Why Relationships Matter Most in B2B Sales

Why Relationships Matter Most in B2B Sales

To move a large, complex B2B sale forward, you need two power sources: Specific knowledge of the prospect’s business, industry, and his pain points. And the foundational elements for a longer-term relationship. Why?  Today’s more sophisticated B2B buyer expects an expert in his or her salesperson. Company and industry knowledge and sensitivity to his pain points are the prices of entry into his world.…

Winning RFPs: Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes

Most companies hate RFPs, the dreaded Request for Proposal. However, in certain industries and for certain products, RFPs grant the only access to the sales arena. In this post, I want to share insights on how to make a winning presentation. Like many of you, I, too, play RFP roulette to land these golden wins for our company. Because companies vigorously pursue greater operational efficiency and standardization today,…

Vault Over No-Decisions to More Revenue

Sales is not an exact science. The unpredictable, even irrational, human factor element makes sales more art than science, despite the massive amount of data at our fingertips. That’s why so many CEOs and sales leaders become frustrated when forecasting pipeline accuracy because they must depend on the claims of their salespeople. Let’s say the CFO wants accurate revenue projections for the quarter. Knowing…

Is the 80:20 Rule Zapping Your Sales Revenue?

Who’s booking the bulk of your revenue? If you’re paying attention to your monthly sales reports, you know the answer. Sales leaders often find a large percentage of new business comes from a small number of salespeople. Each quarter, as you measure your sales team on how they performed against quota, more than likely you face the universal 80:20 rule: 20 percent of your…

5 Behaviors the C-Suite Expects of You

In client discussions, I am commonly asked: “How do I get my salespeople trained to reach the decision makers in the C-suite?”  Rarely do most salespeople succeed at this coveted skill. Companies jump in to train their sales teams to enter the C-Suite, then wonder why it failed.  They were unprepared. Evaluate salespeople’s capabilities first. Not every salesperson possesses the capability to open doors…

What Wins the B2B Complex Sale? Logic or Emotion?

The saying “People buy on emotion and justify with logic” has always made sense to me. However, in B2B sales, salespeople often lead a prospect discussion with facts and figures. In my experience, this focus leads to analysis paralysis. When consulting, especially in financial services where I have considerable experience, I find salespeople jump into their “logical” mindset right away. I pull them back…

B2B Outbound Marketing is Dead! Long Live ______________?

Can you fill in the blank in the headline? Many experts believe outbound died. Traditional marketing techniques like direct mail, advertising or telemarketing washed away with the roaring digital flood of the last decade. Think about it. Is it harder to sell today than ten years ago? Of course, it is. Harvard Business Review (HBR) researchers discovered it now takes 18 or more phone…

Three Ways Your Salespeople Blow New Opportunities

Okay, while I may not suggest you shoot yourself out of a cannon to grab the attention of a prospect, I do want you to dust off your thinking about how to open new sales opportunities. At a recent private equity firm conference where I spoke, a partner in attendance asked me: “How do you respond to a prospect who flat out tells you…

How to Stimulate Sales with the “Anchoring Effect”

I happened to drive past a car dealership this past weekend and decided to browse new cars on the lot. Remember the old days of buying a car─how painful it could be to find information beyond the sticker on the window. Invariably, we had to deal with a “pushy” salesperson to answer our questions. With the internet, this experience has changed dramatically by putting…

3 Reasons to Ignore “Voice of the Customer”

The basic concept behind “voice of the customer” calls for you to sell to his or her stated needs. After all, your customers (clients/prospects) know their situation and what they need.  Right? They’re in the trenches every day and live with the pain of the problem they want to fix. What’s more, they hold a clear vision for their solution. Here’s your problem. If your…

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