If you look under the hood of your client’s and prospect’s business to understand what is happening in their business and financial numbers, it can turn into greater sales numbers for you.
Let me explain.
Rather than increasing product knowledge, you need to understand how business decisions are made. This is a new sales skill that helps in gathering client intelligence on how key decisions are made in your customer’s business or your next hot prospect.
The New Sales Skills: Business Acumen
It’s time to develop a business acumen for sales, especially in navigating B2B sales, to gain insight into their business.
You might be wondering what we mean by “business acumen”. Fundamentally, it means understanding how your client’s company makes and uses money and then using that knowledge to make smarter, more informed business decisions for your client.
Understand Your Client’s Financials
One of the ways of gathering client intelligence is understanding their financials. Reading and understanding a customer’s financial statements can seem like a foreign language. Below is one way to help you with this.
For publicly traded companies and/or non-profit associations, they have to post their financial statements for public access on their website under “Investor Relations”. You can easily download their annual and quarterly financial statements, annual report, and even listen to their investor relations calls and hear their CEO speak. It’s like sitting in the same room as the CEO!It’s time to develop a business acumen for sales, especially in navigating B2B sales, to gain insight into your client's business. Click To Tweet
Client Insights You’ll Gain
Here are client insights you can gain by going through this exercise:
- Status of their revenue over the last year
- Status of their profits
- Their net earnings
- Their gross margin
- Their EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation Assets), and how it compares to previous years
- Forecast for the coming months or year
- Major capital investments or acquisitions, if any
- Cash flow (to approve the expenditure of your products or services!)
- Major initiatives during the past year and into the future
- Future outlook as shared by the CEO and/or Chairman of the Board
- Changes in the Board of Directors and/or senior leadership team, if any
- Growth strategies and outlook for the future
This information can be overwhelming, yet very insightful to better understand their future direction and to find out if your solution is the right fit and if there is budget allocation.
Change your sales mindset and instead demonstrate how you can help your clients or prospects grow their business based on their strategic initiatives. If you do this, then you grow your business acumen, your business intelligence, and ultimately your sales.
Does your team need help in developing their business acumen? Contact me at Lisa@TeneoResults.com or 519-863-3975.
Lisa is driven by the mantra – Be Strategic. Be Pro-active. Be Brave. – and has been successfully training and coaching sales leaders and their teams to do the same for over 15 years. As the President of Teneo Results since 2003, she has trained thousands of sales professionals at more than 250 companies across North America. She transitions salespeople away from the standard “product & price” approach to having purposeful business conversations with their customers that drive results.