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Sales strategy - Understanding your customer P3, Tools and Techniques

Advanced Sales Training -

Value Chain, Industry Structure Analysis, Products & Services

· sales strategy,sales training,Understanding your Customer,sales process

This is the eleventh in a series of articles for e-learning for Advanced Sales Training for IT and High-Tech Sales "Sales Strategy, Understanding Your Customer – P3 The Value Chain, Industry Structure Analysis, Products & Services” For more information about e-learning programmes visit:

The Value Chain, Industry Structure Analysis, Products & Services

Advanced sales training in the IT and high-tech sectors includes equipping sales professionals with the knowledge necessary for a comprehensive understanding of their customers' business model, industry dynamics and for identifying opportunities for improving performance. Here are some of the key tools and concepts that can be used in this process:


1. The Value Chain - Understanding Your Customer’s Value System: This involves comprehending the relationships between companies in the value system and entire sequence of internal and external activities or processes that are undertaken to deliver a product or service to the market.

Value System

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By understanding these steps and relationships, salespeople can identify where their products or services can add value, and tailor their proposals to align with the customer’s needs and objectives. For instance, if your product speeds up a part of their production process, this is a clear value proposition.


2. Industry Structure Analysis - How Can Your Customer Become More Competitive: This involves using Porter's Five Forces, to understand the competitive dynamics within the customer's industry, understanding the competitive landscape, market trends, and regulatory forces that affect industry competition.

Industry Structure Analysis

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By doing so, sales professionals can identify opportunities where their products or services can help the customer gain a competitive edge, such as by improving efficiency, reducing costs, or enhancing product quality - for example, if you're selling cloud computing solutions, understanding how these can help your customer outperform their competitors is key.


3. Product Lifecycles, Product Management - This involves understanding the breadth and depth of the customer’s product and service offerings, the lifecycle of the products and how they implement their go-to-market strategies and positioning of these products and services for competitive advantage. Knowledge about product development, launch, growth, maturity, and decline stages can guide you in offering timely and relevant solutions. For example, if a customer's product is in the maturity stage, they might be looking for ways to reduce costs or find new markets, which is where your solutions can play a role.

Advanced sales skills are more than just understanding the technical aspects of products and services. It's about developing a strategic mindset that allows sales professionals to become valuable consultants to their customers. By integrating these tools into their sales strategies, IT and high-tech sales professionals can develop a deeper understanding of their customer’s business, enabling them to propose solutions that solve real business problems and are closely aligned with customer’s strategic goals and operational needs. This leads to more meaningful customer relationships, effective sales conversations, and ultimately, more successful sales outcomes.

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