Preview: Gain Competitive Edge with Your Sales Process
Brian Gardner says he is used to hearing distributors list people, products and customer service as their differentiators. “If I asked your competitors the same question, how would they respond?” Gardner asks. “Most likely they’d all answer the same way. Which means your competitive edge is not a competitive edge at all.”
Gardner, founder of SalesProcess360, will be speaking at the NetPlus Annual Meeting on the topic “What is Your Competitive Edge?” He will challenge distributors to think about how their sales process can serve as a differentiator in increasingly competitive markets.
He’ll provide a framework for focusing on an area of your business that can give your team a true competitive edge: the front end of the sales process, which includes leads and opportunities. If processes are put in place on the front end, Gardner says, that can result in stronger conversion on the back end.
In particular, Gardner will talk about the importance of processes that can facilitate team selling, a principle he believes strongly in. He encourages distributors to think beyond outside sales when it comes to identifying and acting on new opportunities for your business. If all departments shared and leveraged the knowledge they have on your customers, you’d be surprised at how many new opportunities emerge, he says. For example, Gardner calls sharing knowledge between service and outside sales a “golden ticket” and an opportunity many distributors with service departments are missing out on.
“We need to be training service people to ask sales-related questions, and then have a system and process to take that information back to the outside and inside sales teams,” Gardner says. “And service people need to be involved in sales meetings when appropriate.”
He’ll also introduce load input goals as a leading indicator for your business. How are you identifying and qualifying new sales opportunities? How do you know how many new opportunities you need to meet your sales goals?
Gardner is no stranger to the sales challenges distributors face. He has more than 25 years of experience in sales management and industrial CRM. He was the sales manager for a major regional industrial rep/distribution company for 15 years before building his own industrial sales-focused CRM. He took that passion for sales process improvement to the speaking and coaching world with SalesProcess360.
He is also the author of ROI from CRM: It’s About Sales Process, Not Just Technology, which provides a road map for industrial sales organizations to identify and fill gaps in their sales processes. Learn more about Brian Gardner at salesprocess360.com.
Gardner will speak in consecutive sessions between 3 and 5:55 p.m.