It’s famously difficult to read many doctors’ handwriting, but when we’re given a prescription there’s usually the reassurance that whatever ails us may soon be over. We know that we can hand in the prescription to the pharmacy, get medicine and take it to feel better. Prescriptions in health care are very effective because everyone knows what to do. Prescriptive sales works much the same way.
While many organizations are becoming more excited about the possibility of predictive sales, where intelligent software helps teams essentially see into the future of how customers will be spending their budget, prescriptive sales ensures the process of selling doesn’t break down along the way. It’s a way of codifying what really works within a given company’s customer set, a particular geography or even within a large account.
Especially when reps are new or inexperienced, prescriptive selling is a way for large organizations to ensure that nothing gets missed and errors are minimized. Small and medium-sized businesses could get the same benefits, however, and in some cases even greater benefit because they tend to have fewer feet on the ground.
This is just one way prescriptive sales could begin in your company.
Take Time With The Diagnosis
The only time we’re leery of taking a prescription from a doctor is when we feel we’ve been rushed in and out of their office without really being heard. Prescriptive selling is not about shoving a list of priorities at a rep and then hurrying them on their way, either. It involves talking to both the worst and best performers to ensure sales stay as healthy as a possible. Try these exercises:
In all these cases, reserve actually prescribing anything until you’re sure reps have given all the useful feedback they possibly can.
Put Away The Paper
Doctors still scribble prescriptions by hand and tear them off small pads, but that’s not nearly as effective in a sales environment. Prescriptive selling should take advantage of the digital distribution channels available to everyone from SMBs to large enterprises. Some of the examples you should be thinking about include:
Dig Deeper Into Data
Prescriptive selling shouldn’t sound abstract or theoretical to reps. If it does, they’re far less likely to embrace the right priorities or follow what they’ve been instructed to do. The best solution for that is leveraging real-world examples of where the prescriptive sales strategy is already resonating. This is where your CRM will really start paying for itself:
Follow-Up (And Follow Through)
Even when we get a prescription from the doctor, we know we’ll often be back at some point to ensure the remedy worked as was hoped. Similarly, prescriptive selling should be reviewed as often as makes sense given changing customer situations or changes in your overall market. And of course, adjust what you’re prescribing based on what you hear:
When it works well, prescriptive selling doesn’t have to be a top-down way of working. Instead, what’s prescribed can be the result of a team that’s actively focused on ensuring the best way to do things is shared by all.
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