3 Key Metrics that Will Have a Profound Impact - a Report from Forrester’s Sales Enablement Forum

This week, leading sales enablement professionals met to share issues, best practices and success stories at the Forrester Sales Enablement Forum. Forrester analysts like Scott Santucci presented the latest research on selling effectiveness, and there were three important findings that I think will have profound implications on your sales / marketing strategies for 2013:

80% - that’s the percentage of marketing leads, on average, which fail to advance through the sales process. As a result, there are more stalled opportunities, than ever as your customers choose to “Do Nothing” versus advance to “Yes”.

Today’s more resource constrained, risk averse and frugal buyer needs significant convincing as to “Why Change?”, “Why Now?” and “Why You?” in order to advance through the purchase decision.

As a result, you need to deliver the right value messaging and quantification to “Quantify the Pain”, “Justify the Gain” and “Prove You Are Not the Same”.

76% - that’s the percentage of deals that are won by the vendor who is able to help establish the buying agenda, versus only 24% that won the business in the later bake off phase.

The impact of helping establish your customer’s buying agenda is more profound than ever, growing in importance compared to last year’s 65% significance.  Helping establish the buyers agenda is more important than ever to proactively and provocatively engage with your customers to help them identify issues they didn’t know they had, and helping them prioritize the issue that matter most. 

Diagnosing and educating your customers on the key business issues they should be addressing, and quantifying the “cost of doing nothing” is critical to establishing buyer needs / prioritization, and as a result, driving your competitive win rates much higher.

< 12% - the miserly percentage of sales professionals that are perceived as value / outcome focused by executives. The majority of sales reps are unfortunately viewed as product sellers, blindly pitching products with little regard to the buyer’s challenges or pseudo-solution sellers, asking a few cursory pain-point questions before diving into a canned product sales pitch.

Your customers want consultative advice on how to gain competitive advantage, identifying and overcoming challenges, what these challenges are costing them, and how your solutions can help drive real top or bottom-line impact. Unfortunately today there is a large gap between your customer’s expectations and the capability of your sales reps and channel partners to engage with value-based messaging and quantification.

The Bottom-Line
Your customers continue to be impacted by what Forrester termed the “Do More With Less Economy”.  They have less budget, time and risk tolerance than ever.

As a result, your customers are looking for more consultative engagements, more likely to stick with “Do Nothing”, and more likely to value the solution provider that can help identify / prioritize important challenges and deliver solutions that drive bottom-line impact.

Frugalnomics is in full effect, and your ability to develop and deliver the content, tools and capability to proactively and provocatively help facilitate the decision making journey and drive customer value is critical to driving sales success.


Michael McGowan said…
All makes sense. How do we go about heeding the findings?
David Nicholson said…
Many companies with 'great product' carry mediocre sales teams blissfully unaware of the missed potential as the product compensates poor sales performance!
Consider the significant upside, market share and customer advocacy gains with a customer model consisting great product and great consultative sales
Tom Pisello said…
One of the ways to begin tackling, is to implement tools for sales enablement to help them engage and sell provocatively with value.

Start here, and in particular, check out the helpful resources for ebook and additional key metrics:
Diane said…
These metrics can also be applied in the SMB arena where it is a very big challenge to persuade business owners to invest in new technologies. I am reorienting my sales process to calculate the cost of doing nothing before moving into "the pitch".

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