Jose Palomino

Mercedes 300 SL Cabrio

Image Courtesy Dominik Bartsch on Flickr

Deal drivers are the things that your prospect (and marketplace) has articulated as being of greatest importance in making a buying decision. It may be price, ease-of-use, performance, support, or a range of other factors. It’s important to note that the deal drivers are very different than requirements; these are the desires of either the company or the specific buyer with which you are dealing.

Bob Apollo, founder if the UK-based marketing group Infusion-Point, agrees that knowing your buyer’s mindset is vital to complex sales. The buyer’s mindset – of which Bob outlines four – will “result in dramatically different behaviours as they conduct their search for a solution.”

In other words, in order to make the sale, you need to know what’s driving the purchase. Read More »

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roi

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You are almost always going to have to prove your offering’s value to your customer in dollar terns. It’s not enough to explain your mission and match your value propositions – your customer will most likely need to know that your offering is worth their financial investment in financial terms.

William F. Kendy, writer for Selling Power magazine, says that, “One of the biggest obstacles to many a sale is the price objection. Yes, it’s true, even with podcasts, hybrid cars and 500 cable channels, some things never change.” Furthermore, “If salespeople rely on price only to capture and retain business, they reduce whatever they’re selling to a commodity.”

So what does that mean in the context of a complex or b2b sale?

You need to have the ROI conversation. Read More »

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money

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Rex was a seasoned IT manager. He worked for several New York based international banks over the ten years before I met him. Sandy and I were the sales team (I was her supporting systems analyst) for a mainframe computing company. We called on Rex and were stunned when he said that his bank had decided to move to a different technology – and, by the way, he hated our company and its products.

Not my best day in sales.

Fast-forward 18 months. I am now in sales with my own territory, calling on a Middle-Eastern bank’s New York operation for the first time. The bank’s general manager walks in with his brand new IT director… Rex! Read More »

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Mom Grabs the iPad

Image Courtesy Alan Levine on Flickr

Made famous by the The Economist, the “mom test” refers to the theory that “if mom can use it, then everyone can use it.” Brad Treat, president of internet video company SightSpeed, says, “With e-mail, it wasn’t till my mom could use it that it became ubiquitous. The real test is always the mom test.” Read More »

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When Employee Talent and Your Offering Don’t Mix

June 23, 2014

What do you do if your product or offering doesn’t align with the employee talent of your customer’s business?

This is an aspect of sales that doesn’t usually get much attention. Go ahead and Google some sort of mix of, “Sales Talent Alignment With Offering,” “Talent Match with Offering,” “Employee Talent and Sales Offering,” etc. You’ll be hard pressed to find any relevant articles.

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Sales Intangibles: Sales Leadership Interview with Greg Theriault

June 20, 2014

Image generated via Wordle. For the last few months, my team and I have been working diligently on my forthcoming book, Pivotal Conversations. The book delves into and describes the messaging framework we developed for sales teams and sales management. We’ve been looking at the powerful and necessary conversations that commercial sales teams have to [...]

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What Are Your Customer’s Technical Requirements?

June 16, 2014

Before you can make a sale, you of course need to know your customer’s technical requirements. While seemingly obvious, the discipline of making sure your product is compatible with your customer’s technical requirements is hardly uniformly practiced. This is simply something that can’t be avoided – either your offering matches their requirements, or it doesn’t (and yes, you can influence the requirements).

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Sales Forecasting Accuracy: Where Does Complete Visibility Start?

June 2, 2014

In a long sales cycle, what contributes most to that accuracy? To help fill in those complicated gaps, I called on forecasting veteran, Marty Falaro.

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