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How to change somebodies mind

Posted in on Monday 19th June 2017

Ever found one of your Sellers, Managers or Customers with entrenched opinions that you want to change. The facts are on your side but they are emotionally attached to their opinion. Take a look at this interesting article on the principles and tactics of how to change someones mind https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/how-to-change-someones-mind.html

Is Solution Selling Dead

Posted in on Saturday 3rd June 2017

When the article The End of Solution Selling  was written was this just attention seeking or has selling actually moved on, with solution selling left to withering on the vine? Well it certainly made me read the article, and then to think about the reality of what I encounter when I meet with sales organisations. 

From my experience solution selling has never really truly been alive in many organisations. Sure they use the word solutions liberally, but the reality is that is where it starts and finishes. Strap lines have been created and hardware, software and service bundles defined, but that is not solution selling. Predetermined, premeditated, premature solutions have no inherent value. Zero!, strong stuff!

True solution selling is far more customer centric, requires deeper insight into customer needs and how your products & services really impact a clients business. It needs to be implemented across the organisation, not just sales. Becoming a solution organisation requires more than just a face lift and name change.  Let us face it customer used to just buy technology and you just needed to be in the right place, deliver acceptable service levels and buy lunch. Now you really need to sell to overcome the customer reluctance to invest in the next paradigm shift, upgrade or leading edge product (Yes this is marketing blue sky!)

In their work on challenger selling the Marketing Executive Council reported that 35% of companies were able to establish themselves as truly preferred Vs their competition, of this group only 50% of customers perceived the impact of the unique benefits as relevant to their needs.

Whatever we call this type of selling is not that important, it is just a title. What is important is how you actually deliver.

I would recommend the following 5 point action plan:

1.       Insight: Understand your market and customer needs

2.       Impact: Understand the relevant impact your products & service have on a client?s business

3.       Differentiation: Understand where you are unique (or better) and the relevance of this to a client

4.       Engagement:  Involve the whole company in the above as they all play a part in the definition and delivery

5.       Deliver: Faultless delivery from the whole organisation to deliver the impact and allow the customer to realise the value

References.

(1) The End of Solution Sales ~ Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, and Nicholas Toman, Harvard Business Review July-August 2012

(2) Business Think - Dave Marcum, Steve Smith & Mahan Khalsa
(3) The Challenger Sale - Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Sales Playbook

Posted in on Monday 22nd May 2017

Having spent a lot of time recently defining sales processes for sales organisations I found the following article a great guide - How to build the right sales playbook for your team http://labs.openviewpartners.com/sales-playbook/#.WIDjmbYrK8U If you do not have a consistent process you may want to think about putting one in place and quickly.

Salespeple do what brands do ...

Posted in on Friday 5th May 2017

Interesting article that links seven key brand building principles to the role of the sales person

https://hbr.org/2016/08/the-best-salespeople-do-what-the-best-brands-do

Price v Value

Posted in on Monday 20th March 2017

If you do not know what the customer needs to achieve you cannot possibly know the value you bring. And if you do not know your value all you have is price. If you are more expensive, what would your prospect need to know to justify paying more, then demonstrate that you can deliver it. Alternatively if the customer could have your solution or the competitors solution at no cost, which would they choose and why. This is the extra value you provide, now put a value on it for the prospect.

Do you know why you lose?

Posted in on Thursday 2nd March 2017

When we win we put it down to a great campaign and when we lose we blame the price, the customer basically everyone but ourselves. If we lose we need to understand the real reason and make this a learning opportunity. Try reading Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed to see how other professions embrace, or not, their failures and the impact it can have if you chose to listen and learn.

Referrals

Posted in on Friday 17th February 2017

Do you always ask for referrals following a sale. According to Dale Carnegie 91% of clients are willing to provide referrals, however only 11% of salespeople ask for them. Even more important is that referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value says the Journal of Marketing.

Executive and Sales Alignment

Posted in on Thursday 2nd February 2017

Executives and Salespeople Are Misaligned and the Effects Are Costly.

On average, companies deliver only 50% to 60% of the financial performance that their strategies and sales forecasts have promised. And more than half of executives (56%) say that their biggest challenge is ensuring that their daily decisions about strategy and resource allocation are in alignment with their companies strategies.

https://hbr.org/2017/01/executives-and-salespeople-are-misaligned-and-the-effects-are-costly

Executive and Sales Alignment?

Posted in on Thursday 2nd February 2017

Posted in on Thursday 2nd February 2017