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Get the Edge. Upgrade that old sales training program.

I remember in Sales training being told to ask high value questions. Or 'open-ended' questions to get the clients talking. I remember having a list of "high value" questions taped to the inside of my notebook, so I could refer to them just before stepping into a meeting - fresh to fire them off and blow the client away!

The trouble was, they did not always fit contextually to the client, their business, or the conversation. And chances are the client had the same questions asked of them by the last sales rep.

I would wonder, why are these magic questions not working! The trainer said they would and that they would change my client relationships for the better and grow my pipeline. I became more and more frustrated - I cared about the clients, I believed in what we offered, but there seemed to be a constant mis-match. What was I doing wrong?

Looking back, it is clear why some organisations have high turnover of sales staff. Maybe blaming bad hires, not having a big enough commission budget, or other factors. Some of which may be true, but often it's because of a lack of investment in the sales approach that the organisation wants to take to market. How they want their salespeople to be showing up and perceived by clients and the greater market.

Going around in circles like I did is what drives salespeople to leave companies, believing they have no future there. Not seeing any development plans or investment in building their skills. They are not seeing a way out!

Luckily that was not what happened to me.

I realised discovery questions need to be relevant to the client and their business. Going in with questions that makes sense to me means nothing to the client.

So, I changed the discovery session process and adopted a simple model that both the Client and I could follow. A model that would work with any business, but that would also produce a completely unique result for a client. It focussed on areas that mattered to the client and questions that were asked in their terms. I tested it out with real Clients and saw some amazing results. Here are the top 4...

- The clients were visibly surprised by this strategic discovery session approach. I could feel the shift in engagement from them. There did not seem to be the typical barely engaged, going through the motions demeanour anymore. Again, they were expecting what the last sales rep did.

- The Executives and Senior Managers I delivered this model to started to see me differently. I was no longer perceived solely as a sales rep from Supplier X, I was someone who spoke to them differently than others, on their level. There was a shift in their perception of me, how they spoke to me and how they valued me. In the industry I was in, this put me way ahead of my competitors.

- My pipeline grew 10X! Because of this new Meta approach to my accounts, I had so many new areas of opportunity. Clients were giving me honest explanations on what was important to them. And until you uncover what is going to make a meaningful impact to the client, you are not partnering. I now no longer had issues getting second, third, or forth meetings to dive deeper or bring in specialists to unpack a specific area.

- The idea I had that I worked in Sales disappeared. This was no longer "sales" in the traditional sense. Instead, it was strategic partnering, working collaboratively with clients to help them achieve their goals and make a meaningful difference in their business. Helping someone else (or their business) get what they need to really make a difference, creating a meaningful relationship, and solving problems is what the world is all about. It transcends Sales.

This approach is called Executive Edge. Whether you are the Executive, or the Client is the Executive, it's what provides the Edge. Developed from the experience of finding out what didn’t work with decision makers and changing how I showed up.

Our Aim? To elevate your sales team's game so they are equipped and ready for strategic discovery sessions that put them in a position with their clients and accounts to make a real difference.

We teach you how to:

  • Position yourself strategically from Day 1.

  • Frame your discovery sessions in a way that resonates with senior management.

  • Get to the heart of what is really going on for the individual and organisation. What is happening in the inner world and what is happening in their outer world.

  • What are they already trying to address and how are they doing it.

  • How are they measuring success. How will you know when they have achieved success with your help?

  • What are the real issues standing in the way of success. What needs to be solved to be able to move forward? What would happen if they are not solved?

  • How to craft your products and services around what the client needs the most and why they should work with you!

Because this model is cumulative, it can be simply completed on a whiteboard, notebook, or a piece of paper by drawing 4 quadrants. And the Client is involved the entire time!

From there, we teach how to craft a Well Formed Deal. Know where you and the client stand in the process and removing the ambiguity around whether or not a deal is qualified enough.

We use a series of questions broken up into 3 areas: Outcome, Context, and Process questions.

To share a few:

  • Is this the upmost top priority that you and the client should be investing time and resources into, or is there something even more important?

  • How is the opportunity stated? Towards a goal or away from pain? What the client wants -> what they have now -> what is missing.

  • Is it compelling? What is on the other side of achieving this, why now?.

  • Given that, when exactly does this need to be done? Is that likely to be achieved by then?

  • Who else needs to be involved for that to happen? Is this within control or power?

  • Has this been attempted before? What happened?

  • Is this ecological for the company?

Creating a well-formed-deal puts your and the Client in a robust position to continue efforts towards a successful outcome.

If you are reading this as a Business Owner or Sales Manager who runs a team of strategic and solution sellers, can you imagine having 100% of your team showing up in this way with your clients? How would operating in this way elevate the position of your team in your market?

Want more? Our Performance Edge offering combines all of this plus Developmental Coaching services for your team. Finally there is a single program where organisations can invest in the performance, growth and well-being of their people together!

To chat about how these programs can fit into your organisation, book a chat now.

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