Ingrid Maynard, Founder and Managing Director of The Sales Doctor has over 25 years experience of sales and business development, and is currently on a mission to transform the profession of sales from the stereotypical imagery of “snake oil vendor” to one synonymous with service, kindness and connection.
Ingrid genuinely believes that sales can be a joyful, aspirational career path, and using techniques grounded in neuroscience and behavioural modelling she is creating a revolution to show organisations precisely how through her Pathway to Enrichment philosophy.
With an abundance of testimonials from large listed and private companies, Ingrid’s results are target busting.
How do you help organisations to move beyond focussing merely on price and product?
With so much uncertainty in the market including how long that uncertainty will continue for, salespeople need to understand real value from the customer’s perspectives and that goes beyond product and price. If however that’s how you’ve always sold, you now need to go deeper. Prices will continue to rise in the short term (petrol while it’s come down a little is still higher than this time last year, inflation is set to tip double digits by the end of the year, interest rates are going up again, energy costs are pushing some businesses to the brink) and product will continue to have availability variations as supply chains are redirecting and catching up.
You can see how these aspects are tough topics to address with customers! So being able to uncover, communicate, deliver and measure value delivered through the customer’s measure of value is a skill that can be learnt. It goes beyond simply “what to say” into the realm of “how I’m being” when I’m engaging customers: am I asking better questions to help my customer clarify their priorities or quantify their challenges?
Am I able to demonstrate partnership in problem solving beyond simply my product or service? Am I being “trustworthy” or am I merely going through the motions? Am I showing up to get or to give? Am I a supplier or a trusted advisor? Do I talk more than I listen? Am I able to negotiate effectively in a way that will serve my customer and my company? This is all about the behaviours that will deliver excellence in the current market.
Why is it imperative to “create the experience the customer wants rather than the one that you want them to have”?
Because sales is about committing egocide. In order to be truly effective you need to understand your customer’s world first and remember that great value is more than just delivery of the product or service you sell – it’s about the way you deliver it.
So, in order to do just that, we need to find out from our customers what their definition is of a great experience. What is expected? What isn’t expected but would go beyond expectations? What are the no go zones and deal breakers for your customer? How do things get done in their organisation? What will delight them? How is every aspect of the value chain delivering the most congruent customer experience? And most importantly, am I checking in with my customer to determine a measure of value delivered?
What industry themes and trends have you explored in your recent Conference Speaking engagements?
When more than 4 separate organisations who don’t have relationships with one another all ask for the same thing, it’s a theme. Creating a service/sales culture across the business is front of mind right now. It’s the key theme of my last few conferences and one I’m proud to say is resonating well across organisations – not just with sales departments.
In order to be competitive, companies are exploring ways of working better, working smarter and understanding that it’s not just talent that needs to be retained, it’s customers and prospects. They also understand that this goes beyond just sales and sales people. It’s no good if the sales team does an exceptional job and post sign up the customer has a poor or sub-par experience with accounts or with delivery.
When so many organisations have simply been order takers and order fulfillers, they’re exploring what a valuable customer experience means now and the role that people and technology play in this. There is a role for both, and it’s about utilising and leveraging each to strengthen the other.
Tell us how you are creating The Sales Revolution to reshape the sales conversation, and why it’s so important.
For so long sales has been a dirty word. It’s associated with being oily and pushy…about convincing and persuading. I’m creating a sales revolution where the word sales is synonymous with service, with kindness, with connection and being taken care of. When it’s done by experienced professionals sales is a thing of wonder for both the salesperson and for the customer – it’s a joy.
Unfortunately those experiences are few and far between. So I’m out to change that. My mission is to make sales a profession and career that people desire and aspire to, rather than one they simply fall into or use as a stop gap until something better comes along! In reshaping the conversation and association people have with sales and salespeople, the experience for all gets consistently better. We have connected conversations that build trust and partnership. I think that’s revolutionary.
How can businesses get the best benefit out of The Sales Doctor’s online courses?
I’m launching these in October after realising my customers need a number of ways to access my content. Businesses can utilise these programs as stand-alone initiatives that give their teams a solid foundation in selling. For those in B2B industries, sales teams can undertake the training in their own time or with one another as content is on demand with resources to supplement their learning.
It means that if budget is an issue they don’t need to deny their sales people the input they need to be effective when selling in today’s complex landscape. It also means minimal time way from selling as participants can access the program from where ever they are in a way and time that works for them. Companies benefit best when sales leaders support these programs through team and one on one meetings to further embed the key concepts across the team.
Should they need more they can reach out to me for bespoke training. I have a program that will work for B2B sales people, Solopreneurs, another one for those in retail service and those wanting to support their customer service people. Retail and customer service are the most neglected when it comes to professional development as they’re put into the too hard basket because of the logistical challenge around attending training. Online makes this a lot easier to access and benefit from faster.
Tell us why you believe women elevate their leadership by embracing and valuing their unique leadership style.
Why is it that women only apply for roles when they believe they have 90% of the skills when men apply when they believe they have around 50% of the skills? My belief is that women often underestimate the value they bring – especially when it comes to leadership.
Harnessing and then communicating what makes each of us unique and valuable is tricky and I would argue the hardest sell because it’s about us! Accessing tools and processes that enable us to see ourselves more objectively emboldens our ability to embody our strengths and work on our gaps in order to have greater and deeper impact with all those we deliver value to: our teams, other stakeholders and the organisations that rely on us.
You are the female economy. Whether you are a female consumer, business owner or a woman in the workforce, you can create gender equality by choosing female led brands.
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