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Marginal gains from client insight

By Scotty Morgan, Chief Sales Officer at CSI

If certain things happened all the time, the role we perform in sales would be made so much more fluid. I recently attended a fantastic development session with one of our cherished retail clients. It made me stop in my tracks. The client offered some incredible insight, inside track and intelligence. This amount of knowledge is seldom shared. But when armed with it, salespeople can be so much more effective at our jobs.

The Request

The client in question was a senior executive in the world of digital disruption and e-commerce acceleration. He walked us through the early stages of their exploration journey. This included competitive analysis, market penetration and development thinking they had used as the foundations to develop ideas and evolve their strategic potential and market intent. He then expanded on that thinking and took us on their journey of discovery; finally articulating the trajectory of the business for the next 3-5 years.

Take a breath! At this point in the meeting, we understood the key performance measures and the absolute focus of their business. Brilliant. And he then said, ‘the next stage is for me to explain where we believe you fit in, how CSI can underpin this drive for an outcome for our business, and what we need your help to bring to life’. Wow, if only every client took this open and honest approach.

The Response

We responded with insights around our own strategic direction and the recently announced and celebrated reinvention of our messaging. Plus our absolute intent as a business, all of which simplified and focused on outcomes for our clients; ensuring we use our engine to underpin growth and savings, to protect and strive to innovate.

As I said, this session made me stop in my tracks. Our job in sales, as client directors or account managers, is to research our client base, understand their financial updates, read into CEO statements and of course glean nuggets from the social press. I get that, totally. However, with the effort and time invested from this particular executive, his supporting team across our business now have a fresh perspective, a new paradigm to develop. We have absolute clarity of their desired outcome and every action we take can be aimed at delivering marginal gains towards this ultimate goal.

The Result

Amazingly successful teams display marginal gains over those they compete against. Some of these gains come from preparation, training, focus and sheer will – and some come from external knowledge. The more we share insight, the more we open the doors to the inner thinking and workings of our businesses and with our partners – the better the results we will all enjoy.

We now have this client insight for one particular business and my aim along with the wider team will be to utilise those pockets of genius to deliver to the best of our ability. My second stated aim is to gain this level of knowledge and insight in conjunction with as many of our clients as possible, to give us the opportunity to excel together.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”.  

Stephen Hawking