Salesperson go about interacting with their clients and prospects seeking business. Their primary role is to :
- To create value for their customers
- Manage relationships
- Collect information about customers, competitors, market developments, etc., and relay it back to their enterprise
Creating Value for Customers
Creating value for their customers is the cornerstone on which depends the success of the salesperson. Only when a customer perceives value in what the salesperson offers will the customer be motivated to move ahead in a sales process. In order to understand the value perception of the customer the salesperson has to indulge in a dialogue. Only then will the s/he be able to create a valuable solution for the customer.
Information collected in the process of creating value:
- Customer’s problem statement and requirement
- Customer’s Budget for the purchase
- The competitor pricing
Once the salesperson establish contact with a prospect or make a sale they also have the responsibility to manage the relationship with the persons. This is to ensure that they are able to generate additional business from the prospect/client in future. Maintaining a healthy relationship also enables the enterprise to get a good reference for their product/service which in turn will fetch them new customers.
Information collected in the process of managing relationships:
- Experience of current product/service,
- Customer’s aspirations,
- Current and future challenges of the customer
Salespersons work involves them to go in the field for meeting their prospects. In this role they frequently move out of the boundaries of the enterprise. This enables them to come in contact with the competitor products/services. The enterprise will expect them to gather information about the competition and their strategies.
Salespersons also come in frequent contact with the customers of the enterprise. In this process they also implicitly seek information. This information could be in the form of:
- Customer’s perception of the enterprise offerings
- Customer’s perception of the competitors offerings
- Internal information of the customer organization
- Internal and External factors affecting the customer’s business
- Role of the customers’ employees in the buying team
- Motivation of the customers’ employees
- Any information that could directly or indirectly affect the ability to sell
This information will enable the sales team of the enterprise:
- To identify the key players in the customer’s buying team, their objectives and motivating factors
- Formulate the strategy and approach of the sales process in order to drive the customer towards concluding the sale with minimal effort and time
This information will also enable the marketing team of the enterprise:
- To segment the customers of the enterprise and create appropriate offerings and messages to reach those segments
- To improve and create marketing strategies tuned to specific customer segments
- Provide specific inputs to the product/service management teams to enhance the quality of the products/services offered by the enterprise
Why there is a need for a template?
It is apparent from the above that a salesperson has to collect several pieces of information during the interaction with their customers. This information is of vital importance to the enterprise. In addition to the accurate collection of this information the enterprise must also ensure that this is shared with the key decision makers. Access to this information will enable them to take critical decisions that can drive the company’s sales, operations leading it to its targets/ success.
Technology as Enabler
To ensure that the salesperson does not miss any key piece of information, it will be vital that the enterprise provide them with a ready reckoner. This can be in the form of a template that is handy and renders itself easy to use. As a salesperson is on the move, technology can be a key ally in enabling him/her in the process of information collection. With the advent of smart phones an enterprise can provide its sales teams with mobile apps. These mobile apps can have standard templates that can prompt and guide them during their interaction with the customer to ensure that the maximum amount of information is collected.
Usage of templates and mobile apps ensures:
- a ready reckoner for information collection
- Accurate capture of relevant information – the collection of information happens as soon as it is generated
- Avoids gaps in information
- Ensure information is available to all the relevant entities within the enterprise
Thus, we come to realise that technology when used well, empowers us as people and as teams!