Is Selling More Art Than Science?
What might comprise the answer to this age-old question?
At Integratis we believe that successful selling involves both art and science; and we address both. The ‘Art of Selling’ is all about sales, skills and behavior.
The ‘Science of Selling’ is all about sales process and the application of sales tools. Therefore the key elements in the art of selling comprise the sales skills that a person possesses or requires in order to be successful. In addition to providing training solutions which address the science (process and tools) of selling, Integratis focuses on helping sales people to develop the right skills and behaviors to be successful in their jobs.
A successful sales person needs to acquire a repertoire of fundamental or core selling skills. These basic professional selling skills are a mandatory pre-cursor to a career in sales. There is no doubt that there is a degree of innate sales aptitude which will help someone become more successful; but we believe that a sales-person’s success is in the main related to the effort they invest in developing their skills. In much the same way as a sportsperson needs to have some basic aptitude for their sport, they can only excel at their chosen sport through practice and by constantly developing their skills.
Elements of basic sales skills include things like call preparation, listening skills, questioning skills, presentation skills and negotiation skills. These are not skills which necessarily come naturally to everyone … but they are skills that can be taught and learned and successful applied. They are also skills which can be enhanced to develop truly advanced selling skills.
Success in selling is a journey, it is a journey of constant discovery, of ongoing learning and development. The best sales people are continually looking for new ways to enhance their skills-set, in much the same way as a professional athlete is constantly practicing their craft and seeking help and coaching along the way.
Consultative Selling Skills
When some refers to a person as being a ‘born salesman’ they are usually referring to the type of outward-going, gregarious type of individual whom people perceive to be the epitomy of a ‘typical’ sales person. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most successful sales people are the people who are better at listening than talking; they are better at questioning than telling; and they care more about understanding their customer than they do about their own product.
These are the true consultative sales people. And they are in the minority.
Most sales people, and many sales managers, consider themselves to be consultative sales people but few really reach this lofty goal. Real consultative sales people are perceived as true business partners, or ‘trusted advisors’ to their customers. Achieving this level ofConsultative & specialist selling skills, trusted business partner trust and respect takes a great deal of effort, hard-work, and attention to detail; it requires the sales professional to be wholly engaged in wanting to help their customer be successful.
Specialist Selling Skills
Selling is complex and there are many different, specialized sales skills which different sales professionals may need to develop in order to succeed in their specific area of sales. For example, some people may need to develop channel sales skills to effectively sell through third-party channel sales partners. This requires a whole new set of sales skills; again these skills can be learned and developed. Alternatively some sales people need to learn how to sell with and through complex multi-functional, multi-national and multi-cultural teams. They may need to manage global account teams.
At Integratis we have developed a whole range of training solutions specifically customized to suit the needs of these different types of selling.