Selling a service is tough. Achieving sustainable critical mass is tougher. Heightened skills in communication, pricing, and planning, combined with a strict focus on delivering quality service are critical.
This list outlines 7 critical answers that service-sales leaders must address to achieve sustainable growth:
1. What’s your mission?
- A clear mission statement is like a lighthouse beacon cutting through the fog: it keeps you focused and on-track.
- Strategic and tactical sales plans should cascade from the mission statement, to assure complete organizational alignment and to improve the odds for success.
2. What exactly IS your service?
- What are the benefits to your prospective buyers?
- Who are your prospective buyers?
3. What is your breakeven point?
- Another crucial guide-point that levels spending impulses, and when linked to the mission statement, grounds a sales strategy in reality to increase its chances of success
4. How much?
- Do you have a rational method to develop prices and quotes?
- Are you ready to walk away from business?
- Do you have a framework for pricing off-list services for special account circumstances?
- Can your targeted buyers afford you?
5. Why should I sign with you, and not these other guys?
- Sure, your service is awesome. But really – why should I sign with you?
- Risk mitigation is often a key element in services sales, simply because of the intangibility of the deliverable
- Anticipate competitive bids, and completely understand competitive positioning, and SWOT to answer this question compellingly
- Prepare a variety of (adaptable) customer/situation-based USP’s to help you prepare winning proposals
6. Can you prove it?
- Related to the questions above, the burden of proof is crucial for services sellers
- Because you will be invoicing for an intangible-deliverable, proof of your capability via case studies, references, and educational and professional qualifications will be noticed by B2B buyers during their vendor screening
- Factors that throw red-flags up are: newness (start-ups have it tougher), vagueness, and industry-inexperience
7. Who else are you working-with?
- This question can be a buying signal, or it can be a danger sign. Either way, references and endorsements, and links to third-party validators can often make the difference between winning or losing the business
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The questions presented above are components of our Sales and Marketing Audit.
In the weeks ahead, we’ll be adding other ‘Crucial Answers’ to help services-sellers grow their businesses. Care to add any?