As sales professionals, we live or die by the numbers; but our position with customers may be a more accurate indication of our long-term sales success. “Position” refers to our current status and degree of influence in the customer relationship. “Position Progression” refers to the act of improving our status and degree of influence with the customer. If we take a moment to consider the most effective sales professionals we know, they almost certainly approach sales with a focus on their position and the long-term customer relationship, rather than the next sale.
The Business Case™ is a key concept of Carew’s Advanced Positional Selling™ training program and is intended to provide context for a deeper understanding of our customers as well as a template for packaging our understanding clearly and concisely. The Business Case represents three levels of understanding, each with an essential purpose:
Strategic – what the customer focuses on for long-term success
Operational – current issues that create or threaten business results
Evaluative – how the customer regards outside resources and reaches decisions on proposed solutions
Because the Business Case reinforces the sales professional’s responsibility to understand customers from the strategic, operational and evaluative perspective, it creates a strong platform on which to base a recommendation as well as credible rationale for our exploratory questions. It’s important to understand that the Business Case is not a step-by-step tactical path, but a conceptual process for auditing our understanding of the customer and effectively leveraging that insight to drive better tactics and actions on our part.
Developing the Business Case creates a dramatic differentiation from sales people intent on “pushing a product” or forced to focus (and concede) on price. Ultimately mastering this process will accelerate long-term relationships and create Preferred Position… the sales numbers will follow!