We are increasingly being asked how to take existing, successful sales forces and get them to do new things. In our experience, organisations are recognising that alongside their traditional products and services, they also possess considerable subject matter expertise that has value in itself, and an obvious next step is to develop a consulting offering.
The challenge for businesses trying to do this is that they quickly realise how little of the customers business they have visibility of, and relationships with. Technology transactions typically sit within a broader business change programme and if organisations want to sell their knowledge and expertise as a separate consulting proposition, they need to change the conversations that their sales people have with their customers, and more often than not, change who their sales people have relationships with.
To be truly affective in this role, contact needs to be at the problem definition stage, rather than a supplier ITT stage because by this time the decisions have already been made, and your expertise may even be seen as a hindrance because the customer has already made their mind up about what and how. To be engaged as a trusted advisor to your customers, you need relationships that are transparent, trusted and probably quite mature. In short this is not something you or your sales people can create overnight.
So the first thing to do is to be realistic about what is possible in the short term.
The process of behavioural change relies on getting the right balance between the following:
Crelos are currently undertaking a research programme into what makes high performance in sales in the future. If you would be interested in taking part, please contact Leon Fisher on 07912 194 946 or email email@example.com.