Entrepreneurial businesses are paying a hefty price for not developing the selling skills of their people. In many cases these businesses are the newer competitor and, once their leading competitors turn their focus on them after some early success, they are being outsold. They are selling less than they could be, and they are forced to sell at lower prices than they should be!
Because of historically minimal investments in sales execution and performance, your target buyers are perceiving your sales team as nothing more than vendors selling on price, rather than the problem solvers and value providers you need them to be. So, what is wrong with being the low-priced product or serviced in your market? The good news is it will get you invited to the selling parting. The bad news is your sales team is getting there late. The buyer has already identified the buying criteria versus having your sales team shape it to their advantage. They are down their buying path and they have built better relationships with your competitors who were they longer and helping them in their evaluations. There is no more difficult sale than one where you play catchup. It is virtually impossible to deliver value and be viewed as a credible consultant to the buyer from this position. All you have to offer is information and pricing. Vendors in this position are leveraged by buyers to get better terms from the vendor they want to award their business to.
So why should this matter? Why should an entrepreneur care that their sales team has evolved into being more reactive than proactive in pursuing new business? Waiting for leads and future customers to come forward and inform you that that want to evaluate your product or service is not really selling. It is more like order taking. And if they are coming to you, they are most likely late in their buying process. And if they cannot tell you why they are interested in your product or service, it is most likely because they were told to check you out to finish their evaluation. And they most likely have chosen your competitor and are now justifying it for themselves. This makes the opportunity and sale lost before it even started.
It is no fun selling from behind. If your goal is to build a market leading company, you need to have a sales team that can out-sell the market leaders. In many cases across all industries, the sale doesn’t always go to the largest brand or the market leader. It goes to the sales team that can out-sell their competition.