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Like everything else in our lives, we see sales management trends rotate, evolve and change every few years.  Where once was a well-rounded sales person, now the Subject Matter Expert has taken front stage in the sales process.

A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is an individual with a deep understanding of a particular process, function, technology, machine, or material.  This is a person with bona fide expert knowledge about what it takes to do a particular job.

As more technology continues to enter our businesses and disrupt industries, Subject Matter Experts are being relied upon more and more to educate, guide and advise us in the sales process.  There is a proliferation of technology that allows us to market to a volume of potential customers. Yet we struggle to communicate to our customers how our offer might fit their needs.

We are the experts about our business and our product/service.  We know about our customers’ needs in general but do not fully understand their unique set of challenges.  This becomes compounded for it applies to every industry in which you have customers. Therefore, how do we effectively market our offer?  How do we stand out from everyone else making a claim to help potential customers with their needs and at what cost?

With the ever-growing number of competitors, it is critical for your success to deliver your offer to the market quickly, to be and stay competitive and to show value of your offer to the marketplace.  If you struggle to understand your customers’ specific concerns, how do you communicate that your offer is a better solution than that of your competitors?

By hiring and developing Subject Matter Experts in your customer’s industries you create a space for providing true value. Subject Matter Experts are resources that provide knowledge to you about current industry trends and best practices.  They can dive into specific and detailed discussions with your potential customers showing them how your product/service could be a better solution over another.

As a business owner you are constantly monitoring costs and looking for ways to keep them in check.  Finding qualified leads and turning them into sales is your business life blood. Utilizing a Subject Matter Expert in your sales process drives down overall costs. By developing qualified leads and narrowing the focus on real opportunities is to make efficient use of these highly effective resources.

As you consider how to increase sales, I suggest you look at your sales process. Consider whether a Subject Matter Expert might be helpful toward finding more qualified leads and closing more sales.

Charlie Jordan is a business consultant helping organizations reach their peak performance goals and is a partner of Kinetic Koffee. She can be reached at Charlie.Jordan1@gmail.com.

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