Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Dan Englander, Founder of Sales Schema and the author of The B2B Sales Blueprint, and more recently, Mastering Account Management: 102 Steps for Increasing Sales, Serving Your Customers Better, and Working Less. Among the many topics that Dan and I discuss are how to keep your customers engaged and involved beyond the initial sale, how to unify sales and customer success around common goals; and how to build on the customer experience to generate repeat business.
[:54] On Dan’s first sales job, he was given training, he studied books, and he networked. However, he never had enough time both to sell and manage accounts. He started qualifying accounts by focusing on best targets for repeat business.
[3:35] Dan calls existing customers the most neglected element of the sales ‘food pyramid’, because salespeople get friendly with their customers, and stop selling to them.
[5:34] Andy explains why you must always be in discovery mode with an existing customer. There will always be another need or objective the customer has.
[7:06] Dan shares why sales management teams become siloed into order taking and project management, and don’t know how to look for new opportunities, or to recognize them if they find them.
[9:16] Unifying sales with account management means full communication and goal setting between the teams, in a process that continues beyond the sale.
[9:39] Dan recommends a planned debriefing to make sure the customer receives the best result from the product or service.
[15:17] Andy tells how he learned the importance of responsiveness when he was working in sales and account management in the same job.
[15:53] Dan counsels that an apology won’t do when something goes wrong. You should offer the customer options -- A, B, or C of how to make it right -- with your recommendation.
[17:24] Dan explains the Likelihood Legend: a benchmark of each prospect in the pipeline.
[26:30] Dan suggests the Take Home Guide: material with information about the deal, and tips to help the customer get the best results from it.
What’s your most powerful sales attribute?
Helpfulness -- adding and context to the decision.
Who is your sales role model?
Neil Rackham, author of Spin Selling.
What’s one book that every salesperson should read?
The Signal and The Noise: Why so Many Predictions Fail -- But Some Don’t, by Nate Silver.
What music is on your playlist right now?
Early Funkadelic, Clutch, Link Wray, and Dick Dale.