Steve’s Blog

Steve’s Blog

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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Steve’s Blog

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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Steve’s Blog

SELLING TO THE PERSON WITH AN ERASER


There’s no shortage of sales processes that tell you it is important to “sell high” in the customer organization or sell to the “real” decision maker. It would be hard to fault this logic since it has proven successful over the years. However, the question that always comes to mind is how do you know you’ve sold high enough or sold to the right person?

Many times you are simply directed to sell to the “decision maker”. Let’s assume for a minute this signifies the person who is authorized to make the final selection decision and to authorize the issuance of a purchase order. On the surface, if we were to reach this individual, it looks like we’ve arrived. Finally, we are talking to the person that can make a decision!

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Steve’s Blog

Recent Coupa Blog Post–Don’t Miss This One


In my opinion, Coupa is a rare company built from the ground up with Value as the foundation of the business.  I’ve joked with Rob Bernshteyn that that I wish I had thought of “Value as a Service” before he had (it’s the title of his book which I previously recommended).  I forward this blog because I truly like how Coupa has defined their mission around Value.  I hope you enjoy!–Steve

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CHALLENGES (BIG AND SMALL) WHEN TRANSITIONING TO SAAS


There’s no denying that SaaS (what I generally refer to as “Something as a Service”) is a hot trend that’s growing and one that appears here to stay. What I don’t believe many organizations who are transitioning to or contemplating the shift to SaaS appreciate are the far reaching implications of culture, organization and processes this change entails. By far, the most common mistake I see when making this transition is assuming the only demonstrable difference is simply a change in “payment terms.” The selling organization can continue selling the same way, to the same customer contacts, and manage the account after the sale just like they have in the past. This general assumption leads to many challenges and pitfalls and I’ll try to summarize the key ones here.

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