Anyone who’s worked in sales long enough knows that in order to successfully close deals, you need to be able to identify, understand, and help solve pain points for your customers. So... how is it that a recent study found that only 61% of sales people are confident in identifying their customer’s primary pain points? Umm… what are the other 39% doing? Well… unfortunately, they are less likely to be closing deals and making your company money. The ability to successfully identify pain points increases the sales person's chances of closing the deal and hitting their sales quotas by more than 28%.
And there’s more bad news for these folks...70% of people’s purchasing decisions tie back to solving a problem, and 71% of sales people fail to make the connection between their solution and the customer’s problem. Well, yeah, I’d imagine it’s really hard to create a connection between a problem they can’t identify and their product or service.
So, how do you bridge this gap and ensure that your entire sales team understands how to identify the needs of their customers? And not only that, but how to understand and speak to their customers, not just sell? By teaching your sales team the language of business... business acumen! This will ensure your team really understands all aspects of business, allowing them to assess, evaluate, and make smart business decisions with more positive outcomes. When your team can speak to customers on this level, they won’t just be a sales person...instead they will grow to be a trusted ally, consultant, and business partner. So, how do you grow business acumen within your team? Well, I’ve got some pointers!
Read books, magazines, and podcasts focused on business acumen. There’s a lot of good ones out there! (PSST), if you’re looking for a GREAT business acumen book for your team, I have a suggestion.
Pay attention to what’s going on within your business, businesses around you, and throughout the world. Remember, your team needs to understand world, country, and industry trends. With an in-depth understanding of what trends are happening within the industries you work in.
Work with departments beyond just the sales department. To have great business acumen, you need to know what’s happening in every department...and we don’t just mean what Karen in accounting did this weekend, your team needs to really understand what accounting does and how they do it, and the role that plays in the business as a whole. Maybe it’s time for a job shadow?
Take advantage of free resources, hey we’ve got a webinar series, sign your team up! I’m sure we’re not alone, I know there’s plenty of good series out there (...but ours is the best...seriously…:)).
Sign your team up for customized business acumen training...I know a really good place for that…
Business acumen isn’t something that is developed overnight...and it’s also not something that you learn once and you’re good to go. It takes work, and will continue to develop and evolve over time. If you want your team to be expert level business acumen pro’s reach out to us!
If you’re not ready for that step just yet, we’re hosting a free one-hour webinar on Wednesday, August 18 at 11 am Eastern that will focus on performing a customer analysis - register here. We know it can be tough to predict your customer’s needs, so we created a special tool that will help you analyze your customer’s strategy, financial performance, and allow you to better understand who you’re selling to. During this free one hour webinar, we’ll give you a preview of this tool, and show you how to better understand your customer’s unique challenges, and opportunities, and help you make a business case for your products and services.