Steve’s Blog

Steve’s Blog

TECHNOLOGY SALES – HOW DO WE GET ACCESS TO THE BUSINESS?


My original plan was to follow up on the previous post with a discussion of how Outcome-Based Selling should be a significant part of addressing the shifting of technology sales from legacy IT to the lines of business. However, I’ve gotten a lot of requests like the following from Coralee Torrence: “The big problem is making that shift when all the relationships we have built are in IT. How do we get there?” I’d like to tackle this topic now.

For most legacy technology selling teams, their primary “relationships” are with IT. And we can infer that their conversations consist of “bits, bytes, feeds and speeds” (after all they are trained extensively on product features). However, what many technology selling organizations, as well as IT departments, lose sight of is that the sole purpose of IT is to support their internal business customers and the objectives of the business.

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Steve’s Blog

TECHNOLOGY SALES – WHO ARE YOUR REAL CUSTOMERS TODAY?


We will interrupt our regularly scheduled series to talk about a significant issue for my technology clients. This is a topic I’ve discussed at length with numerous CROs, SVP of Sales and sales managers over the past few months. And it’s one that is both top of mind and frustrating for these sales leaders.

These experienced professionals lead B2B sales for legacy technology companies. What are the common problems they are grappling with?

1) Why are sales in the USA/NA flat or barely growing (read not hitting our growth targets), while technology sales in EMEA and APJ are doing great?

2) And why are fewer and fewer of our sales reps consistently hitting their numbers?  

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MUST-WIN DEALS – ARE WE HAVING THE RIGHT NEGOTIATION?


In the previous blog, we continued our discussion of the critical questions sales management should ask when it comes to closing must-win deals and explored “Common Negotiation Mistakes”, in which we introduced the concepts of “having the right negotiation” and then “negotiating the right way.” In this blog, we’ll discuss “Are we having the right negotiation?”

You could be a very talented negotiator, but if you’re having the wrong negotiation, the odds of closing a great deal are very slim. Let’s summarize what’s been discussed so far in this blog series to ensure we are setting up the right negotiation. There are four objectives we need to achieve prior to what is commonly viewed as the formal “negotiation”:

  • Sell to customer outcomes (both Business and Personal)
  • Validate with the customer the key Deal Levers that are required to produce those outcomes
  • Determine what a Great Deal would look like based on the outcomes important to both sides
  • Present the customer with options in order to allow them to buy
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Steve’s Blog

MUST-WIN DEALS – COMMON NEGOTIATION MISTAKES


In the previous blog, we continued our discussion of the critical questions sales management should ask when it comes to closing must-win deals and explored “Is Our Proposal Compelling?”, in which we introduced the idea of seven simple slides that make it easier for the customer to buy from us – and feel confident it is the right decision. In this blog, we’ll transition to the next phase of the selling cycle and explore “Common Negotiation Mistakes.

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MUST-WIN DEALS – IS OUR PROPOSAL COMPELLING?


In the previous blog, we continued our discussion of the critical questions sales management should ask when it comes to closing must-win deals and explored “Can We Make It Easier For The Customer To Buy? in which we introduced the concept of Multiple Acceptable Options to manage uncertainty and risk. In this blog, we’ll show how we can use options in our Proposal as well as address the question “Is Our Proposal Compelling?”

My observation is that B2B sales proposals are treated more or less as a “check box” exercise. Meaning that we are now at the point in the sales cycle where we should give the customer a proposal. When I work with buying organizations to help them position and close critical deals with key suppliers, part of my job is to review supplier proposals. I really hate this task because I already know what almost every supplier proposal will say. They’re all about the supplier and their products, services, features, office locations, growth, recent acquisitions, etc. They’re all innovative, world-leading, and Gartner upper-right quadrant. And I don’t know how this math works, but somehow they all manage to be number one in their field. It’s no wonder customers have a hard time choosing one supplier over another.

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‘Must-Win Deals (How to Close Them and Why We Lose Them)” Best Seller on Amazon


I’m very excited and somewhat stunned that my book, “Must-Win Deals (How to Close Them and Why We Lose Them)”, made the Best Seller list on Amazon for the category of “Business Education”!  In addition, it has hit Amazon’s Hot New Release for the categories of “Business Negotiating”, “Business Leadership” and “Knowledge Capital”!

I can’t thank all of you enough for making this happen as I am truly humbled and appreciative. Your supportive posts, emails and texts have made this a week to remember.  I’m trying very hard to keep up with and answer every one.

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