html5reset October, 2017


As we discussed in the previous blog about opportunity qualification, customers have three theoretical alternatives to doing a deal with us

1) Go with a competitor

2) Do nothing (status quo)

3) Do it themselves

It is important we realize each represents a potentially very different selling process. The value proposition and the subsequent negotiation with be impacted so our preparation is key.

First we must understand the alternative we are really competing against and analyze that alternative based on what is important to this customer and the buying influencers. Those insights are priceless. In turn, these insights must inform our value proposition as well as our selling and negotiation strategies.

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This is a tough and sometimes unwelcome question often fraught with emotion – especially for the sales team pursuing the opportunity. However, it is imperative they know a B2B opportunity is qualified and therefore worth committing precious hours and limited corporate resources in pursuing.

“It’s an approved project with budget. We’ve met with all of the key buying influencers – and they really like what we have to say!” I am willing to bet this opportunity would easily clear the “qualified” hurdle and would probably show as “upside” or perhaps even “commit” in many a sales pipeline. But is it really qualified?

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Some months ago I wrote a series of blogs on how technology might be utilized to help facilitate complex B2B selling by fostering collaboration and transparency with a focus on value.  I suspected this would be challenging, but I have to confess it is really hard!  Below is a blog that describes our first module the Value Alignment Assessment tool.  While the screenshots are not always easy to read, I hope you’ll get the gist of it.  As always, I welcome any comments and suggestions and if you would like to try this tool and process, please let me know and I’ll arrange a free trial. –Steve

The Outcome Disconnect

More and more companies are transitioning to a service or subscription business model like SaaS (what we’ll refer to as “Something as a Service”). Many existing service providers are finding a much more competitive landscape.  In this environment it is more important than ever that the supplier align their offering to the value (outcomes and success metrics) that the customer is looking to achieve. Otherwise, the customer is more likely to leave them because they didn’t achieve the outcomes they expected.  This often leaves the supplier confused because the product or service “performed as advertised.”

Unfortunately, even when the supplier believes they are aligned to the customer’s outcomes, there is still a significant risk. When outcomes and objectives are garnered from the customer, too often only a few voices (primary contact or supporter) weigh in and are heard by the sales team. The inherent assumption is that the information is complete. But everyone on the customer side may not necessarily be aligned on the outcomes, priorities, and success metrics.  Therefore, gaining alignment is a task that must be shouldered by the sales team and the customer.

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