Why Relationships Trump Leads

Any seasoned Sales professional knows that improving conversion ratios is the best path to success. Even so, it has been the most elusive item to achieve. Why is that? The only answer here is to look at what you actually have in your control as a Sales rep or team to improve the conversion ratio. In my view, there are two ways to look at this:

Better Tools or Better experiences delivered by people that represent your products (in this case, the Sales people).

Let’s focus on the latter – What your Sales professionals can do to improve the conversion ratios by asking what they have in their control:

  • The Need: No Sales person has ever succeeded by creating need. Instead, it is only by bringing existing need out into the open and matching their solutions to it really well that they win
  • The Product: Sales people might give feedback to the Product Team. However, they rarely are in control of the product. The choice they have here is to choose a company with a product they really believe in – one they feel they can sell well as it meets or exceeds prospects needs.
  • The Relationship: Sales people have almost 100% control of how they choose to build a relationship with the people they are trying to sell to. Whenever we do have control, there are tactics and strategies that can help us be successful.

Since the relationship is something we can truly manage as Sales individuals, let’s take a closer look at it.

Why You Should Focus on Relationships

Many Sales people find themselves in the commodity industry which means they’re selling a product that is marginally different than some competitors. This makes differentiation of the product alone very challenging. In addition, it’s hard to improve conversion ratios based exclusively on a product development strategy.

One of the oldest truisms in Sales is:

People buy from people’ (extended version: ‘People buy from people they trust’)

This means that, if we are able to get people to experience a deeper level of trust in us, we should be able to dramatically improve chances of winning business – no matter how competitive the deal is. Trust, for example, comes from successfully building a meaningful and relevant relationship. Therefore, if you and your sales team invest in developing a skillset that will allow you to build these types of relationships in rapid ways, the result will be significantly increased conversion ratios. In summary, by focusing your team’s ability to develop and maintain meaningful and relevant relationships, you can impact the success of your company as well as your own.