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How the Business of Sales is Changing - Guest Blog by Annie Cooley

by on ‎03-25-2010 12:32 PM (2,725 Views)

How the Business of Sales is Changing

By Annie Cooley, Swiftpage


Colleen Stanley of SalesLeadership, Inc. imparted to us her extensive knowledge on the business of sales last week as part of our Thought Leader Series.  The selling model is forever changing.  We currently are caught between two different ages.  We are coming out of an age of deep recession and growing further into the age of the internet.  Product knowledge has become a commodity.  The sales person of the future must possess business acumen and the ability to challenge their prospect’s intellect.


Colleen breaks down a handful of concepts surrounding how the business of sales is changing.

Creating a culture of community among your sales team allows you to raise the bar for your organization and build confidence for your team.  If your main goal is to create a learning environment, then you will hire salespeople who have a natural desire to learn.  Salespeople who think differently and continually want to improve themselves will possess the right business acumen to increase the organization’s sales effectively and efficiently.


Don’t forget the fun element in all of this either.  Build a culture where people work hard and play hard and you will have a sales team that won’t want to leave your company.


Embracing failure is a huge factor for all sales teams, yet it seems to get overlooked frequently.  It’s a lot easier to share your successes, but your failures are where you really learn and grow.  Ask yourself this question:  what are the lessons we learned and how can we apply them?  After all, if you aren’t failing, then you are definitely not taking any risks.


Setting your goals (individually and as a team) allows you to define your why as Colleen puts it.  Why do you want to grow your company?  What are you willing to do to achieve it?  Is your why big enough? When it’s not big enough, you won’t invest yourself and grow your skills to your greatest capacity.


The law of reciprocity may be a new concept to some, but it’s quite simple.  If you give something to someone, that person feels obliged to give back (most of the time).  In other words, if you want a referral, why don’t you give a few referrals and see what happens.  You can also do this with networking.  Instead of finding and talking with people who can help you, why not talk to people who you can help?  Yes, it does seem backwards at times, but I guarantee your business will reap the benefits when done correctly.


Presenting a value proposition to your prospect is the most strategic aspect of any sale.  So, what skills must a salesperson possess to be successful at this?  Emotional intelligence, or the ability to read and react to any personality, is the key to building rapport and likability.  When you understand how your prospect consumes information, you can present your value proposition in the most effective way.  Asking questions directed towards the prospect’s needs is another essential skill.


Each one of the above concepts allows you to attain the desired result of moving from vendor to advisor.  A vendor knows how to solve the problem, but a trusted advisor figures out the root cause of the problem and how it’s affecting the rest of the organization.


To listen to the Thought Leader webinar with Colleen Stanley, click here>>