B2B Street Fighting Blog
According to the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, American corporations spend $7.2 billion every year on sales process, account management skills, negotiation, and opportunity management training—an average of $347,000 per company. However, beyond proprietary (and perhaps biased) consultants’ reports and high-level academic papers on change, little information is available on whether those making investments are achieving a return that is at least equal to—if not better than—what they are spending.
We are inclined to think that ROI is highly unlikely given the CSO Insights report that stated: only a quarter of reps consistently use their company’s accepted methodology more than half the time, only 10% resolutely (greater than 90% of the time).Read More
We’ve consulted on over 20,000 negotiations in over 45 countries for 16 years. The most common issue we see is:
“Very seasoned negotiators having a price conversation absent of the value conversation.”
What does this mean exactly? Imagine for a moment that you work at a high-end steak house and you encounter this scenario:
- You are seated a table and are ready to order. You order the Filet Oscar, the house specialty, which is listed at $42 on the menu.
- You continue that you would like to pay $16 for it because that is what you paid last night for dinner (you fail to mention it was a plate of tacos at the restaurant down the street).
- Your server goes to find the manager to ask for an adjustment to the bill to give you the discount.
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
Some of you know that I post quite a bit about working with procurement. There are a couple reasons. First, it’s mostly a painful and dreaded experience for those of us who sell. Second, because we’ve been consulting for over 20 years to both buying and selling teams, this practice has provided deep insight into the nature of that relationship.Read More
I am confident that most of you reading this have had the “opportunity” to buy a car from a traditional dealership? I needed a gently used 2017 truck. My favorite car to buy is usually less than one year old and has about 5,000 miles on it. Essentially, I am looking for a new car where someone else ate the depreciation.
When I started my search a couple weeks ago, I went to both the local Ford and Dodge dealerships to look at trucks. At both dealerships, I had nearly the exact same experience.Read More
My friend and former colleague, Max Bazerman, negotiation professor at the Harvard Business School, once reported to me that:
“Opening offers have more impact on outcomes of a negotiation than all counter-offers combined!”
I couldn't agree more, however, I believe to really understand the weight of the impact, it is important to understand the complexity inside that statement. (It is more than you might initially detect!)
For starters, think about these questions:Read More
Discovery has long been among, if not the most important selling skill. Gaining access to stakeholders and uncovering needs is key to presenting your value.
However, most discovery looks like this:
" What Keeps You Awake at Night?"
This approach makes it difficult to gain access to execute discovery and makes it harder to uncover areas to add value and differentiate. What is the value to an executive of meeting with you only to tell you what they already know? How are we going to add value when customers, who are more digitally informed than ever, are diagnosing their own needs and prescribing their own solution (many times sub-optimally)? More importantly, it has us following vs. leading.Read More
Our own Carrie Welles is presenting an enlightening webinar on Thursday, March 22, 2018 in association with the Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA). This 11am ET session will provide empirical research, and street level examples, for how best to package and present your value. Find out more and register by clicking on link below.Read More
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America's fastest growing private companies
America's fastest growing private companies