Sales structure is not that important is it?
You’ll be fine, just wing it.
Be responsive to the buyer, be in the moment, go with the flow.
It’s fine, everyone knows the end game…you’ll get there.
You’ll be great, remember how you crushed that sign up last week?
You’ll be fine…
Some of the time!
What about the rest of the time?
You’ve heard the line…
successful people practise until they get it right, professionals practise until they can’t get it wrong!
Which one are you?
A Sales Structure is Your Sales Sat Nav…
Like any journey, the journey you take with the buyer is the same, it works best when you both know what the destination is (and hopefully it’s the same destination!), you know the conditions of travel, expected ETA, any special circumstances and the general mode of transport from ‘here’ to ‘there’…
It’s the same with selling…
That’s why a sales structure is not just for the benefit of the sales person.
Selling is a two person job!
It helps if both parties have their eyes wide open, their wits about them and a good idea of what’s going on.
The easiest way to share your sales structure with a prospective buyer is via the trusty meeting agenda.
It’s the most perfect, yet gravely underutilised piece of kit in any sales reps tool kit.
Which is strange because it’s the easiest way to:
- Take control of the prospect sales meeting
- Tell them the stages you need to go through in order to sell ethically, responsibly and…
- How long it’s going to take
- And, what you expect from the prospect by the end of the meeting
You’ll agree – when you look back on those 4 points, wouldn’t you think every sales rep would use a sales agenda to kick of the sales meeting by setting the ground rules?
Anyway, a sales agenda is just one very small, yet critical part of a sales structure.
And it’s also critical because of this – your agenda is your list of things to do.
What do we like about lists of things to do?
We like ticking stuff off those lists.
And why is that important here?
It’s important, because – when you get to the bits in the sales process you really do not want to do, youre sales prospect knows what’s coming, so it forces you to do EVERYTHING you need to do to sell.
And that is very powerful!
If you’re in doubt read The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande – you can also read my blog post on Habit Beats Knowledge
Sales Structure = Control
We’ve seen by using a sales structure in the form of a meeting agenda, you get to exert some control over the buyer/buying process.
And that having a shared sales structure in the form of an agenda gives you the confidence to stay the course with the buyer, ask the tough questions, cover off everything, tick the stuff off your list…
You’ll do all of that…because your buyer expects you to.
And you know what’s so great about using a sales agenda – you’re prospects will love you, you’ll save bundles of time, you’ll sell consistently (and that’s great if you’re selling well, not so great if you’re not selling so well – but there is a fix for that – talk to me!)
- Buyers will love you
- Consistency is within your reach
- You’ll achieve heaps more in the prospect sales meeting
- You’ll more easily be able to reflect what went well in a meeting versus what was a disaster so your rate of improvement will increase.
All great sales rewards and highly personal wins, you agree?
So next time you get the urge to barrel in to a sales prospect meeting and start shooting from the hip, just stop for one moment and ask yourself, is your current sales structure designed just to help you sell or is it there to help the buyer to buy?
So that’s the external sales structure – the meeting agenda you share with the prospect.
What About YOUR Internal Sales Structure
Seriously, if you hope to maximise the chances of sales success, not waste your sales opportunities and avoid burning through high quality sales leads, then you need an INTERNAL sales structure.
This INTERNAL sales structure is a varied and wonderful thing…
It’s such a wonderful part of your sales tool kit for one very simple reason – and it’s this:
What you sell is less important than how you sell!
Just remember that as you read the rest of this article – what you sell, sure it’s important, of course it is.
How you sell it – wow, that’s everything.
It’s everything especially when you’re in a highly competitive, commoditised, aggressive, discount happy selling space….and that’s almost every single selling space I know these days.
So, lets break down the Internal Sales Structure bit by bit…
So, to start, just answer this one question…
Is My Sales Mindset in Good Shape to Deliver a First Class Sales Structure?
So now you’re thinking about your sales structure in terms of the buyer experience? Great
So, let’s take a look at whats going on in your head. Do you really understand how a high performing sales structure guides your every sales action with purpose?
Is your sales structure congruent with how you sell?
Do you feel comfortable using this sales structure because you know it works, hits all the key points, relevant, worked for you in the past, and it’s something you feel tuned into?
Is it a sales structure you understand, know why every question is asked, why they’re asked in that order, chat the critical points are, why every sign post given, do you know the purpose of each stage, the no/no-go elements of the structure…?
Or are you going through a set of robotic motions hoping that at some point your prospect will light up like a Christmas tree and give you a credit card to debit as you so wish?
A good sales structure has function and purpose.
If you’ve look at a sales structure as a series of commands and lines – do this, say this, answer this, then you must, must, must be able to justify every single question, every single line and ever single signpost.
Otherwise, it’s redundant, and you should take it out.
Rest assured, today, as you read this, you should know the bar is not high in using a great sales structure to pitch so that you’re positively and profitably differentiated from your competitors…so that means you only need to be just a little bit better!
Sales Structure to Impress!
If you think about every sales interaction as being a journey of two (or more) people who want to go in roughly the same direction but are not quite sure if they want to travel together…than a well thought out sales structure just becomes, not just the map, but the conditions for happy travelling!
Do you have a sales structure template?
In my sales training (The Sales Improvement Workshop), we look on a sales structure as your guide for sign posting the prospect to what you want them to focus on, when, in what order, why.
How you’re using your sales structure to guide the prospect on the most engaging, value lades buying journey possible.
It covers what you need to disclose, at what point, and how to communicate your information, based on what questions and what responses…
All based on the very specific needs, interests and challenges of your target, perfect prospect.
You’ll use it to flush out objections before they become sales road blocks.
To maximise the impact of what you’re offering, minimise the impact of your competitors, build value, create differentiation and drive towards creating a willing buyer.
Who converts then into a raving fan.
How do you know if your need a Sales Structure?
- You often leave a selling situation and realised you have no idea if the prospect will buy or not. I mean real commitment to buy, not a vague, ‘it feels good’
- Critical sales points, pivot points, where the sales pitch can go one way or the other are unknown to you.
- Objections are something you fear rather than an inbuilt function in your sales pitch and used to educate and enrich the conversation before they become issues
- You can’t deliver at least three solid, proven statements that differentiate your solution from your competitors, statements that your buyer can buy into, agree with and confirm are true
- If your sales cycle is looooooong…
- Sales velocity is more creep than stride.
- You lose business you should be winning…even when you know the buyer is buying an inferior solution that’s not as good as yours
- Referrals aren’t a by-product from every prospect meeting
- The sales pipeline is bulging from ‘undecided prospects’
Scale-able sales growth relies on a repeatable sales structure. A sales structure that you work and that works for you.
Sales today is about mind set, how you approach the prospect and the sales process as much as it is about sales methods.
That’s why I draw the very best parts of all sorts of sales methods into my training…but there is more to consider
- Is your mind set focused on sales success?
- Do you know as much as you should about your prospects industry, their sector, their challenges, their competitors?
- How are you articulating that wisdom, are you using questions or simply broadcasting?
- How are you winning ‘trusted adviser’ status quickly with your prospects?
- Do you have a list of ways you use that will help your prospect immediately differentiate an approach from you versus one of your competitors?
- How are you building value straight away for your prospects?
- Do you have strong ROI’s, case studies and model building to convince your prospect to buy from you?
- How are you holding prospects accountable to the sales process?
- Do you know your own sales recipe for guaranteeing you hit your sales target?
- Are you setting aside time for self reflection so you understand why some of your sales pitches work and some fall on stony ground?
This is not an exhaustive list.
But think about it like this;
selling is competitive by its very nature, every single advantage you have should be maximised to diminish the impact of your competitors in the view of you prospects
So the question is:
Are You Working Every Single Sales Advantage You Have?
Come and find out.
Take a look at what you should include in your sales structure.
Discover how you can engage with prospects so they become buyers, faster and at higher margins.
How to max out your opportunities and make the competition smart a little!
Join us on The Sales Improvement Workshop – you won’t regret it.
If you’ve enjoyed this article and want more, you can also check out this post on the basic Sales Call Structure here.
A good sales structure is as distinctive as your brand.
It’s just as effective in drawing sales prospects towards you business.
It will help you stand out, set the standard for your industry, be a talking point and a lead magnet.
It will have prospects coming to you more freely and willingly if it’s attuned to them, their industry, their challenges.
And it costs you absolutely nothing to execute; just a small shift in thinking and communicating with your buyers.
Is your sales structure working hard enough for you?
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