Building The Buying Vision
Even as the industry experiences record growth, keeping these gains when the tide turns will be key to long-term success.
September 10, 2008
A recent review of U.S. companies showed approximately 70% frequently miss their sales targets. Most of these companies have good products, their sales forces work hard, and they want to achieve their goals. Unfortunately, working hard is not a business plan, and hope is not a strategy. Ag retailing is seeing a resurgence driven by higher commodity prices, and retailers are generally optimistic. This rising ag economy is a tide lifting all boats. But let's be honest, what has fundamentally changed? Is growth being driven by more loyal customers? Are our sales efforts more effective at aligning our capabilities with customer needs? Has accountability for results increased? What will happen when the tide goes out, as it inevitably does?
Let's return to the companies that will miss their sales targets this year. One of the reasons companies don't achieve quota is their sales efforts are a chaotic hit or miss effort. Solution Selling for agriculture brings a discipline to selling that produces results beyond what most companies will achieve through hope and working hard. This discipline is similar to a manufacturing process that produces high-quality, predictable results.
A Continuing Process
This column continues the Develop step we started last month, and focuses on Building the Buying Vision. To build an effective Buying Vision, you need to link each reason for a customer's problem identified in the R column of the Nine Block Model with a capability you have. This is illustrated in the diagram at right. Review last month's column to see more details on the Nine Block Questioning Model.
In the diagram, your capabilities are linked to the uncovered reasons for the pain of not maximizing revenue. Your capabilities help the customer resolve the problem of not maximizing yield.
The first capability vision addresses the reason of not matching seed varieties with his fertility and weed situation. A second reason uncovered for the pain of not maximizing revenue is the lack of a solid agronomic plan. The second capability vision addresses this reason for not maximizing yield. The resulting Buying Vision is a combination of two or more capabilities that address an admitted pain.
â– Pain: A problem the customer has.
â– Capability: What a specific feature of a service or product we have will allow a customer to do.
â– Capability Vision: Painting an action picture of how the customer will do something different by means of an offering's feature.
â– Buying Vision: A combination of capability visions that address an admitted pain.
Keogh is owner of AgKnowlogy. He can be reached by calling 905-478-2282.