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Why Emotions, Mindset And Timing Matter in Sales

Why Emotions, Mindset And Timing Matter in Sales

There is perhaps no business unit that relies on the delicate combination of science and art more than sales. Maintaining a robust data analysis operation can be extremely illuminating, and in fact is necessary for almost every organization to compete in the current landscape. However, there are integral parts of the sales process that remain hidden from even the most advanced metrics. To fill in these gaps and get a complete picture of the sales process and how it relates to your customers, it is important to understand the more human elements that come into play.

Many of us like to think that we approach our business decisions with a level head and a dedication to logic, keeping our emotional reactions undercover until we are back with our family and friends. In reality, humans can never turn off the part of the brain that causes us to react emotionally, and this has big implications when it comes to the relationship between your organization and your customers. The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) partnered with Google for a study of the role that emotion played for 3,000 B2B customers. They found that although branding is still an important component of a successful strategy, only 14% of the buyers perceived a valuable difference when it came to brands’ business value.

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All of this leads to the conclusion that you can be doing everything right from a product, pricing and marketing perspective, and still run up against a disconnect with your customer if you do not understand how their state of mind affects their purchasing decisions.

The customer experience is an accumulation of memories, emotions and relationships

A crucial ingredient to enterprise sales success is providing a superior customer experience, and your product or your pricing structure are not always at the core of this experience. Rather, it is an amalgamation of the various ways which your people and your company make the customer feel.

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In the sales process, this translates into storytelling. But it is not just about telling the most effective story about your product and your value proposition; the customer needs to easily understand where they fit into the story in order to maximize engagement. This is representative of a very human desire. We all want to feel like we are understood, and that our problems and concerns hold real weight for those with whom we are conversing. When you can successfully make your clients feel this it creates a long-term culture of trust that forms the backbone of the customer experience.

Customers perceive value differently than sellers

Salespeople are trained to have intimate knowledge of their product’s value: what problem it solves, why it is the best option for solving said problem and why the pricing structure makes sense for the client. But limiting yourself to this view fails to take into account the perceived value of the transaction for the customer.

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Some experts separate a customer’s perceived value into three categories. First is company value, which includes all benefits gained by the company such as efficiency improvements or cost savings. Then there is professional value, which covers the ways that a product can make the client’s job easier. Finally there is identity value, which many argue is the most important because it speaks directly to the customer as a person, not an employee.

Sales largely depends on recruiting mobilizers

One of the reasons that demonstrating identity value to your customer is so crucial involves the increasing dependence on mobilizers. Enterprises in the 21st century are becoming increasingly complex, technology now often links business units that previously had little interaction with each other, and managers and directors have access to more information than ever before.

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These factors result in an increase in the amount of stakeholders who have a say in the purchasing process, which is why it can be very advantageous to have a mobilizer who can advocate for you within the organization.

The customer journey is driven by small but significant moments

Aligning the timing of your sales process with the timing of the customer’s journey is one of the surest ways to close a deal. When the timing is off, it can derail a potential sale even when it seems like every other variable has been accounted for.

The problem is that evaluating the customer’s purchasing journey from start to finish can be a daunting task. Instead, it is better to consider it as a series of moments where something you do or do not do can have a significant impact. That way, you just have to pay attention at each stage of the journey to ensure that your timelines are still aligned.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on May 20, 2020

What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

Everybody makes bad decisions. Some people, however, are more capable of making better decisions that inch them closer to success.

These individuals are not ruled by emotions, desires, or hunches. Rather, they depend on their analytical skills to overcome challenges regardless of urgency or complexity.

What Are Analytical Skills?

According to Richards J. Heuer Jr., a former veteran of the CIA,[1]

“Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But unlike other skills, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.”

Analytical skills can be considered as one of the critical life skills that are not taught in schools. It comprises of visualization, critical thinking, and abilities for gathering and processing information.

Here’s a closer look at some of these abilities:

Visualization

Also tied to a person’s creativity, visualization is the ability to predict the possible outcomes of strategies and actions. In a professional setting, visualization involves the analysis of data – often through illustrations like charts, graphs, and detailed lists.

Critical Thinking

Simply put, a person’s ability to think critically can be measured by his or her consistency in creating reasonable decisions. It pertains to the ability to evaluate information, siphon what’s useful, and draw conclusions without being swayed by emotions.

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As a critical thinker, you’ll find yourself challenging assertions and finding loopholes in proposed solutions.

Computing

Whether you like it or not, you need to be comfortable with numbers if you want to sharpen your analytical skills. Bear in mind that computing encompasses other skills like cost analysis, budgeting, and performing general calculations.

In business, you need to use computations when weighing the risks and benefits of any given strategy.

Problem-Solving

Remember that analytical skills are used not just to understand problems, but also to develop the most suitable course or courses of action. This relates to your goal-setting skills, which involve breaking down and prioritizing between objectives.

Resource Management

Lastly, analytical skills involve some degree of resource management depending on the task at hand.

For example, professionals with a tight schedule must know how to effectively manage their own time – also known as one of the most important resources in the world.

Business leaders, on the other hand, must know how to manage company resources, including cash and manpower. Take note that the definition of analytical skills may change to match the requirements of a specific situation.

For example, upon hiring a web developer, analytical skills may refer to the ability to determine the needs of online users, understand web analytics for optimization, and identify visual elements that can match a company’s brand.

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The skillset above, however, should be applicable in most if not all scenarios.

Develop Your Analytical Skills for More Growth Opportunities

There’s no question that the right decisions lead to positive results. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a business or simply trying to climb the corporate ladder. By training your analytical skills, you position yourself for more growth opportunities while staying away from negligible actions you will regret.

For example, you plan to launch a new startup in your local community – but struggle to decide the niche you want to enter. Since you’ve been a technophile your whole life, part of you desires to invest in a gadget store. If you’re passionate about your business, success will come – right?

If you have sharp analytical skills, you begin to see your plans in whole new dimensions.

What are the possible outcomes of this venture? Does the local market have a need for a new gadget store? How much do I need to get started – and how much should I sell to make a profit?

Depending on your findings, you can determine the feasibility of your business idea without letting your emotions get in the way.

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Analytical Skills

There are several approaches when it comes to developing an individual’s analytical skills. For instance, psychologists agree that reading fantasy stories as a child can help sharpen critical thinking.[2]

Research also suggests that undergoing traditional education has a positive effect on a person’s IQ and analytical skills.[3]

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But as an adult, such opportunities to hone your analytical skills no longer apply. That’s why you need to devise a more deliberate, active approach yourself.

Below are a few strategies to get you started:

1. Ideate Business Ideas

Developing a profitable business idea, whether you pursue them or not, involves numerous challenges. You need a ton of research, computations, and problem-solving to create a tangible business plan.

You can organize your ideas with a note-taking tool like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. Doing so will allow you to delve deeper into your analysis, organize your findings, and stay focused on roadblocks as well as how to solve them.

2. Leverage Analytical Tools

Aside from note-taking tools, you can also leverage other software that can help with analytical tasks. A money management app like Mint, for example, makes it easy to track your spending habits as well as manage your budget with visual tools. When it comes to prioritizing goals, you can use simple task management apps like Trello or Wunderlist.

3. Have a Personal Learning Library

Thanks to the internet, there’s a colossal amount of resources you can utilize to learn new skills, expand your vocabulary, and train your visualization muscles.

Social media networks like SlideShare and YouTube, for example, offer mountains of tutorials you can access to your heart’s content.

For a personalized learning library, you can download Instagram videos or GIFs from educational accounts like NASA Goddard and the American Mathematical Society. But if you prefer specific, technical skills, then a good place to start would be online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Alison.

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4. Participate in Online Communities

The internet is a great place to share experiences, opinions, and sometimes intellectual discussions with like-minded individuals. Reddit, for example, has a place or “subreddit” dedicated for every topic imaginable – from technology to entrepreneurship.

For structured debates, you can head to websites like Debate.org and let other users choose the winner via votes.

5. Seek Mental Stimulation

To keep your mind sharp, make it a habit to engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as chess, puzzles, and brain training apps. A great resource would be Lumosity, which contains dozens of cognitive games designed by teams of scientists and game designers.

6. Keep a Personal Journal

Finally, keeping a personal journal allows you to take a second look at everything that happened in your day.

Remember that writing about learning experiences lets you focus on the lesson rather than the emotion. It will help you analyze how you made your decisions, why you came to certain conclusions, and what you can do to improve in the future.

Here’s How to Create a Habit of Writing in a Journal.

Bottom Line

As an adult, you are required to face a myriad of challenges on a daily basis. Work, school, business, relationships – the list goes on when it comes to the sources of life’s problems. With analytical skills, you can confront and overcome any obstacle standing between you and your goals.

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Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences: Analytical Thinking?
[2] KD Novelties: Why You Should Read Classic Tales to Your Children
[3] Economic Inquiry: The Effect of Education on Cognitive Ability

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