How to Simplify Your Sales Process by Being More Selective
By Bob Ruffolo
Too many businesses take a "sit and wait" approach to sales and according to Mike Weinberg, this is a complete waste of time.
In his book, New Sales. Simplified., Weinberg details his time-tested approach to sales that has brought him and hundreds of his clients great success in earning new business.
Before reading this book, I was expecting the typical overly-aggressive “this is a numbers game” approach to sales, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Weinberg takes classic sales methods, such as cold calling, and adds a modern spin that makes them more effective and less abrasive. His methodology for identifying targets aligns perfectly with the inbound marketing approach to creating your buyer persona.
While you might not want to adopt all of his sales strategies in your company, there is certainly a lot you can learn from his experience and this book is a great read for any business professional.
Selecting the Right Targets
"When charged with acquiring new business, the natural and essential first questions are: 'Where is the business going to come from?' and 'Who should I be pursuing?'. If we are putting together a prospecting and new business development sales attack, we need to know where to go and whom to target"
Time after time throughout New Sales. Simplified Weinberg stresses the value of having a target list for salespeople. The target list is what keeps sales teams on track and focused on the ideal persona for their company. The people on the target list are the most likely to convert and deserve the most attention.
Without a narrow target list, salespeople have a tendency to bounce around chasing the next “hot” account that changes on a regular basis. According to Weinberg, lack of focus is one of the most common problems that plagues sales teams today.
How to Select Targets
The process that Weinberg outlines for creating a target list is similar to how we recommend creating your buyer persona. You start by asking questions that provide insights about your ideal customer:
- Who are our best customers?
- What characteristics do they have in common?
- What does their business “look, smell, and feel” like?
- What problems are they currently facing?
- What would they like to accomplish in the near future?
Salespeople have a limited amount of time each week, so the more specific your target list is, the better. Having a narrow target list is more than just focusing your sales efforts on the people that are most likely to convert, it’s about genuinely understanding your ideal customer.
The people on your target list are all fairly similar to each other and as your sales team continues to interact with them they become more and more familiar with your ideal persona.
Developing a Solid Sales Story
"Our sales story is our most important and most frequently used weapon. When we have a great story, it changes everything."
Stories are powerful tools for sales because they engage people and help influence their purchasing decisions. However, Weinberg argues that the sales story is something most companies completely fail at.
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