In these days when business buyers are more knowledgeable than ever, it is important for sellers to differentiate in every phase of the sales cycle. In the negotiation phase of the sales cycle, the customer is more keenly focused on you than you might think. Through their buying cycle, the customer is comparing you, overtly and subtly, to their preferred alternative to you. Remember that the customer’s preferred alternative to you is your main competitor.Read More
B2B Street Fighting Blog
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.Read More
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.Read More
One of the key responsibilities of a manager should be to actively coach his or her team on important deals, on a regular basis. Deal coaching starts with an assessment of knowledge and position in the deal in order to build the insight required to negotiate a deal that both sides would be willing to accept. This assessment needs to highlight what is known and what is not known about the deal, and should help to formulate the questions to be asked to uncover the information that is still needed.Read More
Put yourself in this scenario – you wake up every day for a week feeling unwell, well below par. You don’t have any broken bones, or spots, or bruises; you have no visible signs of an illness or injury. You just don’t feel well. Eventually you go to the doctor, wait patiently in the doctor’s waiting area, and when it is your turn, take a seat in the doctor’s consulting room.
How would you then feel if the doctor does not talk to you about the reason for your visit? She (or he) just immediately starts to write a prescription for you. Rationally we know that this is not the right way to proceed.Read More
Twenty years ago, salespeople were trained to ask customers certain questions (What is your budget? Who will decide? What date are you working toward?). In this age of easy access to extensive information, asking these questions, especially without value context for the customer, does not generally help to obtain the information a salesperson needs. In fact, asking the questions the way we were trained 20 years ago might hurt your credibility.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said ‘… We may have come in different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” It may seem to be a stretch at first, but this thought applies to sales relationships too. It is the idea that when people in a business relationship think of themselves as being on the same team, things start to get easier. Positive attitudes and the willingness to collaborate grow more readily.
As recently as 10 years ago, few of us made purchases via the internet.Over time, security issues and the ‘risk’ of making a purchase via the internet have been mitigated by sellers and financial institutions alike. According to the US Census Report dated 15 May 2014, the percent of e-commerce sales in 1Q 2014 has grown to 7.2% of total retail sales, that is $71.2 billion, up from 2.3% of total retail sales for the same period in 2008. The Cicso IBSG – Retail projected a 31% increase in global e-commerce growth between 2010-2015 and it seems this growth is tracking.
A salesperson can control who they call on and what they say during the call. Best practice is that every salesperson spends as much time preparing for a call as deciding on ‘who’ to call. However, according to most sales managers, very few of these calls are planned. Salespeople have a general idea of what they would like to achieve during a call. Most do not document this and many report after a call that they did not accomplish what they wanted during the call. According to Sales Effectiveness Inc. research, 64% of all sales calls are ineffective.
Surprise wins, surprise losses, surprise competitors, surprise tactics, surprise decision criteria, surprise trades. They are all bad and a waste of time! This is not ‘bah humbug’ due to the time of year. This is reality. When there are surprises like the ones mentioned above, it means that you have been caught with your guard down. In sales, this is a dangerous position to be in.
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