Driving Change to Build a Value-Based Sales Culture
Last week, I attended the Alexander Group’s (AGI) regional forum in New York City. An intimate event, it brought together sales leaders from some of the most recognized brands—GE, Pfizer, and Covidien among others. The AGI team provided compelling topics and content, but left a lot of the conversation to the attendees in the form of panels and discussion sessions. It was a great event if you are interested in hearing from peers about ways to overcome some of today’s toughest challenges for sales leaders.
Sales needs to add value for the customer
The opening dinner included a panel discussion focused on how to differentiate sales teams in the eye of the customer. In short, it boils down to adding value. This is in line with some of the Forrester and Corporate Executive Board research showing that 50-60% of companies select a vendor based on their experience with the seller. In the end, customers can’t distinguish based on product or feature sets alone anymore, and while price is still a considering factor, the group agreed that enabling sellers to add value for the customer during the sales process is key to winning more deals.
Building a value-based sales culture
So that’s great. Everyone agrees that sellers need to add value for customers during the buying process. But how? CA Technologies provided insight into how they create a value-based culture focused on the customer. And it’s not easy. It takes strong, visionary leadership that is not only bought-in, but passionate about adding value for the customer. And sometimes it takes some tough decisions - change in managers who will manage the day-to-day tasks needed to achieve the right culture, or change in sellers who just refuse or are unable to adapt to a shifting culture.
Sales Playbooks can drive culture change
One of the sessions conducted by AGI, was around their Sales Playbooks practice and how companies can use Playbooks to optimize sales productivity and drive change. They break their Playbooks practice into 4 main categories
- Sales Process - tactical Playbooks to facilitate sellers working opportunities to move the process along as effectively and efficiently as possible.
- Coaching - Playbooks for their front-line managers on how to coach their sellers on utilizing and optimizing the process.
- Jumpstart - Playbooks for managing compelling events like mergers, product launches, or change initiatives.
- Onboarding/Ramp up - for getting new hires up to full production quicker.
AGI’s experience from working with leading companies on how to develop these kinds of playbooks, recommending appropriate processes, content, and execution strategies, makes them uniquely qualified to work with companies trying to optimize sales and manage change.
Our partnership with them takes their expertise and outputs, and layers it on top of our technology to have a complete solution—from consultation to automation—making Sales Playbooks a living, evolving thing versus a one-time event.
Qvidian is proud to sponsor AGI’s Chief Sales Executive Annual Forum, November 11-13, 2013. This event will recognize the value creators - select companies and sales leaders with the creativity, agility and foresight to build and execute a value-centric growth strategy around the unique capability of its sales force. The 2013 Chief Sales Executive Annual Forum is for top sales executives who are charged with launching a value-centric growth strategy and building a sales organization to support their sales growth objective.