So often in selling we hear about “relationship” as the reason we win deals. I am curious about your opinion here. Would you buy an inferior solution from someone you like better than someone else? Conversely, if you find a great solution at a fair price, but don't really like the salesperson, would you buy that solution? As a "victim" of multiple back surgeries, I have had the opportunity to experience bedside manner on at least two occasions. When interviewing doctors and getting second opinions, I have always chosen the doctor I felt was most qualified, even if she was not a great communicator or someone I didn’t feel aligned with on a human level. That being said, all else being completely equal, I think we would choose the person we felt most comfortable with and would tip the scales in our way. This doesn't always happen in, say elections. Research shows that voters would choose that person they would “rather have a beer with.” Which could be another blog entirely!Read More
B2B Street Fighting Blog
Sales organizations spend a great deal of time and money on negotiation skills training. Much of that investment is sub-optimal and in essence, sales teams are being trained on how to execute your company negotiation strategy. The problem is there is still a prevalent view that negotiation is a “soft skill.” When we execute training without a broader organization strategy improvement, we are, in substance, automating a broken process.
We recently consulted with a global account organization where their customers in France were bypassing their local account teams and buying from the German account teams as the prices and terms were better! This type of incoherence not only lowers margin, it creates a lack of trust.Read More
We recently conducted negotiation coaching for over $1b in revenue on over 100 renewal opportunities for a global client of ours. We weren’t training their new reps, but working with some of their most seasoned global account managers to help them be more strategic and successful. This consulting gave us the ability to confirm with a new level of conviction what we have been seeing in industries, cultures and companies for years. It is this:Read More
A blog from Buyer/Seller Insights points out that there is bad buying just like there is bad selling. They go further to suggest that sellers who can help procurement buy better will achieve a competitive advantage. We couldn't agree more.
One of the core problems we see is that sellers don't understand the role of procurement professionals and therefore get anchored on the price conversation with buyers. Part of this misunderstanding is this: how procurement buyers articulate their role–and the reality of what their role is, are actually two different things.Read More
POP QUIZ!Read More
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.Read More
Tags: business negotiations
We 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.
Tags: brian dietmeyer
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.
We all know deal coaching is important and we all know it doesn't happen (at least to the degree it needs to). This is another subject we've talked about for years and is now time to fix. We have a compelling reason. CSO Insights reports that the odds at vegas craps tables are better than average forecast accuracy (less than 50%). What if I told you win rates for forecasted deals could increase by 19.6% without making any significant investments? Well, it can be done and I have one word for you, COACHING!Read More
I know, I know… the sales / marketing disconnect has been talked and written about for years. The problem now is that we need to fix it. With the rapid market shifts in competitive advantage and strategy, the new oil for salespeople is knowledge. Marketing (and to a degree, product management) has been unfairly tasked with providing this knowledge to sales. I say unfairly tasked because the role of marketing and the agencies that support them is not the granular level of knowledge, in real time, that sales needs to compete and win. Their role is higher level branding and perhaps lead generation.Read More
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