What Is Your Sales Team Selling – Transactions or Relationships?
The next time you review your new accounts report with your Vice President of Sales, pick a few and ask her if the sales person sold a transaction or a relationship. There are very few businesses that are purely transactional. And while it is relatively easy to take an order or make a “one-time” sale, selling a relationship will pay dividends in the long run. But here’s the challenge – selling a relationship takes more time, stronger commitment, more discipline and superior selling skills.
Your sales team will take orders all day if you let them. And if you need the revenue what’s the harm?
But with effective sales coaching and strong accountability, your sales managers should help their team move beyond the transactional sale and into relationship sales. When you sell a relationship the right way, multiple transactions will follow. Keep in mind, it’s possible to have a customer buying things multiple times – one transaction at a time – and still not be in a strong relationship with them (check their loyalty, who else do they work with, how much of their business is going to your competitors, etc.).
Here’s the real test. Are the people on your sales team willing to walk away from “a transaction” if the prospect is not willing to build a relationship? It may seem counterintuitive, but when your sales team has this level of discipline you will see your sales results explode. And how will customer service and client satisfaction improve when your sales team is focused on building fewer, deeper relationships?
Now here’s the really tough question. Which of the sales people on your team can make the transition from an order taker focused on transactions to a consultative sales professional focused on building relationships? Do you know? Does your sales manager? Can you afford not to know this?