In this economy, everyone wants and needs to grow their sales. There are pressures from stakeholders to “stay alive” and beat out the competition driving down sales teams across the country. Sales professionals seem to be tired, stressed out, and worried about making their goals. Are sales professionals trying to sell out of fear instead of quality? It seems they sell to “stay alive” just because they want to keep their jobs. More than ever, this is when we need to be sure everyone is on the boat! Sales team members can’t be expected to sell alone. If we expect sales professionals to land bigger deals, then we need to send them out with the tools to be successful, and the most powerful one, is a full boat!
In whale hunting, we are scouting a more sophisticated client, a more demanding client and a client who in the end, expects more from us. The only way to win the business is to send the whole team together on the same boat! Why? Subject matter experts are the key to a complex sale.
The whale client wants to know more about who will actually be delivering the product or service. Our experts can speak specifically to those questions the whale is asking. This sounds easy, but it isn’t. There will be obstacles. Your subject matter experts became experts in their fields, not in sales, for a reason. Your executive team will be instrumental in inspiring them to go on the boat and become involved in business development.
Here are some key pieces to getting your subject matter expert (SME) on to the boat:
- Explain the big picture to them
- Make sure they know the benefits to the company and to themselves from landing a whale (perhaps, consider compensating them differently)
- Dissect their role in the sale; they are there to talk about what they are best at. That information by itself is what the whale is needing, the sales professional will do the rest
The executive team is the best group to ensure everyone is on the boat! With their support the sales team the SME’s will be more comfortable taking this approach. One ingredient to getting the SME’s “comfortable” is to practice. Practice is imperative! Make sure the team has ample time to know their roles in the meeting. They must rehearse their parts and know which questions will be directed at what member of the boat.
Believe it or not, this exercise is the best team building experience for a company. It gets all people on the same page moving towards a common goal and working together to grow the company. Eventually, your employees will not want to be left off the boat!