There’s a couple, in fact , three key skills that I believe every sales person needs to master in order to truly become successful in the world of Enterprise Resource Planning software sales.
Of course there are multiple skills you need to have but I have picked the following three because over the last 20 years of working as an ERP sales person, mentoring others and delivering sales training classes and fielding questions from sales people, both novice and “expert”, these 3 seem to be the ones that most successful salespeople master and yet so many other “less successful” sales people seem to struggle with.
The first of these is being able to craft a compelling value proposition
The second is building an ROI Based Business Case
The third is being able to diagnose a customers real business issues and match their product or solution to those problems – something that is know in Solution Selling TM circles as Situational Fluency.
The thread that runs through all 3 of these skills is empathy.
Now, according to Wikipedia, the English word is derived from the Ancient Greek word empatheia, “physical affection, passion, partiality” which comes from (en), “in, at” + (pathos), “passion” or “suffering”.
So its important to understand there are 2 kinds of empathy, the first being emotional empathy – being able to understand and identify with someone’s emotional state.
The second is cognitive empathy – being able to understand and identify with their mental state or point of view.
So you need to have both these in order to be able to master the 3 skills I mentioned.
For me though empathy is all about being able to see the world from someone else’s perspective.
That’s absolutely critical because all three skills are based and built on your ability to understand your prospective customer – their business situation, their industry, their personal situation and their vision for their business and to be able to explain it in terms that they understand and identify with.
I’ll cover each of these 3 skills in future blog posts but for now I wanted to set the framework for these and why I believe they are so important.
The best products and services and the best price don’t always win – that’s why these 3 areas are so critical – they all tie back to the concept of value – being able to identify, demonstrate and prove the value of your solution.
Because if there’s no value then there’s no sale.