Competitive advantage is an essential, but often an elusive and hard-won, element of the business world.
What is required to earn the confidence and partnership with clients for them to value their relationship with your firm, compared to many other competitors? As a business or sales leader, how do you create and build a truly compelling proposition that attracts, retains and develops relationships with a growing numbers of clients?
For decades, differentiation was perceived through the eyes of feature, advantage and benefit. Service became the next battleground by making clients more successful through the use of our products or services.
Differentiation through a product or service can still be achieved, but only when the product or service is genuinely unique. These days, differentiation, and client value are created it the way we engage with the client or prospect.
We know that building competitive advantage involves management of many competing forces that require determination and discipline by teams of people who are aligned, understand the evolving needs of their clients and industries and can engage through insightful client centric conversations.
A number of fundamentals are necessary to drive this determination and discipline, including*:
(* Source: The Anatomy of a World-Class sales Organisation, CSO Insights, 2015).
Client Engagement and Sales Teams need to evolve their purpose and capabilities to deliver differentiation through insightful client or prospect conversations that create value and the need/payoff basis for implementing change. The sales profession is currently undergoing change to deliver the differentiation necessary to drive determination and discipline, as illustrated.
As we know, the world of sales has become more complicated, with more people on the buying and selling teams, longer and more protracted and political process.
The business case for building organisational capability to leverage strengths and resources to drive determination and discipline is clear based on MHI Global research.
Competitive advantage and differentiation by understanding and developing individuals, teams and team management is also a clear driver for determination and discipline, where objective measurment and data can be the tools to overcome politics in decisions.
Hunt Consultants was formed to help clients build competitive advantage by evolving their teams, processes and management in four critical disciplines:
We deliver value through leading global business partners, tools and research to drive determination and discipline that creates competitive advantage. For example
We help organisations create a positive connection between clients and their brands. We are your comprehensive source for customer- management excellence solutions to compete in today’s ever-changing, customer-centric environment. www.mhiglobal.com/customer-‐experience
We provide training and resources that deliver fast, measurable improvement. We enable truly insightful client conversations, deliver proven research and methodologies, unmatched resources and global scale. MHI Global is a world-class organisation that brings game changing insight to sales leaders and the sales performance industry worldwide.www.mhiglobal.com/sales-‐performance
We provide assessment solutions that help organisations select the right people for the right job and develop them to their full potential. We have tools that specialise in sales team performance. We assist clients throughout all phases of the employee life cycle to enhance the productivity and performance of individuals, teams, and organisations.
We help clients build a culture of coaching and support where high performance sales teams are retained and developed based on objectivity and better management through coaching and our resources.
We help client develop leaders who engage and inspire their teams.
Some of the challenges we often help clients address are illustrated in the following Best Practices Table.
|Sales and Marketing are aligned in what our customers want and need.||Number of Qualified Opportunities||6.39||4.75|
|We have a formalized value proposition that is very compelling to our prospects.||6.37||4.92|
|Our organization is highly effective in allocating the right resources to pursue large deals.||New Account Acquisition||6.44||4.77|
|When we give price concessions, we always get comparable value in return.||5.80||4.10|
|Our organization regularly collaborates across departments to manage strategic accounts.||Average Account Billing||6.49||4.95|
|We jointly set long-term objectives with our strategic accounts.||6.30||4.54|
|People & Organization|
|We know why our top performers are successful.||YOY Existing Customer Growth||6.41||4.80|
|Our management team is highly effective in helping our sales team advance sales opportunities.||6.47||4.95|
|Operations & Enablement|
|Our sales compensation policies are aligned with our business objectives.||Quota Achievement||6.42||4.84|
|Our sales team consistently relies on our knowledge management system as the single source for collateral and information.||5.81||3.83|
|We leverage the best practices of our top performers to improve everyone else.||Forecast Accuracy||6.32||4.46|
|Our sales managers are always held accountable for ensuring the accuracy of our sales forecast.||6.46||4.84|