(1) Image Building (Branding) - People often base their
purchasing decisions on company image. Developing a good
image is especially important when your product's benefits
are intangible or difficult to measure. When customers
don't have the expertise to critically analyze a variety
of products and features to make an informed decision,
the company with the best-or most well known-image usually
wins. How can a company overcome this? It can be a huge
challenge for smaller or emerging businesses or those
trying to catch up with competitors.
(2) Creating the Message - Critical to sales success
is creating the right messages. Marketing is faced with
the challenge of aligning the company's needs and culture,
attributes of the products and their position in the
marketplace, and desires and demands of consumers; creating
coherent and persuasive sales messages. Developing an
effective marketing campaign is an art and consumer input
Leads and Prospects - Lead generation is an ongoing
and demanding process, typically accomplished
through advertising, public relations, conventions, trade
shows, and word-of-mouth. Filtering and qualifying leads
can be an arduous task. Effectiveness is usually measured
in dollars per inquiry, per demo, or per sale.
(4) Qualifying - Identifying a prospects' needs early
in the sales cycle is important to avoid wasting time-for
both buyer and seller. Qualifying prospects also entails
determining whether or not they have the authority and
the budget to make a purchase. A prospect not qualified
today may be in the future, which makes the process of
identifying, tracking and moving prospects closer to
a sale very critical.
Presentations - The lead generator has delivered
the prospect...now the salesperson takes over.
Manufacturers have a lot at stake. They must strive
that every buyer is satisfied with their products
its full value is extracted. A challenge under
current conditions: (a) When
an industry is fast moving; (b) When
price points are well above the impulse purchase
level; (c) When a purchase also
requires a commitment of time, attention and
energy; and (D) When a
purchase of a "wrong" product can cause significant
disruption for both buyer and seller. In other
words, engaging buyers and aligning their needs
capabilities is growing more complex. New products,
along with new versions, upgrades, etc., are
hitting the streets
at alarming rates; adding to the confusion.
Objections - Handling objections professionally and
pragmatically is critical in consultative selling.
The savvy salesperson will actually surface objections
and tackle them head on.
the Sale - The defining moment in the entire process.
Also known as writing up the order, making a
positive buying decision, plunkin' down the old credit
card, proceeding to checkout ....
(8) Customer Service - Service is the key to customer
loyalty. Every customer-satisfied or dissatisfied-directly
influences an enormous pool of prospects. Remember, your
customer service department can be your best source of
Customer Relations/Resale - In many industries, profit
structures depend on resale revenue. Upgrades,
new versions or replacements, add-on modules and other "enhancements" have
given manufacturers an opportunity to recoup initial
development costs by selling high-margin products. The
cost of obtaining a new customer - versus retaining one
- is expensive and chews into profit margins. With this
in mind, it's imperative that you stay in front of your
customers through an effective means of communication.
What means are effective has become the question of the
Step! Analyze, assess, refine, repeat. Stick with
what works, replace what doesn’t. The world
is moving fast. And, as they say, the art of good
management is the art of constant course correction.