Sales consultants: How to get buy-in from your sales manager for your ideas
Sales consultants are a company’s frontline pitchman. It is their responsibility to work with prospects and customers to ensure a smooth sales process.
Sales consultants often have new ideas for campaigns, on how to reposition products to customers or have a feeling about the need to go after a particular market. Usually these ideas are based on subjective experience with very little research or data behind them. As a result, it can feel like their ideas have been pulled from thin air.
Consequently, their sales manager dismisses the idea and the consultant feels like they haven’t been listened to. So how can a sales consultant get a sales manager’s buy-in so their ideas are heard and strongly considered?
Sales consultants can improve their chances of success by developing a presentation that combines several different features. Consultants can begin by getting an informal gauge on their idea through casual conversations with colleagues. Doing so will show the general interest level in the idea, as well as any potential objections that would need to be overcome. Once an informal assessment is done, a more tactical plan should be developed, with a combination of the following factors in mind.
Tailor your presentation
Tailor your presentation to your sales manager’s unique goals and personality. Determine how your idea can help your Manager achieve his or her goals and present your plan as such. For example, how will a new cross-selling opportunity help her meet her objectives? If appropriate, underscore the urgency by highlighting the consequence of not adopting an idea. Perhaps a consequence is the complete loss of customers who are on the decline. When considering your manager’s personality, present a plan that mirrors his or her approach. If, for instance, he is direct and to-the-point, keep your statements brief and succinct. If she likes visuals, use less words and include graphs and charts to back up your proposition.
Use emotional intelligence
Next, present your idea with emotional intelligence. Too often, employees approach their manager with only a problem. Problems potentially create two issues for your manager: One, a concern for your job satisfaction and two, the problem you’ve presented. Instead, present your idea in a way that inspires excitement in your sales manager. You can accomplish this by always presenting solutions when you present problems. If you’re going to speak up about a problem, such as customers in decline, your Sales Manager will appreciate thoughtful resolutions.
Have some data
When presenting solutions, use business intelligence by doing some data analysis first. This enables you to deliver data-driven facts in support of your idea. Analysis offers the necessary ammunition to get your sales manager to buy into your ideas. For example, if you believe your company could expand into a new market segment, using business intelligence software such as Phocas enables you to determine that there is a growing sales trend within your target demographic. You can now transform your idea from subjective opinion into an objective fact.
At Phocas, sales is our legacy. Sales professionals love using Phocas because it enables them to identify new opportunities, excel in their position, save time, and make more money.
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