“As a salesperson, it’s important to understand that selling the idea of a partnership can be very different from a product offering and requires a greater level of trust.” – Brian Hannon in today’s Tip 1551
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Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today’s tip comes from Brian Hannon. Brian is the Global Head, Customer Experience Innovation & Technology at TELUS International, where he develops services, solutions, and teams to solve customers’ challenges. Here he is:
Brian Hannon: Today’s Daily Sales Tip is about selling a partnership to businesses during an economic downturn. The challenge that many businesses are facing right now is figuring out how to recession-proof their business. This often means leaders have to figure out ways to cut costs without hindering business success. When these conversations occur, businesses typically first look to cut external expenses like third-party vendors. This makes it an extremely difficult environment for sales professionals looking to sell a provider service. However, when positioned correctly, there is still an opportunity for sales professionals to showcase the value of their service. It can even be argued that the current economic climate is even more of a reason to invest in partners that can help companies weather the storm.
As a global head of customer experience innovation at Telus International, which is a digital CX innovator that designs, builds, and delivers next-gen digital solutions, I’ve seen how impactful and transformational it is when a brand works with the right external partner to support their goals. In order to win these types of deals during a period of economic uncertainty, sales professionals need to understand the positioning their credibility as a trusted advisor is equally, if not more important than the actual product or service. I’ve experienced firsthand how challenging it can be to win these deals and have some best practices to share on how to present your company as a trusted partner that the client can envision as an extension of their team.
First, to get a company interested and comfortable, it’s important to highlight the key benefits of partnering with the right provider to gain their trust. To help with this, my company worked with industry analysts from IDC on custom reports that were launched in our Better Together campaign. They explored the ways that working with an experienced global digital CX provider gives access to a suite of capabilities like content moderation, AI data solutions, digital CX solutions, or cloud services. During uncertain times, it’s priceless to have a partner that can strategically guide a company through anything that is thrown their way. A trusted partner knows the ins and outs of the business and can support leaders in making fast decisions.
Now, when it comes to how to actually sell a provider services, I recommend sales professionals start by first asking questions to learn where the company’s business and customer processes are struggling, really get down to their pain points as well as opportunities for optimization. Once these are identified, showcase how partnering with a provider can support the brand in its growth and desired goals. Don’t be afraid to discuss how the partnership could evolve. For example, a midsize company may need a more basic level of external customer support, but as they grow, they’ll need to quickly adapt their processes and rather than being behind the ball, they’d already be in the depth of a CX partnership that can scale and evolve with their business demands.
As a salesperson, it’s important to understand that selling the idea of a partnership can be very different from a product offering and requires a greater level of trust. Of course, this is becoming more challenging amid the current economic downturn. Many businesses are expected to do more with less and strategizing how to consolidate vendor relationships to maximize the quality of their CX while achieving greater cost-effectiveness. But at the end of the day, an experienced partner can help companies plan ahead and strategize to ensure their well position for the future. Although it may be difficult to sell in this economy, it’s rewarding to know that with every closed deal, it’s another company entering into a partnership to improve their overall business success.