Bert Sadtler - President
By Bert Sadtler
Is there anything more critical to sustaining or growing a business than revenue? It has been said that “sales solves sins” meaning that businesses that can generate meaningful, repetitive sales revenue can be a success while making mistakes along the way.
One of the hardest things to accomplish in business is the final step of selling. It includes obtaining the payment for products sold or services rendered. The easy part of selling is that is it very easy to measure. Either there was an exchange of money for product or services or there was not. The hard thing about selling is that lot’s of people talk about doing it while only a few have what it takes to deliver meaningful sales revenue over and over.
Where does the artistry of selling fit into to feeding the revenue-business-beast?
For the activity of selling to occur, first the business foundation must be laid which can include a validated service or product, market research, an identified target audience, fees for the service or product and a sales compensation model.
The field of sales is a wide one that ranges from “sales people” at the basic level to “sales professionals” at a more advanced level to “sales artists” at the most advance level.
Think about it. Some fully embrace every aspect of selling. Others just carry a sales title and make enough to live a comfortable life. While there are technical and scientific factors that make selling possible, the X-Factor of selling involves art. The very best sales producers study and embrace the “artistry of sales”.
The art of selling requires the ability to adapt to the changes in the marketplace while recognizing that customers are more sophisticated and more informed then ever.
A few decades ago, the art of selling took an A-B-C approach or Always-Be-Closing. The sales person was aggressively focused or PUSHED to get the order signed. Then, there was the predictable challenge of keeping the order on the books as some customers would experience a strong case of buyer’s remorse and cancel.
While the demand has never been greater for businesses to generate sales revenue, how has the artistry of sales been redefined in today’s marketplace? Here are five insights about today’s marketplace:
1. The sales approach of simply telling the customer that your product or service is what they need, no longer works. Today you must provide poof of value.
2. Today’s decision makers have more demands on their time than ever. They live by the Top Ten Rule, which is to focus their attention on only their top ten priorities. Today’s “sales artist” must be engaging, direct, brief and able to deliver a perceived immediate value.
3. Getting on decision maker’s Top Ten List (top ten priorities) is what today’s highly productive “sales artists” do well.
4. Attributes of today’s sales artists include:
– Earning the trust of decision makers.
– Establishing the credibility to deliver a solution for a top ten business problem.
– Developing the type of dialogue where the decision maker is asking the sales artist about their product or services.
5. For today’s “sales artists”, the closing aspect is when the decision maker is the one who wants to make the purchase versus being pressured to make the purchase.
The adjustments from a few decades ago are both subtle and extreme, whether it’s strategic business development, transactional sales or consultative sales.
Three insights on how this relates to your business today as a leader:
1. Have you built your sales team so you are only hiring true “sales artists”? Does your sales team focus on PUSHING or PULLING sales revenue? (Are you hiring the best in order for your business to be the best?)
2. Has your sales compensation model evolved to compensate and reward your top achieving “sales artists” while providing a clear path of success for the producers who could be generating more?
3. Are you evaluating your sales producers and asking if they have the capabilities to grow your business to where you are heading?
Are you, the business leader and your business able to make the changes needed to adapt to today’s artistry of selling?
About Boxwood Strategies
Bert Sadtler is the President of Boxwood Strategies and is a thought-leader for best practices recruiting, performance-based compensation and the shift in the changing paradigm toward acquiring critical senior level talent.
Boxwood Strategies is a management, consulting and recruiting firm located in the National Capital region. As a dedicated, consulting resource to CEO’s and hiring managers, Boxwood develops strategies for organizational growth through a focus on performance, as well as the evaluation and acquisition of critical talent.
To help companies meet numerous business challenges, Bert has co-founded the Alliance of Independent Managers, a group of diverse and accomplished senior-level professionals who are available to companies on a consultative and project basis. The focus of this group is to take “AIM” at a company’s challenges and opportunities, clearly defining it’s challenges, and deliver cost-effective solutions by using experienced, professional consultants instead of hiring full time employees. Market sectors include: SATCOM, Space, Government Contracting, Communications and Technology.
Bert can be reached at: BertSadtler@BoxwoodSearch.com and at BoxwoodSearch.com