If B2B selling of new technology was easy, then I would have to retire… again. Everyone would be at it.
But while the elements of B2B selling have been extensively charted for decades, it’s the consistent application of these when talking face to face (or Zoom to Zoom) that makes sales happen faster and with mutual profit.
At the top of the B2B Maslow-like hierarchy, the very best deals – those that deliver significant value equally to both the buyer and the seller – are driven by values that inspire both sides.
If you’re running a commodity-style deal, no-one really gets fired up about things, but if your product or service can for example change the world for the better, or drive increased social responsibility, then everyone gets excited, leadership from both sides make promises that they want to deliver, and the troops are galvanised.
But in B2B sales, being able to change the world isn’t enough...
A message from one of my sponsors, as it were...
I'm doing some work with Virtalis, a top class software company specialising in building very cool ways to visualise key processes for engineering companies.
Think digital twins on steroids; digital threads like hawsers; engineering cost savings in the millions; and dozens of new customers lining up to give you orders, all based upon this standout software and service.
The Virtalis sales team is off to strut their stuff at the world's largest engineering trade fair -- Hannover Messe -- from 1st to 5th April.
If you're in engineering, and you design and build big complex things, then popping over to Hall 6, stand L56 for 15 mins could transform the way you do business.
I'm not one for hyperbole, but I'd say that companies not using this tech by 2020 will be under significant existential threat from their competitors that do. So I really think it's worth your while saying hello to the gang.
#hannovermesse #hannovermesse2019 #HM19 #visualisation #3dvisualisation #VR #XR #virtualreality #industrie40 #industrialpioneers #digitaltransformation
Very short blog today.
The odd decade or two ago, as a first line sales manager, I would expect my sales people to know everything that was going to happen to a deal that was closing in the current month. As we got to the last two weeks before close-date, I would expect them to have a detailed close plan, and would chide them, sometimes not so gently, if they didn't know the process, the plan, the people, and the issues.
Fanfare! So I want to place this on record.
I apologise to all those hard working reps to whom I gave a hard time.
I was sarcastic.
I was incredulous.
Sometimes I was dismissive.
Again, I apologise.
Here we are, two weeks away from Brexit, and we don't even know if we're two weeks away from Brexit!
If the Government, in its pomp, its majesty, as the final arbiter of the rule of law, as the seat of ultimate power where rules may be changed upon a whim... If the actual freakin' United Kingdom Govt. doesn't know its own plan two weeks out, then we have to assume that with all the best wills in the world, a sales rep won't always know what his or her close plan is actually going to look like.
There are times when things f*** up, and as a sales manager, the only way to cope with this is to find something extra in the pipeline and react. Commiserate with the rep. Try and learn something from the process. But include in the lesson that sometimes, sometimes, things f*** up.
Some 32 years ago, as a callow sales youth, I was told to go "smoke-stack hunting" in New Jersey.
This was one of the crudest forms of prospecting ever, second only to taking photos of trucks on the highway and seeing which “prospect” had the biggest fleet. (We called that one "drive-by prospecting", BTW).
Smokestack hunting means you get to the highest physical location in the area (and anything over 300m is high in NJ), break out the binoculars and look for smokestacks (big chimneys) on the horizon.
Methodical ramblings after twenty-five years in Sales, Marketing and SalesOps.