Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Transforming BtoB Strategy Through ProSultative Selling, Rethinking Sales & Marketing

By Mike Pilcher, VP of Sales at Marketbright

ProSultative selling is more than a sales process—it requires you to re-orient your company around becoming easier to do business with and learn how to proactively deliver to each prospect the specific information they need to become a customer.

As we know, B2B sales is all about the transfer of information from supplier to buyer. You must deliver the information about your product as quickly and easily as possible to the prospect in the way they need to consume the information, and in order to do this successfully sales and marketing must work together as one seamless organization.

ProSultative selling fits neatly into this collaboration between sales and marketing teams, and when implemented successfully has been shown to result in shorter sales cycles, greater predictable sales volume and lower production costs in both the near and short term.

In simple terms, a ProSultative business:
  1. Is easy to do business with at all stages-- from a prospect’s initial discovering of the product to their decision to buy more;

  2. Automates any and all interactions with prospects and customers whenever possible;

  3. Always makes prospect and customer interaction proactive;

  4. Focuses on the very minimum of information and actions a prospect needs to become a customer;

  5. Always acts with insatiable urgency; and

  6. Iterates incessantly.
The relationship between sales and marketing teams has become undoubtedly tense, as sales teams continue to complain about the qualification of marketing leads and marketing teams push back when sales is unable to convert the prospects they delivered. Rather than operating in an adversarial vacuum, the ProSultative salesperson works closely with marketing teams to carefully time the delivery of information to the prospect, working not only to craft the precise messaging but proactively deliver it in the right place, at the right time and to the right person.

With ProSultative selling, the huge amount of budget that currently languishes in a no-man’s land between sales and marketing disappears, as prospects are smoothly guided through the system and ultimately, more often than not, converted to customers. While ProSultative selling is most attractive for small and medium sized businesses, it can work especially well for large enterprises if the products and system are architected correctly.

After implementation of a ProSultative sales model, a business will soon see the following benefits:
  1. Minimized customer interactions; allowing businesses to accelerate the velocity of sales through the pipeline;

  2. Faster sales cycles and increased business;

  3. Increased scalability, growing the number of customer opportunities each individual and the business can manage and thereby increasing the rate and total volume of new customer acquisition;

  4. The landing of more customers more often; with sales to existing customers growing with the increase in total customers; and

  5. Reduced risk, allowing businesses greater control of the delivery of information to make the management of resources more predictable.
As businesses look to simultaneously improve and streamline their sales and marketing processes, ProSultative selling is emerging as a new and compelling strategy for selling quickly and successfully, even in a down economy. ProSultative selling tactics optimize a business’s ability to really get creative and execute targeted, focused campaigns, generating interest and prospects, fueling conversation and ultimately resulting in more converted customers.

Mike Pilcher has more than 20 years of business and enterprise sales experience. Before joining Marketbright, he headed up worldwide sales at HyperRoll, Velosant and Epiphany. Pilcher is the author of a new book titled “ProSultative Selling: The Death of the Consultative Sales Person,” currently available for sale on Amazon.com. He also writes a blog on ProSultative selling techniques. On November 13th, Pilcher will be leading a Webinar on Sales and Marketing thought leadership with Forrester analyst Laura Ramos. For more information on the Webinar, please visit: http://www.marketbright.com/news/events.html

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