One office store used the “easy button” in their promotions. They even had easy buttons available for purchase in their stores. While there is nothing wrong with making things easy for your clients or customers, in B2B sales most attempts to make things easier make selling difficult. When one tries to cheat nature, nature cheats back.
You are always better off doing what is necessary to produce the results you need to succeed in sales rather than trying to find a hack or a way to avoid exerting the effort. Professionals do the work. Amateurs try to produce a result by making some important outcome easier.
Many salespeople want to be consultative. They want to be their client’s trusted advisor and build a relationship that would prevent them from having to compete for the client’s orders. Despite this, if you look at how some sell, you will notice that they fail to do things that might help them to be consultative. They want it to be easy, and this makes it difficult.
To become a consultative salesperson and a trusted advisor, one must know things their clients don’t know. To do this one must do the reading and the research to understand anything that will be helpful in ensuring the client can move forward and generate the results they need.
Too few do the work of becoming a consultative salesperson, and instead propose their solution. By trying to make selling easier, they fail to create value and lose their opportunity and any chance of distinguishing themselves. You would do better to practice what you find in Elite Sales Strategies: A Guide to Being One-Up, Creating Value, and Becoming Truly Consultative.
Every salesperson wants and needs a calendar full of meetings with their strategic targets, the companies that would benefit from what they sell and how they deliver the value. This approach requires the salesperson to narrow their focus and learn enough about their dream clients to compel a meeting.
Those who seek the easy button will do several things to avoid doing this work. Instead of making calls, they send emails. An average knowledge worker receives 140 emails every day, so they won’t think twice about deleting a prospecting email. This makes it impossibly difficult for the salesperson to book a first meeting.
In a competitive industry, I recommend salespeople use a prospecting approach that has them focus on 60 strategic clients. Using a set of insights, they can create value and nurture their contacts. Salespeople in competition would also do better to learn to trade value, something you can learn more about in The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales.
Discovery is an art. It requires more of the salesperson than other parts of the sales conversation. You must create value through a set of questions that allow you to learn what you need to learn, while also helping the client gain information that will help them make their decision. Solid discovery ensures you and your client recognize the root cause of the client’s problems and what they must change to succeed. This isn’t easy enough for some.
Instead of doing discovery, the salesperson with the easy button makes it more difficult by asking the client about their problem and their pain points. Once the client suggests they have a problem, the sales rep pitches their solution. By failing to have an effective discovery call, the salesperson will have lost their opportunity before they create it.
When we talk about creating value, we mean helping the client with a decision they are rarely required to make. This is what it means to be consultative. By pushing the easy button, the salesperson makes things difficult.
The Buyer’s Journey
At the time of this writing, it seems many buyers choose to pursue their buyer’s journey without the help of a salesperson. Who could blame them when so many sales organizations use transactional sales approaches and strategies? Why seek help from a person who will only disappoint you?
It isn’t easy to lead your prospective client through their buyer’s journey. You must acquire the stakeholders and gain commitments to the conversations the client needs—even if they would prefer to avoid them. To make it easier, a salesperson may allow the client to skip critical conversations, making it difficult for the client to have the confidence and certainty to move forward.
You are better off helping your client pursue their goals by providing the advice and recommendations that ensure the client can improve their results.
Sales Managers and the Easy Button
Sales managers who want and need to hit their sales targets and sales goals also make things difficult. The easy button may take the form of yet another technology that promises to create efficiency. Weak sales managers choose this instead of the more important outcome of increasing the sales force’s effectiveness.
The easy button requires the sales force to provide 300 or 400 percent in excess opportunities, treating sales like a numbers game. This is a gamble that sales managers usually lose. The only way to reach your goals is by winning the deals you need. You can find better strategies in Leading Growth: The Proven Formula for Consistently Increasing Revenue.
The Easy Button Makes Selling Hard
The way to make sales easy is to master the skills and traits that will help you produce the results you need to succeed. A commitment to mastery is a better plan than any cheat code or hack from someone on LinkedIn. The more you work to master the skills, the more easily you produce results. The more you try to find an easier way, the more difficult you make things. You can have anything you want, but you must pay for it in advance.