Beacon has spent over 25 years working across the globe to help clients dramatically improve revenues, margins and client relationships. In fact, the Beacon team has now worked in over 60 countries in multiple languages. Beacon’s focus is predominately on two types of sales cycles, often occurring in the same organization:
Clients selling complex products and services in highly competitive environments
Clients selling complex products and services in rapidly changing environments due to technology, regulatory or competitive issues and advancements
Beacon is regularly sought to help with these types of challenges:
- Our clients have some amazingly talented people but how do they keep winning work in environments where the landscape is changing by the day?
- How do your elite work winners become the first call when a crisis emerges?
- How do your work winners act with integrity and never sound salesy?
- How do your messages get replicated across your team in a repeatable format so that everyone across your organization is on the same page?
Like other clients, we are sure you have talented people, some great internal sales enablement and support capabilities, and have a certain penetration level in the market. However, clients often say to us, “with this internal support by good people why aren’t we doing better?”
Below are Beacon’s key differentiators along with critical elements we tend to see in the best sales enablement efforts.
The Beacon Differentiators
Every member of Beacon works on dozens of complex deals every year as a coach or part of an account team.
This provides a depth of insight that is unsurpassed by any internal or external provider. Our deep involvement in these deals reinforces training and helps teams see the practicality of Beacon’s approach. This includes President and CEO Carl Erickson who has worked on hundreds of deals in everything from technology startups to the Big Four.
Beacon has identified five levels of work winners.
While two of the five are effective revenue producers, only one of the five is an effective leader who consciously helps foster total team performance.
Beacon has also identified six specific sales skill sets across a complex sales cycle that are essential to efficiently and effectively engaging with clients.
A critical question to consider is how well your team is integrated across the sales cycle and are the client-centered deliverables clear to the team?
Beacon has a proprietary sales assessment that identifies exactly what a sales team knows about each skill set and where their blind spots may be. The assessment results can also be used to establish a personal development and team plan which provides direct insight as to where losses probably emerge.
Armed with sales assessment and skill sets insight, Beacon crafts highly customized efforts to instill the right knowledge, skills and behaviors in work winners, which propel superior performance.
This includes coaching and guiding sales leaders, sales people, work winning partners and teams to progress to the highest performing level. The key is ensuring whatever is implemented is sustained within the organization and this change effort is one of Beacon's greatest strengths.
The Challenges we tend to see:
When we investigate the different issues clients face, they may manifest themselves in different ways but here are ones we hear often:
- There is little or no common sales language across the organization. In other words, what is a qualified deal? What is a billable effort or qualifying event? How do you consistently accomplish access to influencers and decision makers? What is proof of power? What is the action plan?
- There are little or no objective non-financial metrics to understand the progression of an account or deal.
- Cross-selling and differentiation are afterthoughts instead of positioning for these straight away.
- We struggle to make effective use of our sector and technical experts and often end up talking too technically with potential clients.
- The lack of a client centered sales framework or flexible approach to look at the world through the eyes of the client causes misalignment of team objectives.
- Little insight into what an optimal sales cycle looks like and how to train the ideal.
- Our people struggle to efficiently turn conversations into opportunities especially when it is not in their service or practice area.
- Our RFP conversion rates are below what we want, and our opportunity cost is considerable.
- My people struggle with maintaining the margins we would like.
- We really wrestle with gaining access to the C suite and maintaining it.
The Conceptual Solution:
Addressing these issues and many others is a difficult task that should not be underestimated. However, there are some fundamental elements that we have learned and deploy nearly every time.
- Our experience and research have shown and proven time and again, there are six critical skills sets that the best work winners employ. How they do this varies, but the framework for engaging has client-centered deliverables in every skill set. This framework with sales levels sets the foundation for the common language in an organization. This is often customized to the internal language of Beacon’s clients.
- Efficiency is critical in rapidly moving environments. The Beacon methodology provides instant visibility into accounts at a glance that can literally make or break how an RFP is handled or how an account should be developed.
- Training is always around real situations that provides participants an opportunity to immediately apply the thinking to their accounts while in the training session. People also leave with an actual plan that they have initiated in the training session.
- Coaching on real deals, for an extended period, reinforces the behaviors fine tuned or learned in the training and helps the effort become sustainable.
- Where possible, internal coaches are super-skilled to eventually sustain the effort internally and assume all roles.
- There must be metrics in place to check performance of the team and look specifically at the types of deals coached and the impact.
- There needs to be a communications plan that highlights and reinforces learnings to the wider team.
- There should always be linkages to internal post-decision reviews and how that information is being used to determine competitor’s tactics and set specific competitive strategies.
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