Most salespeople work hard to become proficient in reaching the frontline managers in their markets. Cost, service, functionalitythey know the value propositions that speak to their most visible customers. But while many of these managers hold the initial decision-making power that can lead to that first sale, even they report to a higher authority who evaluates the manager’s decisions from an entirely different perspective. A salesperson who wishes to achieve long-lasting success with a client will learn how to also appeal to top-level executives from an “above the line” perspective.In Selling Above and Below the Line, master sales trainer Skip Miller shows how to simultaneously sell to both the frontline manager as well as the executive who is more concerned with profit/loss indicators such as ROI, time saved, risk lowered, and productivity improveda strategy used by Google, Apple, Cisco WebEx, and other powerhouses. Salespeople wishing to gain a clear advantage over the competition will learn how to:• Create energy by including executives early in the sales process• Ask the right questions and pinpoint big-picture financial needs• Keep “below the line” managers from feeling bypassed• Uncover value propositions that target each set of decision-makers• And moreToo often, sales that seem locked in will stall or go dark. Or customers who have been loyal to you suddenly back out of the relationship due to decisions made above the manager’s head. Oftentimes, this could have been avoided had the salesperson been intentional to sell both the technical and financial fit. In Selling Above and Below the Line, learn to effectively communicate both, leading to more successful and lucrative deals than ever before.
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
WILLIAM "SKIP" MILLER is president of M3 Learning, a leading sales development firm whose clients include Apple, Google, Cisco, Oracle, Teva, Tableau, UGG, and other top companies. He is the author of ProActive Selling, and ProActive Sales Management.
Read an Excerpt
"How could I have missed it?"
As a sales professional, have you ever spoken these words after a phone call or a meeting with a prospect that hasn't gone well? The usual next step is the customer telling you they are going with another solution or going in another direction. Not good.
More salespeople and sales organizations are trying to increase their average sales prices (ASP) and shorten their sales cycles. To do this, they need to call on the executive suite more often. The question is: How have you and your company prepared the sales organization to call on the executive suite?
Sales typically uses PowerPoint slides and white papers that Marketing has meticulously prepared and made everyone memorize. These expertly executed materials are all about what we do, who we do it for, and how we can do it for you, Mr. or Ms. Prospect. They work well for the features and benefits buyers (aka User Buyers), but what about the Executive
Buyers? Do you really think they want to see the same story and listen to the pitch you made to the User Buyer?
For the past twenty years, we have been training salespeople and sales organizations to speak a different language when they call on the executive suite. C-levels speak a different language than their User Buyer counterparts a and it's amazing how unprepared a sales team can be to call on executives. I would guess that salespeople, on average, converse in User
Buyer language in about 80 percent of sales calls they make to the executive suite. When they do get to the C-level buyer, the sales team usually asks the C-suite buyer "key" questions like:
"What would you like to know about us?"
"Here is an executive overview of what we have been talking to your subordinates about."
"What can we do so that you will approve and sign off on our deal?"
Then there are the 20 percent of sales calls that talk to the C-suite about what they want to hearhow the proposed solution can benefit one of their key goals or objectives.
"This can contribute to lowering your costs up to 20 percent."
"Timing is key to your new product launch, and this solution can help you save three to four weeks of time."
"Our solution has the potential of lowering the risk of this project by 5 to
What's the difference between the two conversations?
TWO DIFFERENT VALUE PROPOSITIONS
There are two different value propositions in most sales. The executive suite has one idea of what they want and why they need to change what they are doing today, and the User Buyer is looking for something else.
So what happens?
Salespeople go for the low-hanging fruitthe User Buyer value propositionsince that is one they have been taught how to sell to and have had success selling. And, quite frankly, they feel comfortable discussing their favorite subject, themselves.
A far sounder approach is to sell both above and below the lineto the User Buyer and to the executive suite. Early in the sales process, a focus on both value propositions substantiates your proposal's value for both levels of the organization, speeds up the sales cycle, and increases your ASP.
THE SUNDAY DINNER
Many families have a formal dinner every so often, perhaps on Sundays.
When the extended family members and a few friends gather, the kids sit at one table and the adults at another. The kids' table has their own
"language," and the adult table has theirs.
The kids didn't want to sit at the adult table, where they soon get bored with parent talk. Adults don't want to sit at the kids' table; they've spent plenty of time with the kids all week and long for some adult conversation.
Above-the-line (ATL) executives and below-the-line (BTL) buyers sit at different tables, talk about different things, and operate from different perspectives.
The tools and tactics in this book will have you calling higher, getting quicker responses, negotiating with more confidence, and speaking the right language.
Calling high is not the trick. Anyone can do that. The trick is when you're there, what do you say? How do you keep the executive's attention?
And how do you coordinate that conversation with the pitch you're delivering below the line?
Welcome to Selling Above and Below the Line.
Table of Contents
Author's Preface xiii
1 You Are Selling More Than Just Features and Benefits 1
The Neuroscience of Selling: It's All About Us 2
The Deceptive Lure of Features and Benefits 3
Buyers Buy Outcomes 6
2 The Line That Splits the Two Parts of a Sale 11
Business Acumen: Knowing What Makes a Company Tick 12
Understand a Company's Network of Concerns 14
Target Two Outcomes for a Sales Process That Works 15
The Split: Selling Above and Below the Line 18
Uncover the Buyer's Multiple Personalities 20
Focus on Two Value Propositions 22
3 Selling Below the Line 23
The Rationale for Features and Benefits 24
Two Sales Processes, Two Results 28
WIIFM: The Five Ps 31
The BTL Buyer's Mantra: I Need It and I Like It 33
The Three Levels of a Purchase 34
Company Win and Personal Win 35
4 Know Your ATL Buyer 36
Change: We All Face It, and We All Fear It 37
The Fear Factor 39
Promote the Positive Motivators 41
Time Zones: Great Salespeople Are Time-Travelers 44
5 Understanding ATL Energy 49
Capturing the Energy of a Sale 49
Harness the Energy in ATL Events 54
Other ATL Oddities 58
Change Is King 60
6 Controlling the Inbound Sale 61
Inbound Qualifying Made Easy 62
Lead Scoring 62
Find the Need with the Three Levels of Why 63
Qualify and Disqualify 67
Getting Control, Starting with the Welcome 68
7 Controlling the Outbound Sale 73
Make Outbound Qualifying Work for You 73
Your Homework 75
Getting Past the Screen 77
Get to the PointThe One That's All About Them 78
The Prospect's Homework 79
8 Stage 1: Being ProActive 82
Prospecting to the ATL Level: Strategy and Tactics 82
Mastering the Art of the Short Email 85
How to Leave a Phone Message 89
9 Basics Never Go Out of Style 95
Start the ATL Phone Call with a 30-Second Speech 95
The Art of Asking Questions 100
Paraphrasing and Summarizing Skills 104
Next Step 106
10 Sharpen Your Executive Business Acumen 108
Top Down and Bottom Up 108
Think Across the Entire Organization 111
ATL and BTL Solution Boxes 114
Talking About Trains 115
Become the Champion of Solution Box B 117
I-Date for Box B 118
11 Stage 2: Don't Forget The Split 120
It's Not a Race 123
The Quantified Problem 124
The Quantified Cause 129
The Quantified Solution 130
Printer Story: The Value of the Three Qs 130
12 Discussions with an ATL Executive 136
The ValueStar: Learning ATL Vocabulary 136
ROI: Selling Money 137
Making the Most of Time 140
Risk: The Million-Dollar Question 142
Leverage: Building Value Across Trains 146
Brand/Image: The Emotional Value 148
13 Creating and Controlling ATL Energy 150
The Golden Rule 152
The Salesperson's Energy 152
14 The "How" of Controlling the ATL Sale 161
ATL Energy: Finding Additional Trains 161
BTL Energy 170
15 Stage 3: Value vs. Value 175
Two Value Conditions 176
A Day in the Life 180
BTL and ATL "I Get It" to "I Get It" 183
Validation vs. Education 184
16 Balancing Between the Lines to Accelerate the Deal 188
Energy Sources 188
Moving the Chains ATL 191
Learn to Quantify Energy 192
Getting to Quantification with Impact Analysis 195
Solution Boxes and I-Dates 198
17 Stages 4 and 5: Getting a Decision 200
The Goal Is a Decision 200
The Power of Options 204
Getting a DecisionNow 205
18 How to Implement ATL/BTL Selling in Your Current Process 210
Map Your Stages 210
Visual Collaboration with the Customer 212
Next-Step Selling 214
19 Overall Strategizing for an Above the Line Sale 220
Managing Risk by Relying on Numbers 221
Know Your Options 223
Wine Ages Well. Problems Don't 226
Look at All the Options 226
Final Thoughts 227