The 7 secret habits of B2B sales high performers - Part 3

Over the many years we have worked with high performing sales people we have always been interested in what sets them apart from their colleagues. How are they able to sell much higher volumes at higher margins?

We discovered that the big difference is the way they think and behave - this creates the good habits that set them apart.

Secret Sales Habit 3

Gather deeper insight than the rest.

When we ask sales people about the level of insight they have about their customers, we get a mix of responses. Some believe they know all there is to know, others say they have some good insight, but they have many gaps. The issue is what reference are they using to answer the question?

Once the required insights are clearly defined, it is much easier to answer this question. Those that thought they know all there is to know, realize that there are insights they just don't have. This is because the reference contains broader and deeper insights.

The high performers are able to gain a level of insight that allows them to not only know what their customers are doing, but why they are doing it. This is a whole new level of insight that provides predictability on customer decisions.

So, how can you get broader and deeper insight?

The first step is to create a list of the insights that will provide you with an opportunity to deliver real value to your customers. These may include:

  • What drives the business

  • Key stakeholders and level of authority

  • Vision, mission and values (the ones they live by)

  • Decision making process and criteria

  • Their business plan (including key customers, target markets, objectives and strategy)

  • Their value propositions

  • Key competitors and level of threat

  • What they value

  • Performance measures/KPI's

  • Plus other insights specific to the industry sector you are in

The second step is to go about sourcing these insights. This may include public domain information, onsite observations, network contacts insight and most importantly the conversations you have with a variety of stakeholders across the business.

High performers use their market insight to raise issues to discuss with their customers that lead to broad and deep insight. They frameup the conversation they want to have and then ask an open question to get the conversations going. They listen to their customer's responses intently and ask drill down questions to uncover the detailed insight.

Have a think about your current approach to uncover insight and plan to step things up to the next level by having some new conversations. It is not uncommon for us to hear from a sales person that has tried this, that they uncovered more insight in a 30 minute conversation that they uncovered over the past year.

Look out for the 7 secrets of high performers - part 4 in two weeks' time.