You’re at the forefront now. And your business needs sales management methods that work in conditions of both stability and uncertainty. We decided to sort this issue out together with Valentin Yaromenko – White Sales CEO and Creators.city co-owner. His specialization is sales organization and sales management.
The key message lies of White Sales methodology is to understand the client’s request and sell him only what he really needs. Not what he voiced, but what he needs. For example, if a customer says, “I want Lexus.” Is this indeed his real need?
Valentine found an answer for himself, under what conditions do some people sell something, while others buy. All this in the context of behavioral motives. And he knows how to make it happen regularly.
Next comes direct speech by Valentine. The conversation was hold by Alexandr Fedotov, Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO) at Olshansky & Partners.
Problems of business adaptation during the quarantine period
Most companies in one or another way switched to remote mode of operation. Due to this they immediately got problems.
First. There is sabotage of online consultations, online sales, and online negotiations by sellers. People are afraid, shy or unable to do this. You need to explain, train, and play with them so that they gain momentum.
Second. Many leaders now fear that they do not control people. If earlier it was possible to come around the desktop and ask what a person is busy with right in a moment, then now it is not clear what all of them are doing at home. The solution is to manage the processes based on numbers. You need to define sales figures and make them public. Everyone at the company should understand what’s happening. For example, how many targeted calls we had, how many of them have moved to the consultation phase (online meetings), how many sales took place. Separately, we can take into consideration other activities: incoming and outgoing calls, appointed consultations, and consultations that were hold.
Third. You need to review the brief and the offer. There should be ten compulsory questions in the brief. They must be asked to the client to find out his real need. Then, based on this, make the most understandable offer with two or three arguments that the client named when filling out the brief.
One more thing: now is a good time for accelerated implementation of innovations that have been postponed. If earlier, when people were in a comfort zone, in case of any changes they would say, “Just get off my back, I won’t do that”, now they’re scared. They understand that tomorrow they can be cut or fired. They are sitting in terrible, uncomfortable conditions in their pajamas at home and do not understand what will happen tomorrow. And if you tell them: “Everything will be cool, we are introducing innovations and new sales standards,” – this is perceived much better.
White Sales Philosophy
White sales are those sales in which both parties enjoy the process. It is necessary to offer the client only the service he needs. And describe it in such a way so that the client understands what he has already paid for and what he will pay for in the future. This should be as clear as possible. Likewise, on the client-side.
Sales Requirements for the Future Marketing Function
Marketing and Sales have a common goal – to sell. They should not fight, like cats and dogs. To avoid this, you must follow certain requirements.
Clear game rules. It is necessary to register both sides’ responsibilities. It should be clearly indicated whose task is it. One person must be responsible for one task. Thus, the entire business process is clearly divided: this is the task of the marketing department, and that one belongs to sales department. And in the context of each process, you can identify what does the marketer and what does the sales manager.
Playing field. Here comes the necessity to record acts of reception and transmission of activities according to a single standard. All the leads that marketing generates are accepted by sellers, and marketing should see the results. For example, marketers provided 200 calls. Sellers should return this information in real time and explain that out of 200 calls generated from advertising by marketing department, only 100 are unique. 50 call out of these 100 calls were from one source, and 50 from another.
How to organize sales for a new product
Those who want to fine-tune their business processes will need to take several steps.
Step 1. Description of business processes. For the last six years, we have been sticking to the Japanese “conveyor” model when we describe the process in a Kanban- board. And at the same time there are no more than six steps in it: “New Leads”, “Brief”, “Offer”, “Reserve”, “Contract” and “Finish”. What do these steps give us? They provide an opportunity to measure at what stage how many deals we have at the moment.
Step 2. Creating a Salesbook. The first part – it is necessary to describe the company from the inside: as you see it, receiving incoming calls and making outgoing calls, and so on. The second part is connecting to the CRM system. Companies that do not have CRM are dying first right now. It is necessary to create a holistic model. Consider localized solutions, always with communication channels, telephones, instant messengers, social networks and configure them immediately to the “conveyor” that was identified at the first stage.
Step 3. Studying and avoiding manual control. We recommend switching to a single system, into a single task manager. We use a large task manager, in which you can find almost all our communication on work, on projects, on tasks. Probably, 90% of tasks and 90% of our communications take place in ClickUp, and only 10% – mail and meetings.
What’s a kanban-board, Salesbook and where to get them
Kanban-board is like virtual tables that stand in the sales department. There is an instruction at each table with three points – what you need to do with the lead at one table in order to proceed to the next. At each table, there is a man who took the lead, performed certain actions with it and passed it to the next table. In fact, processing occurs at each stage, resembling a conveyor. This method provides higher productivity. After the introduction of a Kanban- board, even a super-efficient seller has several times higher sales, because he has more time, he sees when and what to do and, as a result, does not do extra work.
Salesbook is a book about sales that include scripts. All people communicate using simple scripts. The task is to provide some control and understanding that people are retrained to work according to the correct scripts.
Where a person, who has never done this before, can get all this stuff? Even before it became mainstream, we posted all our videos, lessons and courses in free access at our YouTube channel. You can also write to White Sales, and we will send you templates.
“White sales are those sales in which both parties enjoy the process.”
About White Sales and Brand Development
There was a time when the country was oversaturated with sales trainers. If I am not mistaken, there were more than 5000 of them in Ukraine. At that time the main problem for me was my presence on that list. Even now, at some sites I can still be found as a business coach Valentin Yaromenko. And this is terrible. I did not like that, and I understood that I had to position myself differently.
We introduced White Sales in 2011 when we launched a book, a school and a series of conferences. They have become the main sources of marketing that are associated with white sales. When people began to come to us to study how to “sell white”, then philosophy defeated the name of the company. Before that, our company was called Marketing and Sales, and it is still the name of a legal entity. In 2011, White Sales became a household name, moreover, it became a trademark. It took nine years of hard marketing, selling this idea and ideology.
“My advice is to understand who you want to sell to, which people you are interested in, who you want to work with.”
If you want to be unique, give up some part of the audience
We became popular with a unique offer because we abandoned most of the market of potential clients. And that is the key idea. I understood that there are more customers who are willing to sell aggressively and there will be more of those in next years. I still think that our target audience used to be up to 5%. Now, perhaps, up to 10% of the market of potential clients who buy consulting services in sales. In the context of the global market, we aren’t leaders. And we will not stand next to the top agency, which will have the largest market share and the largest number of projects. We are not and will not be such one, because our current business model does not imply this.
Therefore, my advice is to understand who you want to sell to, which people you are interested in, with whom you want to work.
In order to increase sales and survive in an uncertain period and after it, it is advisable for each business to double-check what it has for today and in what condition. If something is missing, then you need to work on it.
The first step is the system, the rules of the game. It is necessary to describe the sales process, the format of the customer’s approach from beginning to end, to formulate the rules of the game between departments.
The second step is automation. Automate processes as much as possible. For the beginning, it can be SIP telephony and CRM system.
The third step is people. On the one hand, provide staff with Salesbook, scripts and algorithms how to work with them. On the other hand, register fixed areas of responsibility and a motivation system.
The fourth step is dashboards. Try to make all decisions openly with any employee according to numbers. The company does not dismiss and does not promote staff subjectively. Salaries should also not be assigned subjectively. This is always done according to numbers. It is necessary to show that sales have decreased, as well as the number of new targeted calls. This must be done because each person sees either a terrible picture, or, conversely, a very good one, but not objective. It should be demonstrated that all processes happen in the company so that everyone feels in the same boat.
View the full interview: Alexandr Fedotov and Valentin Yaromenko: marketing VS sales