Sales Transformation is one of those phrases. The kind that many people bandy about without understanding, like "optimized solution". This leads to "mutual mystification", a common problem in selling, where the two people believe the other person in the conversation knows what they're talking about and agrees on the definition...but they do not. Not at all.
What Sales Transformation Is NOT
Sales Transformation is not an "upgrade" to existing selling skills.
It is not using the same process or techniques we were using before to achieve higher conversions.
It is not upselling.
This is the principle misconception we have to get past.
"Transformation" means, like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, the salesperson's entire approach must be different.
I have read many complaints that selling--especially as perceived by the public--is only about the salesperson collecting as many scalps as they can in a week; dropping the project right after collecting the money; and in general not giving a damn whether the whole thing works out for the client or not. In fact, retail sales expert Bob Phipps points out how Staples is concentrating on short term sales targets by using outdated techniques.
If this is true, Staples is in need of a genuine sales transformation.
Can you see the difference?
What Sales Transformation IS
The true sales transformation isn't in technique or even in approach. It's in PURPOSE.
Is your sales team genuinely interested in helping people?
If the solutions your company offers are not truly the best answer to your prospect's problems, are your salespeople willing to instantly and politely rule them out as a potential customer at this time? (I can hear the gasps.)
Having open and honest conversations with prospects--ones where the prospects really open up--is much easier when this is the case.
Training firm Force Management explains with statistics just how important ongoing reinforcement is in achieving this sales transformation. It isn't a one-time Rah Rah seminar and everyone's converted. It's WORK.
Check out these numbers, from the Force Management article, on how much a difference ongoing reinforcement meant to performance...and we're talking about average orders of $137,000 here:
|Customer Retention||74% vs 67%|
|Teams Meeting Quota||79% vs 71%|
|Reps Meeting Quota||63% vs 55%|
About an 8% increase in performance with the companies who had ongoing reinforcement. With a $137K average deal size, do you think this makes a huge impact on their income statement?
So how do you know whether your team can handle a sales transformation? This is a "There's No Going Back" decision. Your salespeople must be coachable and trainable. The truth is you will probably lose one or two top performers, who resent the change. It's the same as when you alter their compensation structure. Be ready for that. And realize you will need a program of ongoing reinforcement: the change is not going to happen overnight.
But the fact is it's necessary for survival in the world ahead.