To maximize customer satisfaction, companies have long
emphasized touchpoints. But doing so can divert attention from the more
important issue: the customer’s end-to-end journey.
When most companies focus on customer
experience they think about touchpoints—the individual transactions
through which customers interact with parts of the business and its
offerings. This is logical. It reflects organization and accountability,
and is relatively easy to build into operations. Companies try to
ensure that customers will be happy with the interaction when they
connect with their product, customer service, sales staff, or marketing
materials. But this siloed focus on individual touchpoints misses the
bigger—and more important—picture: the customer’s end-to-end experience.
Only by looking at the customer’s experience through his or her own
eyes—along the entire journey taken—can you really begin to understand
how to meaningfully improve performance.
Despite concerns about economic growth, the country’s
consumers keep spending. Yet our latest survey reveals changes in what
they’re buying and how they’re buying it.
Cooling economic growth, a depreciating currency, and a
gyrating stock market are making political and business leaders
concerned that China’s economic dream may be ending. Yet Chinese
consumers remain upbeat. In fact, consumer confidence has been
surprisingly resilient over the past few years as salaries have
continued to rise and unemployment has stayed low.
In all my 30 years of selling and managing sales teams, I have always advised my staff that once they meet a client, do not sell but start showing an interest in their problems and provide the solutions for free. Sales will come much easier after that.
The reason is very simple. Once you start to sell, they will not buy for any one of the four reasons :
Your price is too high
We do not have the budget.
We already have another supplier, and the worse is,
I do not like your company (for some rhyme or reasons).
The other reasons are as follows.
start with a controversial statement and one that flags the need for sales
forces to recognise they have to adapt to stay relevant in today’s market
your professional sales capability, stop selling! There is
a strong reason to “stop selling”.
are better trained and better equipped nowadays, and they do not want to be
sold to. They do not need or want a sales pitch.
sales teams have to play “catch up” on acquiring new skills and adapting to the
from Chief Sales Officer Insights indicates that the number of sales forces
hitting their goals and targets hovers around the 50% mark, so there is a
strong message to sales people: Adapt or become irrelevant.
Collin’s book Good to Great, he writes: “Get the right people on the bus, in
the right seats, and get the wrong people off the bus.” He makes a valid point.
comprehensive and validated data is available from the Objective Management
Group, the pioneers of sales specific assessments.
and chief executive officer Dave Kurlan says: ‘‘We started designing and
developing sales specific assessments in the late 1980s.
available then were limited to, or based on, personality or behavioural tools
that had been adapted to sales, which is pretty much the case today.”
adds: “Over those 20-plus years, we have evaluated more than 500,000 sales
staff, over 50,000 sales managers and more than 8,800 sales forces across a
diverse range of industries around the world.”
validated data that has emerged should cause concern:
sales forces have no formal sales process;
sales staff cannot/will not sell;
sales staff sell inconsistently;
of sales staff sell consistently;
sales staff cannot be trained;
sales managers struggle to manage effectively;
sales forces have genuine new business sales staff, that is hunters; and
a mismatch in sales role allocation.
news is that the data indicates that the average growth potential of a sales
force today is a whopping 85%.
says: “Show me any chief executive office or vice-president of sales who would
not be happy to have a genuine 20% uplift in revenue, let alone 85%.”
an inescapable fact — sales forces are leaving millions of dollars on the
forces need to redesign their entire sales approach by moving away from “hard
to diffuse the pressure they create for themselves, thereby taking the pressure
off the buyer.
want to engage in a business conversation, not a sales pitch. That requires a
different combination of skills over and above traditional sales skills.
have a variety of issues, problems, perspectives, styles and personalities.
rightly demanding that the salesman has business acumen and is not simply
focused on “selling what he has in the bag”.
set of sales staff will need to look something like this:
well-developed sales force will have the following characteristics:
and development is seen as an ongoing and frequent investment and not simply ad
hoc sales training which does not work;
weekly online and offline coaching, developed by great sales management;
to learning and development workshops;
right people in the right roles based on an accurate evaluation, not gut
training. The notion that all sales staff need the same training at the same
time is frankly naïve, yet it happens frequently today;
players, whether they are salesmen or sales managers;
with no excuses; and
compensation/benefits package that reflects and rewards great performance.
force recruitment process needs a makeover.
sales hires at any level cost money and potentially damage a brand.
Objective Management data points to a robust 10-step process for sales
personnel recruitment and that includes evaluating/assessing every applicant at
the outset, not just those on the shortlist.
sales recruiters are missing both the critical skills and the major weaknesses
in candidates that will determine sales success because subjectivity in
selection is alive and well.
managers and recruiters still hire people in their own likeness and, while
understandable, the approach is flawed. – Singapore Straits Times/Asia News