Category Archives: Sales

“Do You Have a Business” – Prism Strategic Marketing Workshop

“Do You Have a Business” – Prism Strategic Marketing Workshop

Prism has developed its “Do You Have a Business” – Prism Strategic Marketing Workshop (PSMW) to provide the tools and processes necessary for entrepreneurs to increase the probability of success in starting their new business.

Research has shown that those entrepreneurs who have successfully completed the PSMW gain clarity and focus on the steps they need to take to build a successful new business.

If and when you need to acquire additional funding for your new enterprise, you will find that PSMW provides the necessary and sufficient answers to the questions angel investors require for them to feel confident of your success.

In addition, as you add founders and staff, you will be able to convey to them with great clarity as to your enterprise vision. This will enable them to focus their efforts more acutely on your achieving market place success, revenue growth and profitability in the shortest time.

Given entrepreneurs are resource constrained, this clarity and focus draws a straight line to success most effectively and efficiently as well as minimizing risk of failure.  Whether you are starting from a technological breakthrough, an idea as to how to improve a process, or from pure entrepreneurial passion, the PSMW will lead you through the necessary and sufficient processes to bring about the clarity and focus you need to ensure you are on the path to success.

The PSMW is a two day intensive workshop where you will learn concepts, have reference examples, and use templates to create your own strategic marketing plan. Your plan will be reviewed right on the spot and you will be coached by experts to have you successfully complete the exercises. The PSMW experts are successful serial entrepreneurs who are eager to ensure your success! If you experience difficulties, the experts will coach you through the processes. If for any reason you still need assistance, you will be referred to PSMW resources having expertise in the area where you need help.

To find out more about PSMW contact the following:

PSMW@PrismBusDev.com
PSWW-Course-Outline@PrismBusDev.com
Registrar@PrismBusDev.com
PSMW-Resources@PrismBusDev.com

Or give us a call (720) 304-2784 or (720) 352-3407 Workshop Field Office and ask for the

PSMW Coordinator.

The Feature, Function & Benefit Framework

The Feature, Function & Benefit Framework

What is the purpose of the Feature, Function & Benefit Framework?  The FFB Framework is the starting point for developing a sales strategy to persuade customers to buy your product.  We start with an Inventor looking to improve a product (see definition of product below) by adding/modifying/improving a component of the product which is then identified as a Feature of the product.  We then try to determine how the feature(s) improves the Function(s) of the products (i.e. cleaner, faster, stronger, cheaper, etc.) or something it could not do before. Once we get to this point, we ask who might need this improved function and why would they buy the product or how would a customer Benefit by using the product.  Hence, what would motivate a customer to buy your product?  Customers do not buy features and/or functions, they buy the benefits that could accrue to their organization and/or themselves if they used the product.   We will show that customer benefits are unique to each and every customer.  Therefore, we will examine customer Benefits in greater detail a little later.

The FFB Framework & Process – Even though we are in pursuit of customer benefits, we must first start with the identification of unique and/or better features, in order be able to identify how the feature improves the product function, to be able to gain insight as to who would be a customer and why they would use of this improved product to get benefits.

Let’s walk through an example of an invention of adding filter to pipe carry water to a customer community:

Feature Add filter
Function Reduce water contaminants
Benefit Safer water supply

The feature of adding the filter to the water pipe is the invention that came out of the discovery of the filters properties to remove contaminates and the perception that there was a need (i.e. safe drinking water) of the customer community (i.e. necessity is the Mother of Invention).

It is thought that letting the customer community know that they can now have safe drinking water that the members of the community will now want to buy water pipes with filters.

We will see that we are making assumptions that may not be founded on reality.  This approach of selling the idea of providing safe drinking water does not make sense if the customer community:

  1. Does not knows what a contaminate is
  2. Does not knows that the water is contaminated
  3. Does not use pipes to get water
  4. Does not have the funds to buy pipes with filters
  5. Does not perceive that they are suffering from maladies associated with unsafe water
  6. Not preoccupied dealing with a greater more imminent threat to their survival (i.e. being hunted)
  7. Does not trust the pipe sales professional, water pipe and/or water pipe company

We often hear that if we build a better mouse trap, people will beat a path to our doorstep.  The addition of a filter to the water supply pipe above, makes us realize that even the simplest of inventions may require a great deal of customer community education to have the customer perceive a need, let alone perceive that you are able to provide a solution.

We must know the customer’s frame of reference to begin to enable to perceive that they have a problem and only then can we enable them to perceive that a solution exists… “Reasons to Buy”.  Even then, we must deal with the “Reasons Not To Buy” as noted above when the customer did not have the funds to buy the pipe with the filter, customer has higher priority things to deal with when they are being hunted, and also the cultural issues associated with the lack of trust in using a pipe, from an unknown sales person produced by a pipe and filter manufacture they nothing about (see Selling Process or Selling Model).

The more a product is innovative when compared to the alternatives already in use, the greater the sales professional must be skilled at educating the customer to perceive that they have a need and to educate the customer that they are capable of providing a solution.  This is oftentimes referred to as being culturally “distruptive” to the current way of doing things.

Reasons to Buy: A “Commodity” sales professional is selling a well known product to someone looking for a lower price and/or delivery schedule. Whereas, An “Innovation” sales professional must:

  1. Know a lot about the customer to be able to perceive that a customer has a need/problem that they have a fit/solution (i.e. connecting the dots)
  2. Get the customer to perceive their need/problem and perceive that the sales professional has a fit/solution…. Highly skilled at conceptual/solution selling.

Innovation sales professionals typically impact customer operations bringing about significant organizational improvement benefits with greater financial advantages (i.e. ROI and faster Payback):

  • Customer Acquisition
  • Customer Retention
  • Market Share
  • Revenue
  • Margins
  • Risk Mitigation
  • In addition to Operating Cost Reductions

Reasons not to Buy: Both the Commodity and the Innovation sales professionals must overcome the ever present Reasons Not To Buy: Insufficient Funds, higher priority pressing matters impacting Timing and lack of Trust in the sales professional, product and/or product manufacturer.

See Selling Process or Selling Model in order get a better understanding ways of developing Reasons to Buy and overcoming Reasons not to Buy in order to achieve the sales objective of persuading customers to buy your product

Note: we are defining a “Product” as all hard goods, processes, methodologies and/or services.

If you would like to know more about our The Feature, Function & Benefit Framework and how to map out your strategic marketing, contact us (720) 352-3407 or email us at FFBFramework@prismbusdev.com .

Selling Process or Sales Model

Selling Process or Sales Model

The Selling Process, or Sales Model – is the process by which a Product Provider’s Sales Professional persuades a customer to purchase, deploy and adopt the use of the provider’s product.  Selling is the set of activities required to convince a customer to part with resources to be able to use the product in order to derive benefits that have value greater than the cost of the product.

Level of Product Innovation (LPI) – the LPI will dictate where the customer engagement selling/education and emotional connection needs to be made (person responsible and having the “Need Payoff”).

The Sales Process must be designed to provide the:

  1. Necessary points of customer contact engagement
  2. Customer contact Key Business Issues (KBIs)
  3. Sales professional activities, mapped to customer buying activities, needed to enable customers to make an informed and emotional decision to purchase, deploy and adopt the provider’s product.

The Selling Process is determined by the LPI and/or how well established the Need for the products.

If the product has high LPI, sometimes referred to as “Disruptive” to a customer’s traditional operations, then the sales professional must call on those impacted and responsible for the organization’s improvement to champion an Initiative to make use of the product to bring about the improvement.  The champion must provide resources to jointly evaluate alternatives, design a problem solution, and design an implementation plan with the provider’s sales and sales support team.  The champion expects the sales professional, product and provider company to deliver the promised improvement results.

If the product has low LPI, oftentimes the decision is in the hands of Procurement and a Buyer.  Buyers are charged with procuring the commodity at the lowest price and/or favorable delivery schedules etc.

Commodity Sales – Selling in an established market, with multiple providers of similar products, does not require customer product “Need-Fit” education.  Commodity Sales typically impact customer operations by lowering operating costs.

Innovation Sales – Selling products having high LPI, where customers do not yet perceive they have a problem “Latent Need” that is solvable “Latent Fit”, requires “Consultative” sales professionals.  The Consultative Sales Professional is an expert at “Connecting the Dots” between Latent or yet to be perceived needs and as yet to be specified solution requirements.  This requires the sales professional having a deeper understanding of the customer business objectives and operations, in order to develop Reasons-To-Buy (see below).  These highly skilled sales professionals are customer “Trusted Advisors” and Need-Fit educators.

These highly skilled sales professionals become customer “Trusted Advisors” and Need-Fit educators. Innovative Sales typically impact customer operations to bring about the following improvement benefits i.e. greater:

  • Customer Acquisition
  • Customer Retention
  • Market Share
  • Revenue
  • Margins
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Operating Cost Reductions

Both Commodity and Innovation sales scenarios require marketing programs and sales professional skills to overcome the Reasons-Not-To-Buy.  Therefore, the Sales Process must be designed to provide skills levels, sales activities and tools to address the Reasons To Buy and Reasons Not to Buy.

Reasons to Buy

Customers buy when they:

  1. Perceive that they have need and underlying problem(s) preventing them from organizational and personal success
  2. Perceive that the provider has fit or underlying solution to overcome their problem(s)

Reasons Not To Buy – Objections

Having convinced a customer to acquire the product is not enough!  The sales professional must also overcome the Reasons-Not-To-Buy (RNTB):

  1. Customer does not have the “Funds” to buy the product
  2. Customer has “other fish to fry” that have a higher “Priority” or they “do not have a gun against their head” forcing them to undertake another Initiative at this time “Timing
  3. Customer lacks “Trust” or confidence in sales professional, provider company and/or product to deliver needed results

Oftentimes, marketing can come up with program promotions to address funding and timing objections, and sales customer referrals and early adopter success stories can be effective in overcoming Trust objections.

Hard copy

If you would like additional information about Prism’s Selling Process Design capabilities, contact Prism at SellingProcess@prismbusdev.com

 

Sales Operations Director Services

Prism Sales Operations Director professionals are knowledgeable and highly skilled at representing sales to all members of the organization’s cross functional team.  We have successfully enabled sales organizations to sell highly innovative new products and/or services to new markets.  We have enabled sales professionals to focus on sales execution to optimize account penetration and growth, build a strong pipeline of qualified opportunities, execute sales processes effectively and efficiently, recover from competitive attacks and achieve difficult sales goals.

Prism’s Sales Operations Director consultants have proven track records in sales, sales management, sales support, sales support management, solution implementation professional services, system maintenance and support services.  Prism Sales Operations Director capabilities include:

  • Identifying Sales Business Objectives
  • Develop & Manage Sales Operational Plan
  • Developing and Communicating Sales Compensation
  • Assigning Territories and Quotas
  • Sales Teaming, Process, Methodology, Activities, Aids and Tools Enablement
  • Product and/or Service Enablement – What, Who, Why, Where, When & How with Industry Positioning, Value Analysis, Competitive Analysis
  • Establishing Performance Yardsticks and Sales Professional individual Performance Standards
  • Territory Management & Ideal Customer Targeting with Marketing Success Stories Collateral
  • Industry & Channel Specific Marketing Promotions Planned & Executed
  • Collateral Review
  • Lead Generation Follow-Up Monitoring
  • Sales Campaigns
  • Cold Call Activity
  • Account Management & Ideal Opportunity Targeting
  • Opportunity Management Sales Professional Perceives Winnable, Valuable Opportunity
  • Prospective Customer Engagement: Sales Process Execution: Verifying, Qualifying, Solution Designing, Closing, Implementing & Communicating to Customer Sponsor/Champion Promised Customer Results monitoring
  • CRM provide the sales professional with the tools they need to perform their tasks and ensure CRM adoption.  We assist our clients in the selection, configuration, sales professional aids & tools deployment, sale performance monitoring & management reporting.
  • Pipeline Monitoring, Sufficient Opportunities & Sales Engagement Process Loaded to Achieve YTD Quota
  • Performance Problem Identification & Sales Management Corrective Action
  • Real-Time Online Competitive Analysis Support – Strategies & Counterstrategies
  • Real-Time Online Value Analysis Support
  • Territory Reviews
  • Account Reviews
  • Marketing Reviews
  • Problem Escalation & Resolution
  • Channel Reviews
  • Channel Conflict Resolution
  • Major & Strategic Opportunity Reviews & High Visibility Management Reporting
  • Major Customer Implementation Project Review (i.e. milestone and completion monitoring)
  • Stack Ranking Reports
  • Skills Improvement Training
  • Business Objectives Review (i.e. not only revenue, but margin and expense guidelines)
  • Business Intelligence Analytics & Management Reporting Systems
  • Data mining sales transaction database to identify customer purchase patterns
  • Recognition Newsletter
  • Product/Service Offer Market Acceptance Review
  • Sales Team Event Management – Kickoffs, Reviews, Outstanding Performance Recognition
  • New Hire Fast Ramp to Productivity – Everything Sales Professional Needs to Know about their job, roles and responsibilities, business processes, how to access resources etc.

If you would like to learn more about how Prism Sales Operations Director services can improve your sales organizations performance, contact us at SalesOpsDir@prismbusdev.com or call us (720) 352-3407.

Hardcopy Version

 

Trusted Advisor Business Consultant

Trusted Advisor is an Interpersonal Relationship Role

A Trusted Advisor is a person that is recognized by another person as an individual that they can share a situation, their interpretation of the facts and conclusions they have reached with, and expect a critique of their thought process, recommendations for other alternatives to consider and/or confirmation that they have reached a sound conclusion. The Trusted Advisor is a sounding board which has proven to a critical thinker capable of assisting others in making better decisions. The Trusted Advisor is considered someone worth listening to provide good common sense advice. The Trusted Advisor is expected to apply their experience, knowledge, skills to provide insight as to the handling of challenges others face. The person putting trust in the Trusted Advisor is in effect transferring some responsibility for making a decision to the thought process of the Trusted Advisor. Therefore, the Trusted Advisor is sharing in the responsibility for drawing the conclusion and making the decision. Typically the Trusted Advisor has set the expectation of the consequences of the decision. If the consequences do not occur, the trust level is diminished. Therefore, the Trusted Advisor takes on the responsibility to watch over the situation to ensure that the desired outcomes occur and any promised benefit derived. When the situation requires others to perform in order to derive the consequences and benefits, oftentimes the Trusted Advisor becomes a cross-functional team Program Manager to shepherd the team to stay focused in order achieve the desired outcomes. The Trusted Advisor is not only responsible for assisting in making right decisions, but may, also be responsible to see that the decision implementation is executed correctly. The Trusted Advisor’s delivering promised consequences and benefits, is the final proof that as their role as Trusted Advisor can be relied upon to deliver results.

Sales professionals that take on the role of Trusted Advisor state that they are “Business Consultants” and not product/service providers and/or Sales Representatives and/or Sales Engineers etc. Trusted Advisor Business Consultants approach sales situations by first doing a great deal of homework about their customers in terms of their industry situation, business model, mission, values and vision in order to frame how best to evaluate the customer’s situation and making recommendations as to courses of action. Furthermore, Trusted Advisors invest in getting to know the customer’s organization, strengths and weaknesses. As Trusted Advisor Program Managers they keep the implementation team focused on delivering the results. The Trusted Advisor is like a Program Manager, taking on the execution management for the entire life cycle of an Initiative.

Trusted Advisor Business Consultants help their customers perceive their needs and envision solutions. It has been shown that on average 80% of the time managers have not perceived that they have a solvable problem and believe that they must just live with the situation. This is especially true when the Trusted Advisor Business Consultant is introducing innovative new capabilities, simply because people are not yet aware of the capabilities and positive impact they may have on their organization’s situation. Once capabilities and the benefits are well known in the marketplace, the customer is already exploring the market for providers to satisfy their need therefore, the Trusted Advisor Business Consultant has higher customer value at early stages of technology advancements etc. The Trusted Advisor Business Consultant provides the highest customer value when company executives are struggling with ways to improve operations in order to move their organization towards achieving their mission and vision.

If you are a provider of innovative technology wishing to make major sales with high margins, please email us or give us a call to learn more about having your sales professionals become Trusted Advisor Business Consultants Trusted-Advisor-Business-Consultants@prismbusdev.com (720) 352-3407.

VAR Teaming to Co-Sell Comprehensive Data Center Solutions

VAR Teaming to Co-Sell Comprehensive Data Center Solutions

Today IT VARs must consider working together to provide comprehensive business and technical solutions. Historically VARs have been able to stand-alone and provide an IT implementation of a business solution. When the solution to an end-user problem involves several applications that must work together and/or the application deployment is migrating to the IT Data Center environment it stretches the capabilities of a single VAR. The industry is moving from distributed compute environments to centralized data center environments at record rates.

When a VAR becomes a reseller for one or more system components, they sign an agreement not to sell to another VAR who then would sell to the end-user.

Regardless of the difficulties, VARs are learning to overcome their competitive nature and lack of trust in order to develop Co-Selling models to satisfy this market demand. These VARs must develop Trusted Advisor Teaming arrangements or miss out on the high growth opportunities. VARs not providing these teamed solutions may in fact become niche players and experience diminishing revenues and margins.

Here are some recommendations to allow VARs to work together to provide much needed comprehensive solutions.

Co-Sell Scenarios

  1. Independent – The components can stand-alone on their own merit and the VARs just sell their components “Independently” through separate selling cycles.
  2. Referral – The components can stand-alone on their own merit, but the solution concept is presented sequentially by the VARs. The joint selling is more like a “Referral” arrangement. This is akin to having the General Practioner doctor refer patients to a Specialist doctor. Each doctor diagnoses the patient’s problem and provides a remedy. Sometimes this results in a one VAR providing a finder’s fee to the VAR uncovering the opportunity and referring the business.
  3. Side-By-Side – The components can stand-alone on their own merit and can be sold “Side-By-Side”. Both VARs sell their respective capabilities jointly providing problem diagnosis and remedy prescription. The VARs still sell separate components to the end-user, but may divide the selling activities up between them and there is an equitable sharing in margins based on selling contributions. Examples of margin sharing ranges from zero to 30%.
  4. Joint Selling – The most difficult scenario is when the components of one VAR are integrated into the other VAR’s components to provide the end-user with a comprehensive solution. This is a classic Systems Integration (SI) model. The System Integrator basically does all the selling including evaluating alternatives and solution design. When this situation occurs both VARs team up to implement the solution. When this happens, the VARs still sell independent components to the end-user, but share margins based upon the equity of the contributions. Examples range from 40% to 70% depending upon the implementation contribution.
  5. Prime Contractor – When the customer demands to have a Single All Inclusive Contact and have all implementation activities Prime Contracted by one VAR, and get Only One Invoice for all the products and services, then this would violate the VAR’s agreement with their suppliers. This requires a contract review, would be a special case approved by the VAR system/component/services suppliers to have a VAR act as a Prime Contractor and have all the other VARs sell through the Prime Contractor VAR to the end-user.

Harcopy version

If you would like assistance in forming strategic VAR alliances, contact us at Alliances@PrismBusDev.com or call us at (720) 352-3407, and we will assign one of our Alliance Specialists to ensure your success!

 

Power CRM Sales Manager – Sales Aids, Tools & Content

Do you want to learn how successful Sales Managers are using CRMs to place skilled Sales Professionals in territories armed with the necessary tools to do their job producing results in the shortest possible time, then read on to discover the advantages you will enjoy as a top-notch Prism Power CRM Sales Manager!

You may be surprised as to how far the CRM has advanced in support of Sales Managers to staff, fast ramp-up to full productivity, enable high performance selling and minimize administrative overhead tasks for sales professionals.

Prism Power CRM Sales Managers are able to:

  • Accelerate the hiring of highly skilled sales professionals and equip them with information on how to get things done in your company
  • Arm your Sales Professionals with Commission Plans, Quotas & Territories and maintain focus on achieving goals
  • Enable your Sales Professionals to sell your company and its capabilities as the customer’s best solution, providing the highest customer value quickly
  • Form Sales Professionals cross-functional teams to identify opportunities, sell solutions, deliver capabilities and ensure that customers are served
  • Provide your Sales Team with resources to share goals, strategies and track tactical execution in the easiest most efficient manner, including mobile apps.
  • Arm your Sales Professionals with automation tools to conduct business, record and report sales execution successes, manage pipelines, and forecast accurately
  • Provide your Sales Professionals with real-time problem escalation and resolution, and access to management to request special accommodations
  • Provide visibility into Sales Team sales execution in order to provide mentoring, coaching, guidance and support to overcome difficulties as they arise
  • Support your efforts to gain recognition and capture company awards for your Sales Professionals and their Sales Support Team members

Thank you for your interest in Prism Power CRM Sales Manager capabilities. Please feel free to contact us by phone, fax, email, or simply fill in and submit the information Request Form below.  The information Request Form will ask you to provide information about your business needs to help us serve you better. This information will enable us to route your request to the appropriate person; you will receive a response within 2 business days.  We look forward to working with you.

Additional information Request Form

Prism Business Development
720-352-3407
720-239-1348 Fax
Power-CRM-Sales-Manager@PrismBusDev.com

Prism will not share your personal information with any third party

 

Difficult Patient Situations & Cultural Barriers to Good Sales Health

Difficult Patient Situations & Cultural Barriers to Good Sales Health

Just as with medical doctors that want the best for their patients, there are “Difficult Patients” that cannot or will not follow the prescribed remedy. Oftentimes the Difficult Patient has beliefs that prevent them from taking the prescribed remedy to cure their illness. These beliefs are referred to as cultural barriers. Cultural barriers include situations where the patient believes:

  1. What worked in the past will work in the future… adherence to historic “process rules”
  2. They know more than the doctor and ignore the diagnosis
  3. The remedy requires them to step outside their comfort zone… venture into scary uncharted territory
  4. That the cure is worse than the ailment
  5. Prescribed remedy violates a tenant of their religion

When doctors observe these cultural barriers, they need to address them as well to the extent that they can within the confines of respect for the patient’s cultural heritage. It might be appropriate to acknowledge the patients fears and to let them know that they are not alone and that there are support systems to see them through the difficulties… others have already blazed these trails and it has already been proven that they will get better if they follow the prescribed remedy.

There will be situations where the doctor’s hands are tied and the patient will not follow the prescribed remedy regardless of the doctor’s coaching and mentoring support. When the Sales Drs. and Medical Drs. encounter the situation where they are unable to help patients due to cultural barriers, it is frustrating to say the least and requires them to accept the fact that they cannot help some patients regardless of their great knowledge, skills and abilities.

Examples of Cultural Barriers encountered by our Sales Dr. preventing them from improving the patient’s sales health include:

  1. Prior patient successes based on different circumstances… and denial and/or unwillingness to recognize the change in circumstances
  2. Patients knowing that they are experiencing pain, but not understand the diagnostic      questions… not cooperate in sharing their symptoms and/or past life style history etc… leading up to their current situation. Oftentimes these patients do not realize the connection between their current situation to life style historic (diet, exercise, smoking etc…. shifts in ideal customer base, archaic Go-To-Market value add strategy, marketing messaging, selling model) root causes
  3. Inability to perceive and accept that a Cultural Change Initiative is required and not willing to commit resources to bring about the prescribed remedy change in operations (i.e add new suppliers, direct marketing to reach out to new ideal customers, add new sales channels and relationship managers, manage channel conflicts, re-assign territories and accounts, add new sales, sales support, implementation and maintenance/support services, sales model)
  4. Comfortable with status quo and not in enough pain to sign up for the prescribed remedy regimen at this time

Unless the patient is proactive in recognizing their pain at the earlier stages of the ailments progression, is already suffering acute pain, they are at risk of not recognizing the need to change their business model… way of doing business. The Sales Dr. can only help patients when they ready to remedy their situation by making the necessary improvements in their strategy and operations (life style),

Doctors love the opportunity to work with patients willing to assist in diagnosing their ailments, open to perceiving/envisioning the doctor’s analysis of root causes/problems, and committing to following the doctor’s prescription for corrective action remedies. Seeing these patients grow and reach good sales health gives the Sales Dr. a great sense of achievement and having provided high patient value-add.

If you would like to know more about how you can get our Sales Doctor to diagnose your situation and put you on the road to recovery and long-term revenue and margin growth, email us at Sales-Dr@prismbusdev.com or call us at (720) 352-3407.

If you need to bring about changes/improvements in your operations and need help, email us at ChangeManagement@prismbusdev.com or call us at (720) 352-3407.

 

Sales Dr.

More often than not, our Sales Doctor Specialists get called in when our patient’s sales operations are not performing up to management expectations.  When the Sales Dr. is called in at this stage, it usually indicates that the situation has reached an acute state and calls for immediate attention, or the enterprise’s viability is in jeopardy.

Just as with any healthcare specialist, the Sales Dr. must alleviate the immediate acute pain as well as identify root causes and prescribe long-term preventative corrective action therapy, in order to avoid future occurrences of acute pain.  To determine root causes, our Sales Dr. must first diagnose the two primary root causes of poor sales performance improper sales execution and/or market acceptance of the offer.

The initial diagnosis is to get a picture of what is being sold to whom and why, and then determine if the selling activities are focusing on the right customers and communicating the customer value.  Typically these are at the center of root causes.  If, when diagnosed, we discover a disconnect between what is an ideal customer and who sales should be calling on, we then need to refocus sales attention via clearly identifying ideal customers/industries, channels, territory and account assignments.  If the diagnosis determines that sales is focusing on ideal customers, then we determine if sales is communicating an acceptable offer.

To know if sales is communicating the offer effectively requires us to determine if the offer is for commonly understood capabilities (a commodity) or highly innovative (paradigm shift or disruptive) capabilities. Our Sales Dr. then examines the sales execution model to determine if, appropriate for selling commodities or innovation.  The Sales Dr. diagnoses the sales execution coverage model and call pattern processes to determine if sales is calling on appropriate decision makers.  Once it is determined that sales is calling on ideal customer decision makers, then the last two processes to inspect are: 1) sales execution model, to determine how well the offer is being communicated, and 2) market acceptance of the offer itself.

Regarding sale execution model, one cannot be successful selling transactionally on “price”, when the customer does not even know they need your capabilities.  You must assist the customer in recognizing that they have a problem, that you have a proven capability to solve, and that the customer will derive sufficient benefit to motivate them to take action.

The Sales Dr. then diagnoses the offer to determine if it is perceived by the ideal customers as having sufficient merit to motivate them to avail themselves of the offer capabilities.

The diagnosis of the offer’s market acceptance starts with the diagnosis of the following:

  1. What are the offer capabilities
  2. Who are ideal customers
  3. Why will they buy
  4. Where will they buy (channels)
  5. When will they buy
  6. How will they buy

Once this diagnosis has been completed, the Sales Dr. is in a position to prescribe an Rx for the immediate acute pain and an Rx for preventative measures to avoid acute pain in the future, and place the sales execution in motion to meet/exceed management’s expectations.

Please note that when our Sales Doctor is called in for routine examinations, then acute pain situations can be avoided and healthy, highly productive sales performance ensured.

If you would like to know more about how you can get our Sales Doctor to diagnose your situation and put you on the road to recovery and long-term revenue and margin growth, email us at Sales-Dr@prismbusdev.com or call us at (720) 352-3407.

Channel Enablement & Promotion

Channel Enablement & Promotion

Once the Product Management has chosen a sales channel to service the customer (Placement) it must work closely with Product Marketing and Sales Channel Management to engage the channel to achieve the desired joint sales and marketing objectives. This post deals mostly with marketing’s responsibilities. Typically marketing has committed a revenue stream to the company’s strategic business management during the life cycle of the product/service. To achieve the committed revenue stream requires that each channel contribute its share towards this objective. Therefore, marketing is a stakeholder in seeing that each channel performs as expected.

You must start out with a clear understanding as to the sales channels business model customer base serviced and their company’s value add. Secondly, the sales channel’s sales model must be understood to know the call patterns and enablement requirements. This will allow Marketing and Sales Channel Management to have an intelligent discussion as to the price the channel buys product from you (margin against street price) in order to get their attention and motivate them to actively pursue business. Also, attention must be made to ensure that the product/service is easy to use and does not need after sale baby-sitting. Lastly, sales management must provide methods to register deals and channel conflict problem resolution.

Marketing has two primary responsibilities to make the sales channel successful:

  • Enable the sales channel’s sales and support staff to be able to identify an ideal customer, qualify the opportunity and close the business
  • Provide promotional services to drive business to the sales channel and reduce the missionary work needed to have customers recognize you, your product/services and your channel as a player that must be considered prior to making any decision

Enabling the sales channel means to provide their sales teams with the necessary “Knowledge” to be able to know:

  • “What” are your product product/service features?
  • “What” are your product/service functions?
  • “Who” needs these capabilities? “Where” are the ideal customers? “What” are ideal customer industries?
  • “Why” do these customers need these capabilities? “What” are the business/operational advantages you provide the customer? What are these advantages worth? What is my “value proposition”?
  • “What” is the competitive landscape? “What are the alternatives and what are my advantages and disadvantages, what are the alternative’s advantages and disadvantages?
  • “How” do I evaluate customer’s feasibility? “How” do I process an order? “How” do I implement the product/service?
  • “What” promotional support will the sales team get

In addition, marketing must make it easier for the sales professional to get the attention of the customer. Marketing can overcome a great deal of sales “missionary work” when the prospective customers has been educated somewhat to know that you as a vendor and the channel as seller are “significant players” and have been successful in providing advantages to other customers in their industry… Marketing does this through effective promotion campaigns. Promotion campaigns are designed to build customer “Awareness”, “Consideration” and “Hit” (ACH where Hit means predisposition to purchase your products/services). These campaigns must address ACH market positioning for your company, your products/service and your channel.

Promotion the sales channel means planning and executing marketing communications campaigns that may include:

  • Trade articles
  • Trade show presence
  • Web sites, Blogs
  • Inbound Telemarketing
  • White papers
  • Listing in Buyers’ Guides
  • Direct mail
  • Outbound telemarketing
  • Customer Success Seminars
  • Trade ads

Once all this good work is done, sales channel management must establish (with Marketing):

  • Lead handoff and opportunity tracking processes and support systems (i.e. Partner Resource Management… Customer Resource Management etc.)
  • Channel conflict resolution processes and support systems (i.e. deal registration).
  • Performance monitoring and management reporting processes and systems
  • Sales enablement updates including competitive tactical threats and marketing responses
  • Marketing programs to deal with realities: market environmental, market acceptance, life-cycle management and other emerging trends etc.

Let us show how we have helped others achieve these objectives in the shortest possible time! Contact us at (720) 352-3407 or email us at ChannelEnablement&Promotion@PrismBusDev.com