Last week I left you contemplating sending your Sales Execs in to see the same customers they have already been visiting…but now they have no product or service from you, the employing company, to offer the client. How will they continue to add value and command on-going invitation to keep visiting the customer regularly? Mind bending? Try applying this developmental
- Trusted advisor … “I will advise you what to do and how”. This is both The Challenger – “Mr Customer , there is something you missed in all your research on supplier comparisons , and how to compete more effectively, and I can continually help fill that gap” … and … The Trusted Advisor – “Ms Customer, I can advise you and your company on how to compete more
- Trusted collaborator … “I will do new activities with you”. This notion also starts with a Challenger concept … “Mr Customer , there are things we can collaborate on that you never thought we could do together for the mutual benefit of both our
- Trusted doer … “ I will do things for you”. Similar to above … “Ms Customer, there are things we can do for you that you never thought we could do for you, for the mutual benefit of both our companies”
As you contemplate your tailored application, you will doubtless get tangled up numerous times by developing initiatives that really do not fall under any of these three new world value add functions of the Sales Execs. They may well be great initiatives. But they are likely to fall into the domain of best practice account management. Don’t cull them. Keep them for account management sales systems development. Remember, the difference between account management activities (see Miller Heimann’s valid business reason concept) and those according to the integrated model above , that we call “The Trusted partner” is back to my opening conundrum…if the considered valid business reason relies on the use of your products and services in the direct application of solving a customer known need then it belongs in account management. If the vbr relies on the use of your products and services in the direct application of solving a customer need that they did not even know they had , then it is likely to belong to The Trusted partner model. If the vbr does not rely on the direct application of your products and services at all…but challenges the customer’s thinking about any aspect of the way they do business and provides mutual benefit , then it definitely belongs to The Trusted partner model.
As I close off this week, lets ensure that all this sales systems development provides you with competitive and commercial advantage and not just a nice value add for your customer that does not necessary derive added loyalty and commercial returns.
Come back next week : The Challenger Sale = Brilliant for your sales systems…BUT… there is a missing piece (part four)
Want to learn more? Check out ‘The Challenger Sale = Brilliant for your sales system… BUT… there is a missing piece (part 2)’.