B2B Street Fighting Blog

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

Coaching your sales team on their deals (part 1)

Posted by K. (Karen) G. Fraser on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 @ 04:11 PM


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.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

what if your win rates went up 20% this year?

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Tue, Jan 06, 2015 @ 03:26 PM

2015We 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! 

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

the new oil for salespeople

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Mon, Dec 29, 2014 @ 03:58 PM

oil_canI 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. 

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

Is CRM a "tax" on salespeople?

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 @ 02:51 PM

Is_CRM_a_taxOne of my partners, Dave Knopfler, is fond of saying "CRM is a tax on salespeople." Really, who likes taxes? I think he's absolutely right. Technology was supposed to help salespeople compete, however, it never fulfilled that promise which is why 74% of organizations report low adoption. For sure it's added some value for management in terms of pipeline management and forecasting (even though average forecast accuracy is still below 50% and the odds at a Vegas craps table are better).  

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

are you 'writing a prescription' before hearing the symptoms?

Posted by K. (Karen) G. Fraser on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 @ 04:00 PM

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.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

use insights, but is this going too far?

Posted by Brian Dietmeyer on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 @ 09:51 AM

insightUsing insights to sell is exactly the right thing to do. However, it's all about the execution. Recently I spoke with an executive who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with two major consulting firms to develop insight to be used by their sales teams in customer conversations. The sales team however felt the data was a bit above their pay grade. That executive then hired a marketing communications firm and invested over 500 hours of senior leadership time to white board the insight such that sales could actually use it. This same executive estimates that after all this, only 50% of his salesforce is going to be able to execute the strategy.

Aberdeen Group just reported that "insight needs to be job relevant and intuitive to use in order to drive adoption and engagement." Without a doubt, a knowledge based approach to selling is the only way to compete to sell at the speed of change today. The knowledge just needs to be at the right level for both your sales teams and customers. 

For more info, take a look at these articles.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

ask what your customer is thinking, but be careful how you ask...

Posted by K. (Karen) G. Fraser on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 @ 04:33 PM

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.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

in negotiation, keep calm and analyze data

Posted by Marie Dudek Brown on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 @ 04:25 PM

The critical goal of the Consequences of No Agreement (CNA) analysis is getting a clear picture of the It that you are selling and that the customer is buying, as well as what the competitor is offering. Then on a deal-by-deal basis, find the two or three items your company has that the competitor doesn't, given the client's needs in this deal.

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Tags: negotiation skills for sales

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