Business Acumen is Necessary Skill for B2B Superstarsrs

Step Two in our series of steps to becoming a B2B sales superstar is about Business Acumen. Many people ask, ” what the heck is business acumen?” Well, it’s a term used regarding your knowledge of business philosophy and how organizations survive or thrive. It all about understanding exactly how a company makes money. So how does business acumen impact a sales person’s success?

In the world of business to business (b2b) selling, it is one of the most critical factors for success. How well  can you place a financial value on your product or service solution? Also, Return on Investment (ROI) is used by the customer as a tool to make a buying decision.

During a sales development workshop I was presenting, one of the top sales people in the room suddenly realized that his customers had been asking him for ROI assessments so the finance guys would sign off on several large contracts. Having come through the traditional sales ranks, he didn’t realize the importance of business acumen – the ability to figure and show financial results to a customer – for larger or major sales.

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Starting Point is Understanding Sales Growth

In Developing Your B2B Sales it is very important to understand Business Acumen. Since it will be a key topic, I will begin with a basic discussion point: Sales Growth. This has become the top subject in many offices and board rooms due to the recessional impact by the economy. Every executive is focused upon increasing revenues. It has become the number one thing keeping them awake at night. While I will discuss this point, I want to share the balanced approach to looking at Sales Growth – since their are companies that are still growing even in this economy.

Sales Growth is one of the first things you should be looking at to understand the culture within the company. There are three variables for you to consider when reviewing growth. First, you can have growth; Second, you can have a declining sales trend; and Third, you can have no growth or no change in sales volume. The key is watch the trends. One year is never enough to assess the progress of a companies sales. Several years of sales (Five years is best, three is a minimum and for large public companies – 10 years) One of the best sources for public company data can be found in Yahoo Finance.

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Eight Questions About Financial Health of Customers

There are eight questions that you -as a salesperson- should know the answers about your customer. An added benefit is to learn the answers regarding your own company. Then and only then, will you be in a position of strength. Where does this strength come from – understanding the financial health of your customer.

Let’s exam the eight questions that hold the answer to your customer’s financial health. The eight are as follows:

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