My wife and I love a little restaurant near our home. They have the absolute best poke bowl we’ve eaten anywhere.
We’ve tried making this dish at home, but it’s just not the same, even when we use the same ingredients. That’s because it’s not just the ingredients that make a dish – it’s the combination and proportion of ingredients, how they’re prepared, what tools are used, how they’re cooked and in what appliances, the order in which the preparation is completed, the skill of the cooks, and how it’s all presented.
Some restaurants might get all these factors right some of the time. Others may get it mostly right most of the time. But this one restaurant gets all of those factors right, all of the time, and as a result: We’re hooked.
We love it so much, we’d rather go there any day than to one of the many big-name chain restaurants in town, where the quality and experience might be good or might be not so good.
What if you could hook your customers the same way? What if there were some unique alchemy that would bring them back to your metaphorical door over and over, and/or keep them in your metaphorical house once they get there? What if they would consistently choose you over even the big name competitors that currently win a lot of business away from you?
Our little restaurant has a unique Way of Cooking that keeps customers coming back, and likewise, you can develop a unique Way of Selling that will do the same for you.
Many sales teams have a sales strategy, a sales process, and/or methods. You may have sales tools and a positive sales culture. You might have training and enablement. But none of these things is your unique Way of Selling.
Your unique Way of Selling is all of those things and something more. It’s the unique alchemy of how your process and methodology are executed by your sales team to support your strategy. It includes how your tools and training and enablement reinforce and support your sales team in executing on the process and methodology. And it’s how your team hands off responsibilities and communication throughout the sales process.
But it’s not truly your unique Way of Selling unless everyone on your team executes on it perfectly, every time.
That’s how our favorite restaurant hooks guests, and that’s how your sales organization can hook more buyers.
We’re huge proponents of sales process and methodology here at Membrain. We partner with consultants and trainers to embed their methodologies and training directly into our software and to customize it to fit their clients’ needs.
But process and methodology alone are not a complete Way of Selling. Your Way of Selling must account for the unique needs and drives of your particular audience, and your particular products and services. It will account for the competitors in your space, and will dynamically adapt based on what competitors your buyer is considering and/or any other pressures that arise during the process.
You can implement almost any methodology, and it’s likely to help your sales team. They all have good points. But no methodology straight out of the box will account for all of the unique aspects of your organization and sales environment.
But when you take methodologies and weave them into your process and strategy and environment, then you have the beginning of a unique Way of Selling.
Almost every industry has an “800-pound gorilla” that dominates the field. It can be difficult or impossible to compete on price or features with a well-funded and established competitor. Even if you don’t compete against a “big fish,” you may have two or three competitors that more often win than lose against you.
But the way you sell can change that.
When your customer feels heard and seen, when their needs are responsively and competently handled, when the process runs so smoothly that it makes them eager and excited for each new step, when all of this happens so consistently they know they can count on it–then you have a customer who will come to your little restaurant before heading to the giant chain restaurant on the corner, any day.
All of this is well and good in theory, but establishing a consistent Way of Selling isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would already be doing it.
Not easy, but anyone can do it.
Your first step is simply to recognize and understand that it is possible. Just as our favorite restaurant created a Way of Cooking that works consistently no matter who is in the kitchen, you can do the same for your sales organization.
The second step is to align your sales strategy, process, methodology, training, and coaching into an effective system that forms the basis of your Way of Selling. Your Way of Selling should focus on the buyer and the specific ways you best help them. It should be dynamic and continually optimized.
Finally, your Way of Selling needs to be embedded in your team’s daily workflows. Salespeople should be guided through the Way of Selling by their CRM. They should be enabled by training content and customer collateral directly within their CRM’s workflow. And your coaches should be enabled by effective and aligned analytics that help them pinpoint where each salesperson needs additional support.
Additionally, your process should create clear hand-off points so that everyone knows who is responsible for each part of the sales process, and can handle their part effectively and competently.
When you have done these three things, you’ll have a Way of Selling that can be executed across your organization, no matter how large your sales force is or how many countries and continents it spans. And you’ll have a Way of Selling that brings customers back again and again, no matter what the competitive landscape looks like.
I’d love to show you how Membrain can form the backbone of your Way of Selling. Contact us for a demonstration.
George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills and processes.