Just like you, your customers are creating strategies to out-innovate and win over their competitors. You can help them do that, but you need to be able to demonstrate how the solutions you’re offering can make them more successful. How do you talk to the vice president of sales, for example? Here are some best practices for having those conversations:
What does the VP of Sales care about?
Like you, sales executives are focused on strategies that help them consistently beat their competitors, increase deal size, and realize consistent growth from existing and new customers. At the top of the sales organization, they may not be involved in individual deals, but they need to create a team that can be effective in different markets, with different product preferences, and against multiple competitors. Building and retaining such teams is a constant challenge. Increasingly, sales executives are looking for patterns and insights into customer buying behavior and how they correlate with customer satisfaction. Finally, they need to match all of these insights with their go-forward strategy and tie that to compensation. Sounds simple, right?
Capitalizing on today’s technology will help sales executives address their many business challenges and stay ahead of the competition – and you have the solutions to help make it all happen for them.
Keep in mind the challenges they face:
  • Constantly recruiting and retaining the right people to make the best sales team
  • Understanding the changes in buyer behavior
  • Understanding how Millennials in the marketplace buy differently
  • Understanding competitive intelligence
  • Aligning compensation with desired behaviors
Best practices for your conversations with sales vice presidents:
  • Set the tone of the conversation so they understand that you, together with Microsoft, want to help them in ways that go well beyond the IT department.
  • Explain that Microsoft has been working together with partners like you for years, and together we have become increasingly effective at solving customer problems and growing our customers’ businesses by engaging leaders from the entire organization.
  • Come prepared with two to four customer stories that directly relate to the sales vice president role/industry. Find stories that demonstrate how Microsoft’s unique ability – coupled with your expertise – is ideal to drive change. For example, be able to articulate how Microsoft has made a difference in the lives of other sales representatives by solving similar problems in similar companies. Having these stories prepared demonstrates your awareness of the challenges unique to their role/industry. Industry case studies are available at whymicrosoft.com and MPN.
  • Focus on their issues rather than on products: Sales vice presidents may prefer to focus on the issues that are challenging their business today and who they can best partner with to answer those challenges.
  • Become a business partner: Be under the assumption that sales vice presidents don’t choose software vendors, they choose partners. They are looking for people and companies who can actively engage with them to solve existing business issues and develop awareness around evolving threats and opportunities.
Seek to deeply understand which of the challenges are most important to the customer and other stakeholders, and in what way they impact your customer’s entire organization. The materials for these conversations are available for you via our Selling Beyond IT initiative. Ask your Partner Sales Executive for a walkthrough!
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