Rethinking your small business sales strategy

Here’s a question that has been asked – and answered – a million times: Is selling a science or an art?

The correct answer, in my multi-decades of experience, is it’s both. Clearly, there are classic selling skills and fundamentals that can be taught, learned and repeated time and again that apply in virtually every selling situation. But there are also certain people who have a talent for artfully applying these fundamentals.

But how does a small business reconcile all of this with the fact that there are so many tasks that are required to make a sale, from beginning to end, in addition to actually closing the deal? Here’s a short list of those tasks that would apply to many selling situations:

1. Find the prospect
2. Qualify the prospect
3. Make initial contact
4. Determine needs and discover wants
5. Offer and perform a demonstration
6. Prepare and deliver a proposal
7. Close the sale
8. Delivery preparation
9. Successful delivery
10. User training
11. Customer care
12. Additional sales

So which of these steps are science and which are art? In your small business, how many of these tasks do you have your highly trained closers doing? In many businesses, the answer is: All of them. But is that the best use of their art and science? And if not, is this multi-tasking structure for your sales staff ultimately diminishing the performance of your company?

Recently, I talked with sales organizational expert, Justin Roff-Marsh, president of Ballistix, about an alternative way for a business to organize its sales strategy. I think you will be intrigued by his ideas, so take a few minutes to listen and let me know what you think.

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