Steve’s Blog

Steve’s Blog

What Sells For You – When You Are Not In The Room


A belated Happy New Year to everyone!  In my previous post I ended with “…there is one thing that is common to every B2B sale, at some point you will submit a proposal for consideration.  The time has come for the B2B proposal to be elevated to a strategic imperative – especially when it comes to enabling customers to quickly and easily answer their questions and sell internally for you when you aren’t there.”

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Steve’s Blog

Questions “Virtual Buyers” Ask – When You’re Not There


Earlier this week, a former colleague and I were discussing the challenges of “virtual B2B selling” and he quickly declared the real issue was “virtual B2B buying” – with which I absolutely agree.  The pandemic has only accelerated buying issues on the customer side.  Let me explain why.  This conversation reminded me of an experience from the beginning of this year. Prior to COVID-19 (and my current position), I ran a series of workshops for the sales managers at several clients during their annual sales kickoff.

The objective was for the sales managers to develop their version of the right questions to ask account teams when coaching and inspecting opportunities. Senior executives were concerned with inconsistent (and insufficient) adoption of the questions they were given in previous sales training. In short, these executives wanted the sales managers to develop and then own the questions, which would increase the likelihood they would consistently ask them.

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Steve’s Blog

Udemy For Business Launches “The Painless Negotiation” Course


Early this year, I was contacted by Udemy and asked if I would develop an online B2B Negotiations course for sellers they could offer to their business clients.  I was humbled to be asked and excited by the prospect of working with this world-class organization (they have over 50M subscribers).

Little did I realize how challenging the current pandemic would make the production, but the course was officially launched late last week, and you can find it at The Painless Negotiation.  My goal was to impart my best thinking and experience on current B2B negotiations in short clips of less than 5 minutes as well as have the student immediately apply those concepts to a real live deal (which is the best context to promote learning).

I hope I have been successful in achieving both.  If you or your team are interested, please check it out!

Good Selling!

Steve

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Steve’s Blog

WHAT’S SELLING WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE ROOM?


Prior to COVID-19, Gartner reported that only 17% of any B2B buying team’s time was spent meeting with all potential suppliers. Additionally, over 70% of these “meetings” between buyers and sellers were not in person (Forrester). In other words, most of our conversations were already using the phone or video teleconference, so the current pandemic has only served to accelerate the trend.

In the current virtual environment, most sellers are reporting more sales calls with customers, but less than 50% believe this approach can be effective at B2B selling (Bain).  Yet the same poll showed that over 70% of B2B buyers believe the “new normal” of video teleconferencing is as good or even better than in person meetings. I think you can see where the future of B2B selling is heading…

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“DON’T WASTE A CRISIS” – B2B BUYING AND SELLING NEEDS A CURE


Don’t let a good crisis go to waste” is today applied to economic or diplomatic crises that can be exploited to advance political agendas. However, the original quote as found in the Yale Book of Modern Proverbs, can be traced back to 1976 (sorry, Churchill did not say it first), when M. F. Weiner wrote an article in the journal Medical Economics entitled “Don’t Waste a Crisis — Your Patient’s or Your Own.” Weiner meant that a medical crisis can be used to improve aspects of mental health, daily habits or lifestyle – for both parties.

This is the proper context for this post. How can the current COVID-19 crisis be used to improve the interactions and business results for both B2B Buyers and Sellers?  Studying this “deceptive dance” from both sides for over 20 years in my consulting practice, I have often been frustrated by how much time, effort, and potential value is routinely squandered by both sides – resulting in very poor deals for one or both parties. Why does it have to be this way?

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Steve’s Blog

Covid-19 is Changing How We Do Business


Maintaining your business base is your first priority in the current COVID-19 environment.  Yet, your team must accomplish this with limited access to your customers – and your customers have access to reduced budgets at best.  What’s your plan to ensure their spend with you is above the newly revised budgetary line?        

Watch this brief video to see how our clients are doing this today.

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