you noticed that customers seem to want something new and different?
You'er right – they do.
the last newsletter we looked at some research produced by the
Corporate Executive Board using almost 3000 B2B purchasers across
multiple industries they simply asked them at what stage of a
purchasing decision did they actively involve a sales professional to
may recall that the results surprisingly showed that the purchasers
were 57% of the way through their decision making process before
seeking sales rep assistance. Let us look at how a standard purchasing
process compares when put up against this result.
the new world the purchaser can readily define their own solutions
courtesy of more sophisticated procurement teams, purchase and
consultants armed with mountains of data and the ability to access vast
amounts of information for themselves.
means that they have already found options, compared performance,
explored comparisons and gained feedback before even talking to sales!
Basically all the functions you would expect a sales professional to do
in a consultative sales role.
the old world sales reps successfully diagnosed customer’s needs,
aligned their products to those needs, and sold them solutions that
should be better than their competitors.
no longer need to provide information (as the clients have it) but
instead creatively facilitate the buying process and provide bespoke
solutions using their offerings as part of the solution. It may even be
necessary to involve the competitions services to make a complete
addition, if the sales team can no longer be information providers then
falling back on old habits of providing information already gathered
will simply frustrate clients who already know the answers to most
questions or contradict what the client has already gained – often from
the marketing of the organisation.
we were honest we would admit that customers are often looking for
fault and so misinformation is proof that someone in the organisation
is not telling the truth and the client will disconnect.
here is a real tough one: If the purchaser knows all their own
needs, has assessed the options and concluded that you are a viable
option – what is left? Only price. Suddenly you are caught in a price
all indicates very strongly that there are new skill sets needed and
later in this newsletter we will look at some new ‘ABC’s that might
you would like a copy of the Harvard Business Review summary called
“The End of Solution Sales” simply click this link to take you to an email and put challenge of sale
summary in the subject line. It is worth reading as it summarises ‘The
Challenger Sale’ book.