Sage Software|Sage WorldWide
Sage Partner Advantage Community
Search Community in

Looking for ways to sharpen your sales skills or improve the performance of your sales team? Well, you have come to the right blog! Here you will discover sales techniques to help you and your team win more business. Some of the ideas presented will help you think outside the box and some will be getting back to basic sales skills. Read what our Partner Advantage Sales Team experts are saying about winning you more business and share your ideas in the comment box!

Sales Clinic: Moving clients back to the issues

 Robert Johnson, Sage Software

One of the fastest ways to change the trajectory of your sales performance and create sustained success is to improve your objection handling skills.  We often focus objection handling techniques on the end of the sales process, when we’re asking for an order. However, we encounter objections throughout the entire sales process, and most sales opportunities become hopelessly derailed at the very beginning of the sales process due to poor skill execution. 

The reality is the faster you focus your conversation with the prospect on your product or service, the lower your chance of actually helping them solve a problem, or capitalize on an opportunity. Studies suggest that Pareto’s 80/20 Law applies; spend 80% of the sales process focusing on understanding the client’s issues, and 20% of the process presenting your solution, and you will become a 20%’er- those salespeople that make 80% of the income. 

By structuring your sales process around the 80/20 rule, the client is a big winner; they have a much better chance of getting a solution that will meet their needs, which is what we really want.

So, how do we change the sales process and the outcome?  

We change the process by changing the dialogue. The challenge is that both prospects and salespeople are conditioned to want to talk about the product or service.  It is a mutual conspiracy of sorts; clients are conditioned to ask about our ’stuff’, and we’re conditioned to show them.

When the client asks about the product or service, you need skills to help move them back to the issues and away from the product or service.  This occurs throughout the sales process, but most often in the beginning. A great skill to execute is called “The Move Back.”  It is a simple three-step process, and a basic example goes like this;

Client; “We’re looking for an Accounting ERP Solution, which runs on the xyz platform.  Can you help us?”


1)      Affirm that you can help - Sure, we’ve helped a lot of companies in this area, and to be completely sure we have a solution that will work for your firm,

2)      Ask Permission to ask a few questions - it would be helpful if I could ask you a few questions, ok?

Client; “Sure”


3)      Construct a question tied both to their initial request and to the underlying issue behind it - ” When considering a new Accounting ERP solution, what will this new platform allow your company to do and accomplish that your current solution won’t?”

This simple skill, ‘the move back’ allows you and the client to engage in a meaningful dialogue around their problems or opportunities; areas in which you may have a solution. An easy way to master this skill is to begin by writing out the most common questions you get from prospects, and then write out potential responses and practice them a few times each week. In my experience, the act of writing it out helps reinforce the skill and makes it easier to master.


Want more help?  Attend a Sales Academy!



No Comments