Change Leadership — Secret # 105
Leave Transactional Selling for Websites
These days man knows the price of everything,
but the value of nothing. —Oscar Wilde
What I Need to Know
At the beginning of this book, I discussed how the forces of globalization and Internet commerce are reducing the perceived value of the traditional role of the sales professional, that is, to inform the customer and transact the purchase. What happens when a salesperson’s perceived value diminishes—in other words, when the salesperson’s value gets commoditized?
Salespeople are like the canaries in a mine. They are the early warning system for the health of your company and its competitiveness in the market. When the salesperson’s value to the customer diminishes, so does the value of your product and your entire company. When your company’s perceived value goes down, usually your revenues, margins, and profits follow.
Earlier, I posed the question of the Salesperson’s Dilemma—whether to pursue easier low-margin business or more difficult high-margin business. At the top level of the company, the question does not have to be an either/or proposition. If your strategy requires that you do both, you just need to take two actions to be competitive:
1. Move transactional selling and low margin business to your website.
2. Upgrade the skills of your human sales force to a change-centric selling approach.
What I Need to Do
If your strategy is to move your sales to your website, you’ll need to become an expert in online marketing.
If your strategy is to preserve the value of your sales force and you want to upgrade its ability to deliver high value, follow these steps:
- Survey the marketplace for sales methodologies designed specifically for selling high value.
- Look for a cogent framework that has a strong theoretical foundation, rather than shallow, 1-2-3 catchphrases.
- Make sure the methodology includes a strong set of tools, techniques, and job aids for implementing the framework in daily practice across the organization.
- Develop a “learning path” that defines a multiyear curriculum for salespeople to develop requisite skills over time.
- Implement the strategy in phases, monitoring and refining after each milestone.