Why Cookie Cutter Sales Approaches Don’t Work in Complex Services

Carl Erickson

The web is littered with all types of sales programs and guides, each claiming that their special formula holds the key to unlocking tremendous sales success. But in reality, deals are won by a careful focus on what is important to the client and unlocking the true value of a collaborative relationships to the person and organization.

This is especially true in the complex services sector, where new opportunities are highly contextual and success is achieved not through tips or tricks but by highly informed judgment calls and careful relationship cultivation along with credentials that make success a high probability.

The following are three trends we have heard from our clients about their past sales development frustrations.

1. They’re Too Basic

The sales development process depends to some degree on the sophistication level of your team. For example, are they new and part of an on-boarding program versus seasoned and have clear views on what works and why? Many programs focus on the latter and while some reminders are good, they are generally overly simplistic to hold the participants’ attention.

2. They Aren’t Tailored to the Sector

Unsurprisingly, doing deals within the complex services sector is itself a highly complex endeavor. It may take months of strategizing and years of execution to become properly positioned to win an important new account. The trainers must be proficient enough with their material to be able to easily modify it to the type of services being offered so that you are always working with live material.

Beacon’s clients consistently want materials that are not tips and tricks but clear strategies and tactics that can be woven into the fabric of their organization to impact performance short and long term. This means that if you are working with something like a forensics team or large global audit pursuit, it is essential to help them understand sector nuances and why they are important.

3. They Aren’t Tailored to the Audience

Within most complex services organizations, a diverse group of individuals have work-winning responsibilities. In fact, some of the most successful firms make a point of tasking partners and employees with a selling component in their role. Taking one sales approach in a cookie cutter way for every person in a complex services firm will inevitably fall short. Some individuals may be on the front line of winning new deals, and will need to focus on an advanced level of sales knowledge and skills. Others may only encounter a sales opportunity a handful of times each year, and will need to learn an approach that not only helps them to identify opportunities, but also equips them with basics of understanding how to process and route that opportunity within their specific organization.

Contact Beacon Worldwide to learn more about how we customize our sales consulting services for each client we serve.