Building a better sales pipeline is a lot like that famous lyric from Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler: “Know when to walk away, know when to run.”
Through my years as a sales leader, I’ve learned that, despite our natural instinct as sellers to fight to win every sale, sometimes it’s best to walk away when the prospect goes cold.
In the February issue of Top Sales Magazine, I reflect on a recent situation where a prospect went cold, explore five reasons why it can happen even to the best of us, and share some strategies you can employ to tackle the challenges when they arise.
Today’s topic in The Modern Seller video series is client loyalty. It used to be that satisfaction was the highest measure of success, and it’s still what many companies measure. But in the new sales economy, satisfaction is merely table stakes. Gallup has done research in this space and found that only 29% of our clients are truly engaged with us. Loyal.
That leaves up to 71 percent of clients that range anywhere from very satisfied to completely disengaged. These are the clients that can be swayed to move elsewhere…even the satisfied ones.
Modern Sellers are what I call Ambassadors. They’re skilled at cultivating loyalty and building long-term value. Because they take this long view, it’s a game changer for sales growth. The likelihood of expanding your sales into an existing loyal client is between 60 to 70 percent. The likelihood of selling to a net new prospect is only 5 to 20 percent.
To cultivate greater selling power, there are three common loyalty traits that are worth building in your best clients. I discuss these more in this week’s video.
Today’s topic in The Modern Seller video series is on how you can build a network ecosystem that creates better selling opportunities and results.
In the past, we could focus our sales efforts only on those buying our services. The risk with that approach is that we may be missing a relationship that’s key to earning a client’s business. In the new sales economy, we need to get beyond our usual silos to work across the organization, and sometimes even outside of it. Your network ecosystem will help you solve for that.
Your network ecosystem is the set of relationships you need to reach a specific sales or opportunity goal. The ecosystem will have a few major characteristics. There will be internal and external relationships. There will various levels of influence. There will be strategic and functional relationships. And often there will be multiple decision makers, depending on the opportunity and size of the organization.
An action step to take is building out your Network Ecosystem for a key client. In this video, I walk through four key groups you’ll want to prioritize in your relationship-building efforts:
– Decision makers
– Centers of influence
– Strategic alliances