In my last blog, I pointed out that today salespeople must be customer-centric: that is, placing the majority of focus on the buyer, their issues and needs instead of the seller’s product only. In this blog let’s discuss the need to be industry-specific in these efforts, and what that requires.
So now we have a salesperson that has entrepreneurial spirit—a salespreneur. The salespreneur is customer-centric, honing in on the buyer’s needs and issues, and then applying sound product knowledge to those needs.
The next step is to ensure that a sales team is precisely focused on the industry they are in. In a rather obvious example, the seller activities for a company that builds custom cabinetry are going to be vastly different from one in investment banking. A CEO or sales leader in either industry could not take some generic sales process approach and try and apply it—it has to be specific to that industry.
The primary reason for this is that buyers in each industry will have completely different actions. Someone shopping for cabinetry will want to be assured of things like workmanship, the fit into existing space, materials used, and of course price. Someone seeking the services of investment banking would be concerned with interest rates, percentage of company being asked for, board seats required and other factors.
The seller’s actions must be customer-centric for those specific buyers (as we talked about in our last blog) and tailored for that industry.
A Sales Playbook
These actions must become a sales playbook for the company. Each of the stages in the sales process must have a “chapter” in that playbook—or might perhaps have its own playbook, one for each stage.
The playbook describes what must be done in each stage by the seller, in coordination with the buyer. Both the buyer and seller have actions that must be taken for the sale to advance from stage to stage.
The Right Tools: A Vital Necessity
For the playbook and all its coordinated actions to truly function, though, a company will need a CRM solution. But many CRM applications—especially traditional ones—don’t have the needed flexibility to be rapidly adaptable to specific industry seller actions as outlined above. As we’ve shown, no two industries are alike, let alone companies.
A “generic” CRM is old-school—it is seller-centric as opposed to customer-centric. You must be able to, through CRM, focus on that customer and their specific needs and buying patterns.
In this regard, Pipeliner CRM stands alone:
- Pipeliner is instantly customizable to a company’s sales process, and can be changed on the fly when needed.
- Within Sales Stages (steps of the sales process), specific tasks and activities necessary are also instantly customizable, and can even be made mandatory.
- Pipeliner’s unique Smart Org Chart & Buying Center make it possible for salespeople to keep exact, visual track of all contacts and influencers attached to a company and an opportunity.
- Exact records of factors specific to a buyer and company can be kept and instantly retrieved when needed, so all data pertaining to that specific buyer, company and industry is always available.
So ensure your sales team is focused in on exact, specific actions needed for your industry and, of course, for each company. Also make sure you have Pipeliner CRM to fully keep up.
Find out how vital Pipeliner CRM is to your success. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.
Watch for the next in our series on Building a Sales Team.