Today I am recommending B4B: How Technology and Big Data Are Reinventing the Customer-Supplier Relationship by J.B. Wood, Todd Hewlin and Thomas Lah. While this book is several years old, the concepts and projections into how businesses will sell and buy are amazingly prescient! I have long felt that the world of B2B selling is changing and most organizations are not prepared for those changes.
Consider this: The basic selling motions that nearly every B2B salesperson and sales manager have been trained in are over 125 years old! They were first developed by John Patterson when he founded NCR. He was the first one to develop and refine the direct salesforce model and selling methodologies. These were later adopted by Thomas Watson when he left NCR to found the company that became IBM.
Today, customers are not as interested in what they are paying for (your products or services) as they are in what they are buying – which is the outcomes you will produce for them. Customers are demanding that you understand the outcomes they want to achieve and that your organization is committed to producing those outcomes. This is a dramatic shift from selling “solutions” and is the prerequisite for selling any SaaS (Something as a Service) offering.
In addition, the authors point out that how your company manages the delivery of value after the sale will ultimately determine whether your subscription model will succeed or fail. For long time readers of mine, you know this is music to my ears! The book is available on Amazon and an enlightening read.
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