Thursday, November 19, 2015

SiriusDecisions: Top 4 Ways to Get your Value Selling Program Right

You’ve invested a lot of time and effort in developing your B2B value selling / ROI tools and program,  But the evolution from product to value can have its challenges. trying to get your sales reps and specialists to better communicate and quantify your unique value.

So how do you know if your getting it right, and where your program might have gotten off-track? 

I posed this question to Jim Ninivaggi, the Practice Leader of SiriusDecisions Sales Enablement Practice in a recent webcast interview – Why You Have to Get Value Selling Right.  

His answer was wise, simple and straightforward, consisting of just 4 simple questions you can ask your team to assure that you’re sales reps and specialists get it and are on their way to success.

Regarding your sales reps and consultants, and the use of your value selling tools and program:

1) Do they know what job needs to be done, and why? – Are your reps and consultants:
a.     Conscious that they have to change their approach, know the cost of “do nothing”, and understand personally what’s in it for them (WIFM)? 
b.     Aware that there are tools and concierge services  available to make it easier than ever to do value discovery, guide conversations, crunch the numbers and produce stunning personalized presentations and proposals for each unique prospect?

2) Can they do the job? -  Have they been through training on your value selling methodology and tool kit? Have they practiced engagements in a safe environment and been certified?

3) Are they doing the job? – Are they using the value selling approach and tools, verified with tracking and reports? Are they leveraging your value consultants, service desk and sales support to take advantage of available help.? Are first line managers promoting and assisting with the new approach

4) Are they getting the right results? – Had the needle moved on your key success indicators including:
a.     Increased competitive win rates and reduction in deals ending in “no decision”
b.     Increased deal size and reduced discounting
c.      Reduced sales cycles
d.     Improved quota performance and reduced new-hire ramp up time.

According to Jim, it's easier but not enough to launch and forget. You need to be sure the answer is “Yes” to four key enablement questions for your value / ROI selling program.  The key: Examine your sales reps and specialists readiness with 4 simple questions, so you can assure value selling program success.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

From High Touch to Low Cost – A Disturbing Trend in B2B Selling?

Last year, new research from Forrester boldly predicted the Death of the B2B Sales Rep, making some stark forecasts:
  1. Much of B2B buying will not need sales reps anymore, and will move to lower cost self-service or inside sales reps.
  2. Over 1 million B2B salespeople would go the way of the dodo by 2020.
  3. 1 in 5 reps may be looking for a new career within the next 5 years.
On the heels of these forecasts, SiriusDecisions countered with research of their own. In a comprehensive buyer survey of over 1,000 decision makers, they found that:
  1. Sales rep engagement is positive in 85% of engagements, and material to a good customer experience and decision.
  2. B2B buyers interact with sales reps at every stage of the buyer's journey, not just at the tail end as other research estimated.
  3. The Sales Presentation is still the most valuable engagement in helping to drive a decision.
I had the pleasure of interviewing SiriusDecisions about their research over the summer, and the counter argument is comprehensive and compelling.

However, as we wrap up 2015, we have noticed a clear and present trend – B2B sales and their vital support groups are being reorganized at an alarming rate. Several leadership positions have been eliminated, and high touch consultants, specialists, architects and sales reps are being consolidated into larger groups, or replaced with in an attempt to get by on a lower touch / cost sales model.

Clearly, B2B execs are frustrated with the lack of sales growth and the fact that a mere 58% of reps are expected to make quota (CSO Insights 2015). This as the cost of sales reps, specialists, architects and business value consultants climbs ever higher. 

As Forrester predicted, B2B leaders are indeed cutting direct reps and their support teams, turning to the web and inside sales groups to try and reduce the perceived high cost of sale.

Will this work? And what is the true cost of the reallocation? Is this just another step towards the “Death of the B2B Sales Rep” or a temporary blip?

Join me in an important interview with Jim Ninivaggi, the Sales Enablement Practice Leader from SiriusDecisions, as we review the latest research for answers, and provide you the guidance you need to survive.

SiriusDecisions Interview - Why You Have to Get Value Selling Right –  Nov 12 at 11a ET - Register Now

Monday, October 26, 2015

Surviving Frugalnomics - the Top Five Articles for Fall 2015

Each quarter we do a round up of our most popular and important articles to help you survive Frugalnomics, and based on your votes here are the top five:

1) End Death by PowerPoint and 1,000 White Paper Cuts

2) Death of the B2B Sales Rep – An Interview with SiriusDecisions

3) Frugalnomics in Effect - Gartner predicts 5.5% decline in IT spending for 2015

4) TCO is so 1990. Why TCS is the new TCO!

5) Three Challenges that will Impact Your 2016 IT Sales and Marketing Plans