A good salesperson can sell anything. That may be true, but doesn’t have to be. It depends on whether the salesperson sells, or whether he actually supports the customer during the purchasing process. That may sound like a marginal distinction, but it makes a world of difference. A salesperson who sells, will concentrate on the advantages of his product or services. He adapts these as far as possible to the customer’s requirements in the sales pitch, so the customer recognizes that they fit. A salesperson who helps to buy, however, is focused on the customer needs and then thinks about how he can satisfy them. This can be through the product or the service, but also through other activities offered by the salesperson.
Often the expertise and experience of the salesperson are worth a great deal in the market. These are particularly useful if a customer has a specific query, which the salesperson is able to answer. When it comes to purchasing decisions, it’s normally the small things that differentiate you from the competition. A salesperson who supports the customer during purchasing will be able to ascertain the customer’s wishes exactly due to an effective and more intensive form of questioning and thus be able to provide a tailored offer. In this case, the actual product is of less importance.
More complexity through consistently customer-oriented sales
Now, you might think all companies would want such salespersons. However, these salespersons also work differently internally. And that’s where the complexity begins. While product-oriented salespersons will come back with an order: Product / service A with additional service B, C and D, but without X, the order of a customer-oriented salesperson might be: The customer is looking for a solution that can do A and B, does not work like X, and is financed via leasing. Thus, the corresponding processes are more complex than usual. The customer service that normally processes the orders now has to be able to deal with several variables without the system breaking down. The production also has to be more flexible. And the financial department too. Nevertheless, the process should not take longer than usual. Even if the customer may be prepared to pay somewhat more for the higher degree of wish fulfilment, it is rarely the case that the costs resulting from a higher complexity can be fully absorbed. Thus, the organisation has to be set up in such a way that it also works flexibly and effectively.
That is certainly possible with other process designs, organisational structures and job descriptions. But such an issue must be on the agenda of the workshop, when defining a new strategy or a new offer. Of course, I would be more than happy to help you do so! Because in that way we can achieve one thing together: a win-win situation!
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