Just last year, Corporate Visions conducted a survey about the level of confidence salespeople have during customer conversations. The results, which reflect responses from more than 700 business-to-business (B2B) marketers and salespeople from around the world, are worth paying attention to.
In particular, we were interested by the fact that salespeople report feeling selling stress about having three types of conversations:
- Demonstrating financial justification: 26 percent
- Mastering purchasing negotiations: 25 percent
- Having effective executive conversations: 24 percent
If your salespeople aren’t confident about having these conversations regarding financial matters, it’s going to be very difficult to get those prospects to the closing stage. Here are three ways to help your salespeople feel more prepared and confident.
1. Conventional sales training is not enough.
Many companies invest in sales-training efforts that are focused around basic skills like product demonstrations. So it was no surprise to Corporate Visions to learn that:
- 63 percent of salespeople felt prepared to showcase compelling product presentations, and
- 54 percent feel confident about showing competitive differentiation.
However, product demonstrations will probably not help you and your stakeholder secure budget commitment from the financial team. (We’re guessing that’s why the survey also showed that conversations built around product presentations and competitive differentiation were ones salespeople valued the least—13 and 14 percent, respectively.) The CEO or CFO wants to see ROI calculations that can address specific questions. For example:
- How will this product save me money?
- How will it help advance my business?
- How will it help create revenue?
Traditional sales training and coaching will likely not help reps address these questions or help them feel more confident in meetings with executives. In order to answer high-level questions from these folks, salespeople will need to use ROI calculation tools.
2. Give your salespeople the right tools to show financial savvy with executives.
By the time salespeople have moved the deal to the executive level, they need to illustrate the value of their solution in financial terms.
ROI calculation tools are designed to help salespeople in exactly these sorts of situations; because they help reps hold their own in these conversations without requiring them to become trained financial experts. In the majority of cases, no matter what industry you serve or what your deal size, ROI calculations will successfully help salespeople navigate the end stages of the deal and get to the close.
3. Give salespeople tools to master purchase negotiations.
If you’ve taken the step above of giving salespeople ROI calculation tools, you get the added benefit of smoothing out the purchase negotiation.
When the executive suite sees ROI calculations showing the value of investing in your solution, they’ll be ready to move to the next phase of the deal. Therefore, the purchasing department won’t have as much leverage to negotiate on price, because they know the value of your solution has already been established and agreed upon.
Does your company use sales-enablement tools to help salespeople feel confident and prepared for executive-level meetings? Share your thoughts in the comments section.