Business optimization

What Happens when a Sales Person Becomes Customer’s Advocate?

by Andrej Lovsin
February 14, 2021 - 5 min

Have you ever wondered who a salesperson in any company should really represent in order for the team to come up with a solution that really suits the customer’s needs on all levels?

I want to present an approach that has proven to be by far the most effective in my career path regardless of the type of company or activity we are talking about. This is a winning approach on which we build all the successful stories. You will soon find out why.

Let’s Start with the Basics

Each service company has its business processes roughly divided into sales on the one hand and departments that take care of the implementation of services or the manufacture of products. If we simplify this basic division, we could imagine the sales department as a kind of “store” to which a customer who needs either a service or a product is sent. But in this “store” the roles are reversed and not as we usually know them. When a customer enters a store, he is approached by a salesperson who does not offer or sell things to him in advance, but listens to him first. He allows the customer to present his wishes and needs without the seller leading him around and showing him the things that “pay him the most” to sell to the customer.

We Actually don’t need Salespeople, but Customer Attorneys

We use the identical concept in, because we don’t want a classic sales representative who tries to sell our product or service to the customer or convince him regardless of his actual needs. Our sales representatives are “ours” only on paper, but we have completely reversed the roles so that they are literally in the role of the customer’s attorney. This approach is known as Customer Advocacy

What does this Mean in Practice?

Our best sales representatives always and without exception represent the interests of the customer. Their task is to fully listen to the customer’s needs and explain them to the team in such a way that our entire production and the entire work process are adjusted to the customer’s benefit from the start. The result is a significant improvement in the quality of services, as the customer at all times knows that their benefits and needs really come first.

Why Classical Hierarchy doesn’t have Real Power?

Most companies have a top-down hierarchy in place, which means that management is at the top, setting guidelines for all other processes and functions beneath them. Lower in the hierarchy are sales representatives, who are subject to pressure in the form of internal goals and key performance indicators (KPI) because of this hierarchy and structure.

Real goals that have real value and significance cannot be set from the top down in a company.

Andrej Lovsin

KPIs are, of course, an important and necessary tool, but in my opinion, the direction in which these KPIs are formed has to be set differently. Real goals that have real value and significance cannot be set from the top down without knowing the real context and the actual situation. Even when, for example, one of our in-house sales representative books a meeting with me, I tell him that I can only advise him and give my opinion, but I cannot set goals or make decisions for him because I have not been to a meeting and do not know the stakeholders. All the most valuable information is held by the sales representative and he, as its “lawyer”, must defend its interests.

What is one of the Biggest Threats to a Successful Sales Process?

The most dangerous thing in the sales process of any company is when it does not take into account the needs and wishes of customers, but the goals and wishes of the company instead. The sales representative is the key person who can stop this process and as a customer’s lawyer clearly communicates the client’s wishes, expectations and needs to the team.

The only one from whom the sales representative can get a clear vision is the customer. Then his goal is to present it to the internal team, which will then be able to implement it in the form of a personalized solution or product.

Real Vision can only Come from one Direction

It is particularly important to be aware that a customer’s vision has nothing to do with some internal goals of either the company or the management. All of these can only be guidelines and useful starting points for the sales representative, but their implementation should not be the main goal.

The key goal of the sales representative is to understand the customer’s needs and make sure they are truly considered. His mission is to properly understand the customer’s overall vision and present them to the team, whose task is to realize and implement it. This is not always possible, but this approach, nevertheless, helps to find the most optimal alternative solutions that are closest to the customer’s needs.

Summary of 3 Key Points

To summarize, the three key points of cooperation between a sales representative and a client or customer are as follows:

  1. A good sales representative always stands for the interests of the customer and is literally in the role of their attorney.
  2. The key to the sales process of any company is to put the wishes of customers first, instead of solely focus on the company’s goals.
  3. The task of the sales representative is to clearly explain the client’s vision to the team, so that everyone can effectively follow it during the realization.

Would you Like to Experience this Kind of Approach?

Contact us and experience first-hand what it’s like when someone really listens to YOU.