.
Sales and marketing are your company’s revenue engines. Most companies have invested heavily in sales force automation tools that would result in more accurate forecasts and a more efficient revenue engine. The reality is that a more efficient sales force on its own is no longer sufficient to drive a company’s revenue growth; it needs a steady stream of high quality leads or gas. The number one responsibility of any Business-to-Business marketer is to keep their company’s sales force full of leads. In other words, keep their revenue engine full of gas.
They are if you rely on cold calling to generate new leads and grow your business. Denial runs deep in sales people that depend on cold calling to hit their targets. And that is why they are functional alcoholics. From the outside looking in, they appear to be functional – at least marginally. But deep down, there is a big problem – and they are in denial over it. They are able to hit their targets and achieve some level of success by doing something that is ultimately harmful to their long term health – and health of their company. Yet, they manage to survive without too many negative consequences…. At least for a little while.
For years, one of the biggest issues in revenue generation has been the tension between sales and marketing. More and more, organizations are solving this issue and not just hitting revenue goals but exceeding them. The companies that are able to excel at this are the ones that put the buyer at the center of it all. They work at being able to monitor and map how their customers go through their buying processes. Thus, it does not matter whether it involves sales or marketing, but rather, the steps that are intrinsic to the buying process are what matters. This does not matter if it is sales or marketing but rather, what step it is in their customers buying process.
Whether you are on the Profit 200 list or just trying to grow your business to profitability, momentum can be a tricky thing to manage. We know it when we see it, don't we? It’s the force that propels successful companies to sustainable revenue and market share growth. And it’s the failure to generate momentum that condemns so many apparently promising companies to an also-ran existence. Whereas the companies that are able to be perpetually be on this list are able to implement business systems that allow them to be more efficient today and scalable tomorrow.
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