Monday, 8 June 2015

The 60/40 rule - what will you do to make your sales efforts count? 5 tips to help you succeed.

It’s universally accepted that, for many B2B businesses, up to 60% of the sales journey is undertaken by the prospect themselves before any interaction with a vendor is required. That’s good news if your marketing and inside sales teams are doing a top notch job and prospects can find out everything they need to know about your products and services online. That means all leads are truly warmed up and by the time they pass you the ball all you have left to do is to get it firmly into the back of the net.

Although that sounds great, the pressure is truly on. Having worked hard to get the ball so far up the pitch all eyes will now be on you to get it right. You can’t afford to squander any opportunity to succeed. So if you’re a sales striker, what are you doing differently? After all, the rest of the world has changed the way it does business, but have you? The plain truth is that what worked five years ago may not work now.

Whilst no one can proclaim to be an expert in selling all things to all people, having worked closely with a number of sizable B2B brands over the last couple of years, some really great strategies for sales success have emerged. I’ve compiled five of these in this brief article. Whilst some may only serve as reinforcements and reminders, hopefully there will be something here you hadn’t considered before.

Go beyond fulfilment
Your prospect may have started the conversation with an RFP. Slavishly delivering against that RFP is akin to the work of an unimaginative waiter and you’re better than that, right? So learn to listen and deliver, tick all the boxes and then add some of your own. And tick those too. These extra boxes may be your unique differentiator and an opportunity to win.

Use Insight selling
Customers are always interested in the sorts of insights that you can bring based on your experiences with other customers. They will accept your opinion based on experience and insight and this can have an enormously positive impact on a sale. Your disruptive insights may make your customer’s aware of unknown needs and increase the value of the sale.

Use the power of personal
People buy from people. Until now, your customer’s journey has probably been a bit impersonal and highly fact-based. Now is the time to positively differentiate yourself from the competition. Everything else being equal, you may be the difference that wins the sale. Whilst face to face meetings are most effective, customers often have little time for these and they can be time-consuming and costly. Personalised video tools like vCreate ( allow you to quickly deliver relevant content to your stakeholders to move the sale on whilst also making that all important emotional connection.

Challenge your customer’s view
If you believe the customer is making the wrong decision, challenge it. Although they have journeyed alone through much of the buying cycle they will be pleased to hear your view and will respect your ability and willingness to challenge them to get the best end result.

Make buying easy
Even if your customer has a complex procurement process, look at ways to make buying as simple as possible. Whatever you can do to help your customer navigate either their own buying process or yours will be greatly appreciated. Maybe it’s about getting the first part of a project underway below a certain approval threshold is reached or being flexible about how your organisation does business. Being flexible at the buying stage is key to turning a hot lead into a confirmed purchase.

So most agree that when it comes to selling, everything has changed. Customers are circumventing the need for cold-calling sales visits and calls. They’re doing it for themselves. If you’re in sales it’s time to adapt what you do and how you do it. Every challenge is an opportunity but only if you’re truly able to embrace this change and make it work.

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