Transform Sales With Transparency

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Transform Sales With Transparency

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Being ‘transparent’ is something every buyer wants more of from their salespeople, but how many salespeople simply hope they’re sharing the right things with prospects?

And how do we know what, exactly, to share that will build trust, rapport and close more deals?

That’s the question we posed to Shane Wingo, partner and VP of sales of employee benefits for BKS Partners. Shane credits his sales success to leaning into transparency, especially in a saturated market where customers are making price-based decisions on who to buy from.

He shared with us exactly how he builds transparency into every conversation he has with prospects, and how something as simple as transparency can be used to accelerate any deal through the pipeline.

Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T-Trigger: Shane says that being transparent starts before the first conversation with the prospect. Before the first call or meeting, Shane says every salesperson should be clear on their objectives for that call. What are you trying to learn or accomplish with this prospect in this meeting?

Only when we have clear objectives can we share them in a spirit of transparency. Otherwise, prospects won’t be able to see through the same fog that most salespeople fight through in their initial conversations.

Our call objectives, of course, come from our sales roadmap. We should have a map of the stages a prospect will go through on their way to becoming a customer that we review before each conversation, because sharing the next stage of the journey is another element of transparency in the sale. Shane says we shouldn’t stop our sales roadmap with just the selling process, either. We should also map out the delivery and customer service process as well, so that we can let each of our prospects know where they should expect to be, and when, on their customer journey with us.

R-Repeatable: To make sure we make transparency repeatable in each conversation with prospects, Shane said we should take our sales roadmap and build campaigns for each stage of the customer journey. That way, we know what we’re doing over a period of time, and we have concrete steps we can share with our customers as well.

Next, Shane said to leverage our CRM to ensure none of our clients fall through the cracks. By making sure there is a next step on every contact in our pipeline, we’ll know to reach out to them and share where they’re at in their customer journey and where they’ll be going next if they continue walking with us.

Third, Shane said to build transparency into each conversation by defining what level of transparency you need to have from your customer at that stage of the sales cycle. It may be defining decision makers, agreeing on budget, or learning about their delivery timeline. Once you know what level of transparency you need from your customer, you’ll know what your prospect likely needs to learn from you to deliver on that transparency in your conversations.

Fourth, Shane advocates not limiting your transparency to just you and your prospect. Involve your delivery and service team in the sales conversations as well so that your potential customer understands who they’ll be working with if they decide to do business with you and define both of your expectations so there are fewer last-minute surprises down the road.

I-Improvable: To improve this system, Shane says to regularly check in with prospects and clients in your conversations by asking, ‘What are we missing?’ and waiting for an answer. The responses you hear will be a gold mine of information that you can build into your call scripts and conversation goals, ensuring that you’re covering that item by default in every conversation after that with each new prospect.

M-Measurable: To measure the results of your transparency process, Shane says to measure your renewals of service and repeat sales with the same customer. This will reveal the level of trust your customers have in you because of your transparency and will give you a barometer for how strong your relationships with your customers are.

Transparency allows both you and your customers to have a clear view of what working together will be like, so take the initiative on making that the best view it can be!

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