July 27th 2011

Implementing a value based sales approach. Part 1. Introduction.

An unidentified seller in an unknown location....

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Selling is harder every day. This topics series is presented to help you better meet the challenges of resisting discounting and over time increasing your prices)

Selling processes/methods/tactics that were successful become less so over time. Marketplace noise increases daily.  The standard practise of push marketing plus outbound sales adds to the noise with targets increasing their use of a Delete key. In order to get to talk to a prospect about how a  product
or service brings value, sales needs high quality help from marketing and different sales skills.

This change is necessitated by a market power shift. Power in the process has shifted to the buyer, because the seller is no longer the sole source of information for the purchase.  Buyers have ready access to a sea of information about products through the Web. Buyers determine when and how the
seller will interact with them.

In my own case, I  receive numerous mail and phone requests every day for “just a few minutes of your time to discuss a new product or service that will bring benefit to your business“. Delete.  I need to be engaged by the sellers content and knowledge of my situation before I will respond.

Many sales and marketing teams still misunderstand this point, wasting millions of dollars yearly of  internal funds. If a selling company was effective in fixing this they would experience:

  1. Marketing having ongoing conversations with their target market
  2. The bulk of the sales conversations would be initiated by the buyer.
  3. The momentum of the sales cycles would be increasing (shorter cycles)
  4. Reduction  of the cost of sales and
  5. Rising profits.

In our consulting practise we see the opposite happening for many companies.

Any modern selling process (what the seller does) now takes a distant back seat to fully the knowing the buyer, the  buyer’s (hidden) process (what the buyers do) and the value the seller brings during the  buying process. This is a sea change in how many previously successful sales people have been trained.

(In part 2 I describe one of the changes needed – in marketing )

Your comments and examples are welcomed.

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