Sales Offense Vs. Sales Defense

20 Oct 2015
Doug Dvorak
Offense-Defense

When your sales reps head out on the well beaten B2B path what is the message they are taking with them? Are they there to make a name for themselves, or are they helping to keep a well established business at the top? Part of any marketing strategy involves the overall approach your team is taking. Are they on the offense or are they proud defenders? Knowing this can help you determine if they need sales skills training or one-on-one sales coaching.

Offensive Sales

Offensive selling usually a stance taken by newcomers. It means you need to establish yourself in an aggressive market and the best way to do so is to come out guns blazing. In this case the offensive sales team has to know their stuff and much of that information needs to be details about your competitors. Your team will have to try to knock the competition off their pedestal and set themselves up as the best product/service available. They need to build a reputation as bigger, better, faster, smarter and stronger.

Offensive selling also requires deep knowledge of your own product or service inside and out. This will show prospects that your team does have the expertise to deliver on their promise. Offensive sales reps also seek out vulnerabilities of their competition. This gives them a competitive edge and allows them to balance their competitions weaknesses with their own strengths. Comparing apples to apples works well in the offensive marketing strategy. This separate your product from the crowded market and makes room to solve the problems your competitors may unknowingly be causing for their clients.

Defensive Sales

Defensive selling is all about service and is most effective with a well known and well established company. It often takes place after offensive marketing has been deployed. This allows the established company to defend their position as an industry leader. The defensive marketing/sales approach uses your experience and years of tried and true service to impress new clients and hold on to old ones. Sales reps have confidence in your product/service because you have a reputable history to stand behind. In the defensive marketing/sales strategy, it is actually more important to deliver on the promise following the sale than it is deliver a good sales pitch. The products will sell themselves with minimal outreach, through reputation and referrals. This means your service and inside sales team always needs to go above and beyond to keep the competition at bay.

Consider working with a one-on-one sales coach or engaging your team in sales skills training. One on one sales coaching will work wonders for offensive sales. Your sales rep will know what they are selling inside and out after working with a professional sales coach.

Sales skills training will work best to improve your defensive sales. Your entire team will go through a sales skills audit and brought together to help them deliver a consistently great product/service.

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