It may appear that there are people who have a natural flair for improvisation and overcoming a client’s objections and resistance. When we see a sales professional act in this way, many assume that salesmen have an innate talent. We believe them capable of presenting themselves suitably, putting their arguments forward coherently, astutely counteracting all objections and closing sales by facing the clients with arguments they cannot refuse and leaving them with no choice but to surrender and acquire the services or products on offer.
I assure you that none of this can be laid at the doorstep of fate, improvisation or just because they have an innate talent for sales. Performances of this nature, typical of the career, professionalised salesman, are a product of their training, deep knowledge of their clientele, the product and its features, advantages and disadvantages when compared to the competition and to their having studied the best approach to overcoming the client’s objections.
Think about it a moment!Are your company’s products easy to sell? Do they need a minimum of technical knowledge or training? Are sales cycles long or short? Can the client be approached from several angles? Would you allow a poorly trained person to represent you? Is the performance of your reps and salesmen up to scratch? Does the whole team use the same presentation and conform to the image you wish to project? Or, does each of your salesmen use his own line of attack? In this latter case, you lose control over the image of the company perceived by your clients.
All of the aforementioned points, and many others, can be improved, some more than others, by creating your “sales manual”.
What is a Sales Manual?
It is document which lays out all the pertinent information and is aimed at improving client Capture and Retention.
How does such a document work its magic?
Basically by offering that key information a salesman is going to need to make a successful visit. The following list includes some of the more salient points that the sales manual should include:
- Personal Summary.A presentation of the company and its products. This will guarantee that the whole sales team will present the company in the same way and will be projecting the desired image and message.
- Who’s Who.As a sales process will often include contacts with several people within the organisation such as: purchasing executives; technical or maintenance managers; directors or end-users we need to have a clear idea of who is who with the client’s structure. All of these players can influence the process positively or negatively.
- Specifications of the Product/Service. How each of them benefits the client. This is how we make sure that all relevant arguments are put on the table.
- Motive. This is why the client will acquire our product or service. This should always focus on the positive effect our product or service is going to have on the client’s bottom line. Except in very few cases, B2B sales are motivated by the savings or profit increases we can generate for them.
- Standard Objections. The arguments that a client will use NOT to buy from us and how to successfully overcome these.
- Possible Reasons to Purchase or not.
This list is a summary of those points that should figure in the Sales Manual.
When setting out to create your sales pitch you will need input from your Sales and Marketing Teams. You also have to bear in mind that this document is not an immovable object. You would be well advised to update the information every two or three months basing the modifications on the reports generated by the sales teams. Especial attention should be afforded to the objections and the arguments employed to counteract them. The Sales Manual which summarises market knowledge, product specifications and sales techniques is a tool to hone the effectiveness of the sales force and reduce the time needed to train new incorporations to the team.
For more information don’t hesitate to contact with:
Consultant in Sales Strategy and Marketing at International Team Consulting