What’s the Value of Creativity in Sales Meetings?

What’s the Value of Creativity in Sales Meetings?

Part I of a Series about Creative Sales Presentations. In the IBM study of 1,500 Chief Executive Offices from 60 countries and 33 industries worldwide, it was found that creativity—not rigor, management discipline, integrity or vision— was more crucial to navigating an increasingly complex world. Creativity is commonly defined as a “phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed.” But what does that mean for those of us in sales? In the context of sales presentations, creativity comes into play in both the background preparation of the sales presentation, and the “think on your toes” moments inside the sales meeting. Both require research, knowledge, and an integrated understanding of the buyer’s struggles and behavior patterns. Sure, everyone wants to use the best sales presentation software and tools, but before we start talking technology, we need first to address our brains. Here are some ways you can encourage creativity in your team and individual reps. Creativity in Sales Meeting Preparation. Knowing the prospects’ industry, pain points, and buying attitudes is the foundation of creativity before the sales meeting. Creativity needs focus to thrive—a contextual aim that propels new ideas to occur. To help foster creativity for sales reps, it’s important to employ the following while developing sales meeting materials: Give direction to employees, then space: Giving teams the task of developing a new way to present the product or solution is the first step. The next step is time: time to allow individuals to find their ideas in the unlikely places they normally appear, like on breaks or time off. Creative ideas are rarely conceived on the spot, or...
Biggest Sales Challenges for 2015

Biggest Sales Challenges for 2015

A recent survey from the sales training and coaching consultants at Richardson points out some interesting results for the top sales challenges for 2015. The study is based on 370 responses from sales reps, sales professionals and sales leaders, mainly from B2B industries. Gaining appointments with leads and potential buyers is respondents’ top prospecting challenge in 2015; the second being identification of potentially solvable triggers/sales signals. The third is creating a targeted prospecting strategy.   Gaining appointments in a highly competitive landscape where buyers have much more control is a major challenge for all of us. Generating leads, and especially qualifying them, is — from a sales perspective— one of the main marketing challenges today. It becomes even more challenging when you actually get to encounter a potential buyer, and you have that one opportunity to create value and insight during the sales conversation.   What actually will bring the real insights is real data which uncovers what sales conversations are actually based on. And if they’re done right, as we talk about here, those conversations are based on clients’ needs.  This is where new sales technology enables new opportunities to actually know what happens during sales conversations—which then provides the basis for improvements for both sales and marketing, and eventually individual sales reps. In frequent conversations with sales management, we get clear indications about this need for real-time sales meeting data. For example,  even when a CRM is used correctly, there are glitches in the information that managers receive. Even with the strongest, most responsible sales reps, there’s usually a gap in understanding what’s happening out there in the...
Everyone buzzes about being “customer-driven”— but what does it actually mean?

Everyone buzzes about being “customer-driven”— but what does it actually mean?

Property managers, software developers, and bankers — simply everyone talks about how they work with processes that are customer-driven. Sure it’s a buzzword, and there are several reasons why many companies use it. And, when properly used, customer-driven processes and activities are golden eggs for your sales. Studies indicate that buyers now have already completed up to 60 percent of the buying process before they contact a potential supplier. They have read and compared alternatives and discarded businesses and solutions that they do not believe can solve their problems. Our experience is that it has become harder for clients to commit to meetings, and that the requirements for the meeting itself have increased significantly. You need to be able to deliver your presentation according to the new expectations as an expert, rather than a “talking catalog.” It’s not about you. A customer-driven process is about meeting customer needs and expectations—and to answer the questions that they ask. It’s not only to find out what customers think, but why they think like they do, and then provide your solution on that basis. Customer-driven sales presentations work the same way as qualitative research. Unlike quantitative surveys—where the goal may be to get as many YES or NO answers as possible —the purpose of a qualitative study is to go deep and find out, in detail, what a person wants, thinks, or feels. Seen in this light, authentic customer-driven presentations address the prospect in the same way a market research company asks during random phone calls—with detailed-focused questions that require thought-out answers. Simply stated: the purpose of a customer-driven sales presentation is...
Seven Tips for Creating Outstanding Client Dialogues

Seven Tips for Creating Outstanding Client Dialogues

A study with 1,400 B2B customers across separate industries revealed that almost 60 percent* of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier. Customers read up on the subject, compare options, and reject solutions that they don’t believe are for them—without ever giving businesses a chance for a direct encounter. So, when you enter a meeting, how can you be sure of what the customer wants to talk about—and be prepared for it? The answer lies in customer-driven processes; which revolve around around meeting customer needs and expectations, and providing the answers their questions. The aim is to not only find out what customers think and feel—but to find out why they do so…and then build a solution on that basis. Here are seven tips for creating meetings and dialogues that to a larger extent are driven by the customer—not the seller.   1. Listen, and let the customer lead the way. Go to the meeting with the attitude that you are there to learn about the client and their industry. Listen to what the customer has to say and try to understand the challenges, problems, buyer role and opportunities they face before you suggest a solution. Only when you have created some degree of trust can you really start thinking about your solutions. 2. Sell what the customers need, not what they want to buy. Before your sales meeting, customers have already identified their problems and have chosen you—and a number of other companies—as potential suppliers to the solution. The customer is obviously an expert in their field, but their perceived problems...
Tablets, hybrid PC’s and what’s next? How does this affect interaction?

Tablets, hybrid PC’s and what’s next? How does this affect interaction?

We operate in a technical, fast changing world. We’re already facing the next challenge – to define the different types of interactive devices introduced to the market. Tablets, ‘touch PC’, ‘hybrid laptops’ are just the beginning. But, at the same time, literally, just words. Regardless of the hardware’s character or name, it is its touch and interactive capabilities which provide the means to enhance the experience – to support the communication between two people. The modern concept of interaction can be traced back to the web and the gaming world where interaction is based between man and ‘PC’. Today this is possible to apply to most things and where UX and related design is a bit of buzz-words. ‘Gamification’, anyone? Interaction may obviously also consist of people – two people communicating with each other. Traditionally, business applications have also contained a certain amount of interactivity, but in a more restrained manner. This is a different challenge that we’re facing; how ‘business applications’ – in our case a smart presentation on a tablet, can respond to and support communication between two people. As most of the stuff we do, this is not rocket science. But it certainly requires new ways of thinking. It also requires simplicity; we try to break old habits of linear, non-interactive presentations. But our customers are willing to change as the benefits are clear. We confirm over and over again that sales reps have problems with accessing relevant materials in sales meetings and to support a dialog with customers. The reason why the interaction and access to key content is much more important is because different...

A Meeting Performance Platform

Yooba Sales Meeting Performance provides strategic and functional sales technology designed to increase productivity and sales results. By providing interactive content, training, and analytics for sales reps and frontline managers, Yooba powers client-facing meetings with an unprecedented advantage.


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