John is a Business Development Manager with an industrial robotics company. His background is in robotic and industrial engineering but he has a flair for selling, a true “gift of the gab” type of guy and gets on very well with people. Overall he is successful enough but he knows he could do better, a few recent losses have causing him to wonder where he might be going wrong.
When John analysed the losses he discovered a common thread, with each opportunity he was dealing with the project manager, an engineer just like himself so he was operating in his comfort zone. The final decisions however were made by more senior people such as the Engineering Manager or Plant Manager. John knew that if he was to avoid future losses he would have to raise his game and get in front of these senior people, but how?
John attended the Solution Selling training course by Proactive Pipeline. The course examined how an executive like himself could improve their chances of success by applying various processes, tools and techniques. On the agenda was how to Identify, Gain Access To and Engage Decision Makers, topics he was specifically interested in.
In this and other modules John learned:
- That having the “gift of the gab” wasn’t necessarily a great trait, that listening was far more important.
- That pitching his solution wasn’t best practice, buyer’s want to collaborate.
- That the value in his solution wasn’t what he had preconceived but lay in the benefits that accrued to the buyer, etc.
On completion of the course and the associated mentoring sessions, John’s outlook on who he should be engaging with and how to engage with them has changed dramatically. He is now thinking more about the value of his offering and less about technical aspects and his conversations reflect this. As a result he is more appealing to senior executives and winning face time with them is less challenging.
The changes that John is experiencing has a direct bearing on his performance as a salesperson, each of the KPIs he is measured on has shown a marked improvement:
- Opportunity Pipeline
- Face to Face Meetings
- Win Rate
- Average Margin