This week I was involved in a situation where a salesperson who had a lot of energy didn’t seem to achieve the expected success or goals. It was clear that the sales activity was there. However, after listening and watching the seller in action. We knew the sales process was not followed. The situation made me think about how easily we can fall into bad habits. In reality, the seller might have been successful if the clock had been turned back 20 years. In the early years of this industry, almost every company was a prospect. Every business needed the services they offered. Today we need better hunting skills to become successful. There are huge opportunities in our industry with the right type of accounts. We have to learn how to hunt them and successfully approach them and then breed them for all they’re worth.
B2B sales strategy
Most companies facing similar changes and developing a business is a challenge. Our strategic approach allows us to locate, identify and target new customers who want our services. We essentially have two ways of generating business. One is through the process of chasing new business and the other is cultivating our existing customers for new business. One truth is certain; when we focus on the customer’s needs, wants and desires, we will achieve ours. When we focus on our needs, wants and desires, we will miss the mark.
Hunt or Farm
Hunting is when we look for new business and try to take business from another company. The other method is to use our existing customer base for referrals and references and grow through customer stocks and verticals. This strategy is not rocket science; it is fundamental to most marketing plans. It’s kind of a focus from within and a focus from outside.
Hunting is harder
When it comes to hunting or farming, I think hunting is more difficult. You could compare it to hunting rabbits. I don’t know about you, but chasing a rabbit isn’t easy. They move quickly and are difficult to catch. It would be easier if I knew more about the habits and patterns of rabbits. It would also be easier if they stood still and didn’t change. Do you understand what I say? Yes, our outlook changes as the company and industry changes. The salesperson I talked about earlier tried to hunt for new prospects, but didn’t really hunt like he/she should. This person usually gave short presentations in the field for anyone willing to listen. There was no real selection process and so there was not much hunting.
Activity vs Strategy
Going out and making lots of sales calls without a clue of what you want would be silly! Yet this is what many sellers do every day. Making sales calls without an action plan will not get the seller what he/she wants. Before we go out and make sales calls, let’s have an idea of the type of account we’re looking for. Think of it this way: “If we have no idea, all is well”.