Published on April 25, 2014
SS Ten Slides in Ten Minutes: Thinking about Sales Events [Capturing the Hearts and Minds of Prospects & Clients] Presented by: Bill Graham APM.APMP April, 2014 email@example.com Event: “A thing that happens or takes place, especially one of importance.”
2 Try And Be Better Than What You Think You Can Be… “The most splendid achievement of all is the constant striving to surpass yourself and to be worthy of your own approval.” - Denis Waitely External Sales Meetings Internal Sales Meetings Best Practices How Big is My Unit Sales Conferences Trade ShowsBreakfasts, Lunches and DinnersAll ‘Touchpoints’ Solution Sales: Value Event: “A thing that happens or takes place, especially one of importance.”
3 How Big is My Unit? • Most organisations are structured around Business Units • In dated organisations these Business Units are product focused and silo’d • Clients do not want to hear about products/commodities • Clients want to hear about Solutions and Services – Fit for Purpose • Clients want their business problems solved. Organisations may be structured for failure, as they may be actually irrelevant in today’s marketplace… How Big is My Unit The Bigger the irrelevant Unit, the Harder they Fall Focus on Client’s Business Imperatives
4 Sales Events are the formal interactions with prospects and clients; They all should have predictable outcomes… Best Practice for Sales Events • Ensure that objectives are clearly defined, so that success may be measured • Make the event fun, casual but packed with mutual value (company, clients and salespeople) – plus time for networking with the ‘Out-of-Towners’ • Ensure that the event is professionally organised • Define the objective(s) of the event and its success, or otherwise, will be measured • Restrict each presenter’s time to what is necessary • Decide on facilitator, presenters and attendees because of the value they’ll bring to the session(s). Deliver with Relevance, Joy and Passion
5 Account Managers and Sales Personnel are two completely different type of resources and need to be treated as such… Internal Sales Meetings • Depending on the various sales cycles of a company’s solutions portfolio, will depend on the periodicity of sales meetings: • Major Outsourcing opportunities may take many months (if not years) to reach fruition • FMG (fast moving goods) are products, commodities and consumables and thus information is needed on a continuous basis to know the position of sales, stock, delivery period etc. • Dashboards are very important tools and should be carefully crafted and distributed. In most organisations these will be used as the Sales Meeting Agenda’ • Marketplace and Industry challenges and trends should be presented on a regular a basis • Account Plans should be presented, at least on a quarterly basis. Focus on Mentoring and Opportunity Management
6 Do not let the ‘Moments of Truths’ be the costly interactions where failures occur… External Sales Meetings • Every ‘Moment of Truth’ is a potential sales interaction • All client interactions should have clearly defined objectives • An actual sales call must be well defined, with both seller and buyer taking on particular rules • The seller will ensure clarity of purpose and table his discriminators from competitors. The buyer will (hopefully) discuss their evaluation criteria and the available budget • It’s courting – but of a more serious kind, as the outcome impacts on many other people. The seller needs to sell to keep his company alive. The buyer needs to ensure that his company is also kept alive by the purchase of correct solutions, services etc. Focus on the Client’s Business Strategy and Resonate
7 Disconnection between the Presenters and the Audience is an organisations ‘Moment of Truth’ of potential disaster… Sales Conference • Define the objective(s) of the Sales Conference and have a golden thread flowing • Most Sales Conferences occur at the start of a new Financial Year and have at least elements of ‘looking back’ and ‘forward’. It’s also normally where the annual awards are handled • Sales Conferences either go incredibly well – or incredibly badly. In both cases it’s not the problem of the marketing department but of the senior business executive involved in the formulation of the event • Reality states that a Sales Conference should be fun, exciting and enjoyable… but must also deliver a message… a theme that transcends the various presentations and functions… without it, the Sales Conference becomes merely an event of disjointed presentations that soon fade into oblivion. Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) becoming approaching zero. Engage with the Audience or Create a Disaster
8 Most Multi-National Companies (MNCs) have swapped Trade Shows for other, more relevant, types of marketing of their offerings… Trade Shows • Trade shows are an expensive means of marketing and generating leads. Expenses range from the actual physical environment (e.g. stand/booth construction/dismantling, courtesy room, audio/visual equipment) and marketing paraphernalia (e.g. hand-outs, flyers, freebies, prizes) to the time that the employees are ‘manning the stand’ as they are away from their normal activities. Add onto this the refreshments and you will be able to see where the expenses are heading. • The question thus arises – and it will – as to what was the return for such a trade show. Did you manage to clinch any deals? Did you manage to do any marketing that couldn’t have been done in other situations? • In fact, betting a pound to a penny, most attendees at your booth/stand will be people that you frequently deal with on a normal business day… Identify how your competitors are marketing
9 Once at the social interaction stage of a business relationship, do not overstep the mark with an intimacy that is not expected nor needed… Business Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners • Many people enjoy the social interaction over a meal and, once you’ve developed a robust working relationship with your client, it’s a good way of moving it to more of a social level – thereby bonding the relationship even further • Invitation to the spouses/partners? This will depend on the actual client’s themselves. Some clients prefer to keep work and family as separate entities and this needs to be firmly respected • Some breakfasts can be turned into ‘seminars’ and it’s also a good time to pass on a brief message • Lunches and Dinner are for different types of interaction, but still with the same objectives – to further reinforce relationships and/or focus on specific opportunities and move then along to fruition. It’s also a good time for C-level people to meet… as it’s informal and most discussions will be at the business level. Food for Thought or Social Disaster?
10 Cliché Corporations are ‘Ten a Penny’ on the ‘Opportunity Landscape’, do not become one of them… Closing • The old cliché of ‘Sales is a Science – not an Art’ underlines the fact that all aspects of sales must be clearly defined and planned. All interactions with clients (or prospects) are ‘moments of truth’. All ‘moments of truth’ result in a positive or negative outcome from the pre-defined objectives • Most sales events contain at least one ‘moment of truth’ with a client/prospect and these must be monitored carefully • However, it must be borne in mind that each negative outcome may be salvaged if the reasons are clearly understood and this requires openness across all personnel involved in the sales process • Once again, without clearly defined objectives there would be no possible way of knowing whether an event has been successful, or not, or whether the ‘Moments of Truth’ have been positive or negative. Awe, Wonderment & Anything in the Universe is Possible
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