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"Survival of the Finest in the 21st Century - Sales Success in the New Millennium"
By Christine Corelli   Printer Friendly Version

As we are approaching the 21st Century and consider the hard realities we have had to face in doing business today, we may wonder how we will be able to stay ahead of the game in the future. We've experienced the dawning of a global economy that has been characterized by rapid change and an unprecedented level of competitiveness. New markets and customer bases have been created overnight with thousands more to come in the new Century.

Globalization means we will eventually market our products and services everywhere in the world. This new global marketplace will operate 24 hours a day where we will need to sell and compete around the clock. The challenge for us will be that as we market our products and services, we will encounter new and different competition we may not have expected in the past.

Technology has enabled smaller companies to compete very effectively with larger businesses. Just as a small speedboat has the ability of running fast circles around the Queen Mary, many small companies now have the advantage over large companies because they are not encumbered by political decisions, committees, and layers of management that large organizations have.

Technology has leveled the playing field because it is has given many smaller businesses the ability to communicate and manufacture more rapidly. And as businesses in developing countries progress, they will increase the competition in the playing field.

In addition, our customers have become more cost conscious and demanding than ever. The customer of the future will be better educated, more discriminating, and because of the Internet, will be even better informed than ever before.

All these change factors have caused us to seek answers to one important question:
Who will be able to compete and win in the new millennium?

Those organizations will be able to compete and win whom...

  • Can outdistance their current and future competitors with innovation...

    Creativity in the way you market and sell your products will be the key to success in the future. "Differentiating" your company from the competition is crucial. If what you sell or offer is not much different then what you competition sells or offers, how will you stand out in the well-informed mind of the 21st Century customer if you don't advertise, market and service differently than others.

  • Are willing to take calculated risks to introduce new features and innovative products to the marketplace that their customers are demanding.

    Focusing on the voice of the customer will breed success. Every time your customer says, "Why don't you..." or "What can't you..." will be the message that you must make changes to meet customer demands.

  • Have a "Quality" culture.

    There was a time in American business when Quality was thought of in terms of the final product. In the 21st Century, buyers will look for Quality in all aspects of the business process: how the product is conceived, how it is developed, how it is marketed, and how it gets to their doorstep. Most important, how it is serviced after the purchase.

  • Develop customer relationships and establish a reputation for outstanding customer service.

    Customers are the life-blood of any enterprise. The people in your organization must exhibit behaviors and actions that help build customer loyalty. A strong focus for developing and sustaining customer relationships is, and will always be the key to success. With this, there must be a sense of urgency to solve any customer service problems that may exist in your organization today.

  • Learn faster than their competitors.

    The successful organization of the future will be a learning organization. There is now, and will be an even more dramatic need for new skills, not only technical, but better leadership and interpersonal skills.

  • Utilize technology in the right way.

    We must keep up with technology. We must make sure our employees spend time on the Web to study their industry, learn about their customers, and to check out the competition. Many salespeople today are spending all their time sending E-mail to each other, which is not the best use of the Internet.

Your customers should not have to work to order your product. Make it easy for them to place orders over the Internet. If you don't, your competitors may steal the market right out from under you.

  • "Rethink their entire business strategy.

    Organizations today must rethink their entire business strategy. They need to look at the way they create products and services, their distribution channels, markets, customers, structure and knowledge base. Technology will be both the driver and the tool for this examination.

Sales professionals will be able to compete and win whom...

  • Can clearly define their product, its benefits, and the benefits of doing business with their company.

    Remember: As we move into the 21st Century, communication is key. We should be able to communicate with confidence people WHY they should do business with you, WHY your product and service is superior, and WHY they can depend on your company.

  • Under promise/Over deliver.

    Being up front with customers from day one and overwhelming them with incredible service will provide the competitive edge in the 21st Century.

  • Hone their sales skills.

    To survive in the fast-moving business world of the 21st Century, mastering and continuously improving sales skills will breed success. Those who use creativity in their approach to sales will see their sales goals reach new heights.

Today's business world is filled with people seeking answers to the "Who will be able to compete and win?" question. Those organizations and individuals, who pay attention to these elements of future success, will not only thrive, but "Survive as the Finest in the 21st Century."

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