Archive - November 2000
Why Does Skilled Internal Selling Matter?
While effective internal selling doesn’t directly produce the big flashes of revenues that external selling can, it does increase efficiency and ensure that more external sales
happen—two outcomes that can have a marked impact on your company’s bottom line. By outfitting your sales professionals and managers with the skills they need to effectively propose new solutions for customer needs that your company is not currently meeting, you can help your organization:
- Capture and mine more revenue generating ideas,
- Strengthen relationships with current customers, and
- Generate new business.
What is Skilled Internal Selling?
First, let’s explain what Skilled Internal Selling isn’t. It isn’t inside sales. Skilled Internal Selling is effectively proposing an idea—the use of one of or a combination of your company’s products, services, or other resources—in a new way that will benefit both the customer and your company. The skill is in making sure the idea is proposed effectively, in the language of the executives who have the power to approve it. This means your sales professionals and managers must be able to:
- Confirm the idea is aligned with your company’s strategic goals,
- Include the revenue/expense justification for the investment,
- Detail the broader competitive impact of the solution,
- Provide a strategic profile of the account,
- Utilize credible benchmarks and estimates,
- Address the concerns of all business functions that will be involved, from marketing to legal,
- Understand the criteria decision makers will use to evaluate the proposal, and
- Identify appropriate stakeholders to build cross-functional support for the idea.
Who Benefits From Skilled Internal Selling?
While you, your company, and your customer all benefit from streamlining and standardizing your internal selling process, the one-day Skilled Internal Selling training solution itself is targeted to sales professionals and managers at or near the customer level. These are the individuals in the best position to identify unmet customer needs and formulate solutions to meet those needs. This program provides them the guidance they need to get those ideas proposed and approved.
What are the Results of Skilled Internal Selling?
A growing startup in an innovative healthcare marketplace implemented Skilled Internal Selling after recognizing that many good ideas were hidden behind bad proposals and that turning bad proposals into reviewable proposals utilized too many resources. The program helped the company take advantage of more revenue-generating opportunities. Today, the company is a leader in the marketplace and is known for having a sales force of strategic thinkers.
Decades of research from our work with top innovative global biopharmas reveals best-in-class sales professionals do certain things very effectively…
…we call these “strategic behaviors,” and our research shows these behaviors are the most valuable differentiators of top-performing reps.
There are actually more than a dozen strategic behaviors, but our researchers have identified the six that, if adopted by middle-of-the-curve sales professionals, can have the most immediate impact on performance.
The Issue: To differentiate in a crowded marketplace, science-led healthcare businesses must train their sales professionals to deliver customer value.
Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Successfully delivering customer value takes a research-based sales training system that:
- Emphasizes the key behaviors of top performers
- Integrates a common framework and language into the organization, and
- Is expertly customized to both the organization and the industry
The Solution: Achieving Sales Excellence
Achieving Sales Excellence (ASE) builds on extensive sales force effectiveness research to help your sales professionals and your business deliver the customer value that extends far beyond the product. The ASE system is customizable and scalable and has helped leading companies in and out of the healthcare industry win customers and boost results.
The Challenge for National Accounts Managers
While typical biopharma account managers are experts at identifying customer needs from a clinical perspective, they are less skilled at identifying customer needs from financial and organizational perspectives. As a result, they miss critical opportunities to align your organization’s solutions to the problems your customers really want to solve. These missed opportunities translate into lost revenue.
The Solution from Alliance Performance Systems: GearWorks™
To capture this revenue, organizations must help national account managers develop a big picture understanding of their customer’s business. And the training provided must be more than a humdrum introduction to financial concepts. Sales professionals need a comprehensive business acumen, organizational fluency, and financial literacy development solution that is built on research-based best practices and that also engages them in hands-on, active learning. This solution is GearWorks™.
Read “Using Business Acumen to Secure Competitive Advantage: How GearWorks™ Can Drive Sales at the National Accounts Level” to learn how Alliance Performance Systems can help your sales professionals secure competitive advantage by leveraging all opportunities within an account.
Pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms spend millions of dollars each year onboarding new sales representatives. While the dedicated dollars suggest these companies recognize the importance of providing their newest reps with the knowledge and skills to succeed, the lack of planned, comprehensive reviews of their new-hire training programs suggests otherwise. These programs, which provide the critical foundations and phased development that ensure new hires become successful sellers, demand regular review and also regular refreshing and reengineering.
But, how does a pharmaceutical or biotechnology sales organization know it’s the right time to reengineer its new-hire curriculum? The specific answer to that question depends on the unique situation of the individual organization. However, some general indicators should raise a red flag for companies trying to gauge the health of their new-hire curriculums.
Alliance Performance Systems surveyed its team of industry experts to pinpoint the six signs it’s time to reengineer your new-hire curriculum.
Read Alliance Performance Systems’ latest article, “Six Signs It’s Time to Reengineer Your New-Hire Curriculum” to learn if your new-hire curriculum needs to be reengineered in order to more rapidly prepare your sales force to make successful sales.
What’s the difference between good salespeople and great salespeople?
Good salespeople know their customers. Great salespeople REALLY know their customers. And in the healthcare industry, really knowing your customer means knowing more than just clinical needs. You must understand personal, operational, and other needs to create true customer value.
How can you learn more about the power of really knowing your customer?
- Watch the video below.
- Download our white paper, From ‘Scripts to Solutions: Developing the Business-Savvy Sales Rep.