html5reset October, 2017

HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS OPPORTUNITY IS QUALIFIED?


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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WHAT IF YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMER ARE NOT ALIGNED ON EXPECTED OUTCOMES?


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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