B2B Street Fighting Blog

Help..I’ve Been Turned Over to Procurement!

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Thu, Sep 08, 2016 @ 04:13 PM

We’ve been selling to the business stakeholders and now hear the dreaded sentence…."I need to get procurement involved.” For most of us, this is viewed as a sales death sentence! IT IS NOT!

For years we’ve been taught to sell around procurement at all costs and focus on the business stakeholders. While this may be sound advice, the reality is that procurement involvement is on the rise and most likely here to stay. We believe it’s time to start focusing on professional buyers as legitimate stakeholders, not to be avoided but to understand their needs just as we would any other buying influence.

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Tags: business negotiations

an interview with Brian Dietmeyer

Posted by Marie Dudek Brown on Fri, Jul 01, 2016 @ 09:42 AM

Recently, Milind Katti, CEO & Co-Founder of DemandFarm, interviewed Brian Dietmeyer. The conversation started out with this question. "Brian, tell us about your journey as a key account management professional and how do you help companies achieve growth through focusing on their strategic parternship with the key account?"

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Tags: brian dietmeyer

Your ‘Real’ Competitor in Any Deal

Posted by K. (Karen) G. Fraser on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 @ 10:32 AM

There is a science and an art to sales.  The science is the research and analysis that goes into any potential deal – to qualify the deal, and developing the deal through the sales cycle.  The art is the creativity of the sales team to create good offers/options to present to the other side in order to maximize the probability of reaching an agreement. 

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

selling at the speed of change e-book

Posted by Marie Dudek on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 @ 04:00 PM

e-bookWe are happy to introduce you to the 5600blue e-book about Selling at The Speed of Change. Your value, competitors value, customer needs and management priorities are all changing often. All of this effects the “real – time” knowledge salespeople need to lead customer conversations. It’s time to take back the power we lost due to the buyer B2B digital revolution. One of our clients said recently “a quarter is now equal to a year.” Her point was that annual planning now happens each quarter due to rapid shifts in the market and company strategy. Managing this turbulent environment holds real promise for those who realize that the rules have changed and many legacy sales support solutions are not having impact. 

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Tags: negotiation strategies in business

the reality of competing today

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 @ 04:05 PM

competingWe all know the world of buying and selling is undergoing the biggest transformation in the last 20 years, but let’s add some detail to that.  What salespeople are challenged to do now is “sell at the speed of change.” There are four areas of change that impact the conversations salespeople need to have on a daily basis. The first are changes in your value proposition, new products, services, support, technology added, old ones deleted. The second are the same changes happening real time for your competitors' value proposition. The third are changes in your customer needs, perhaps driven by regulatory or geopolitical events. And finally, changes in your strategy that are executed by the sales force. These changes could include a new approach to pricing, vertical markets, new ideal customer criteria, etc.

Recently we executed a scan against these four areas for a global logistics firm. We tallied 27 changes across the four areas in the last 90 days. We then asked those executives how those changes are synthesized and communicated to the sales force in a way that allows words to come out of their mouths that reflect their value, competitive value, customer needs and execution of leader priorities real time. Their answer was, “we’re not sure.”

Columbia professor Rita McGrath recently released her book (sadly enough) entitled “The End of Competitive Advantage.” She points out that the annual planning cycle based around leveraging your long term sustainable advantage is now gone…forever. It has been replaced by a series of short term transient advantages. In another tech firm we were told by a senior executive that the equivalent of annual planning now happens quarterly.  Think about that… it’s the reality of competing today.

Organizations now need to be adept at building systems and competency to capture all these changes, synthesize them and create a knowledge conduit for sellers. It is now organizational competence that will drive individual skills for sales. Sellers need an entirely new set of tools to compete today and at the core of those tools is real time market knowledge to lead the customer, and the skill to have those conversations.

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Tags: brian dietmeyer

the sales game has changed

Posted by Marie Dudek on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 @ 04:35 PM

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

the future model of sales: precision guided selling

Posted by Marie Dudek on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 @ 08:15 AM

Yesterday, sustainable competitive product advantage lived happily alongside annual strategic planning, static customer needs and all the legacy sales enablement solutions designed for this same world. In today's market, your value is shifting constantly as is that of your competitors. Ditto for the needs of your customer. What Strategic Account Managers need is specific, customized and actionable data that helps them compete at every stage of the new buy/sell cycle with technology that houses the data all in one place.

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Tags: negotiation strategies in business

your GPS to sales success

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 @ 04:30 PM

Your days of annual planning, fixed value, and customer needs are gone. Now selling happens at the speed of change and we at 5600blue have developed a system for managing that effectively.

  • American Management Association reports that 90 percent of what sales gets from marketing is irrelevant and not being used.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) promised to make sales more competitive but didn't. Seventy-four percent of organizations report low CRM adoption and find it's really a management reporting and pipeline management tool.
  • Harvard Business Review and Forbes report that legacy sales training has not shifted since the 1970's, and CSO Insights reports that 70 percent of sales training is gone 30 days after delivery.
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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

Coaching your sales team on their deals (part 2)

Posted by K. (Karen) G. Fraser on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 @ 04:19 PM


Continuing on the theme of Deal Coaching from my previous post, one of the key responsibilities of a manager should be to actively coach his or her team on their respective important deals. To be effective, coaching needs to done on a regular basis. Deal Coaching accelerates preparedness for the business negotiation and we know how important it is to be fully prepared to negotiate. As always discussed in our Strategic Negotiation workshops, the best time to start planning for the negotiation – is as early in the lifecycle of the deal as possible, when the focus is on sharing and validating information.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

getting to that next level of sales transformation

Posted by Marie Dudek on Mon, Mar 02, 2015 @ 11:22 AM


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Tags: business negotiations, affiliations

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The B2B Street Fighting blog brings you the latest on what's happening in the real world of business negotiation.

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