Posts with Category "Sales Research"

3 Rules for Building a Value Proposition
By Mike Schultz

value proposition

Ask 100 sellers at 100 companies why their customers buy from them, and you're likely to hear 100 answers with the same underlying theme: the value we provide.

Sellers describe their value to us in a number of ways: we get results. Our relationships are very close. They get from us what they've always wanted (but never gotten) from other companies. We bring innovative solutions to the table. And so on.

Pretty obvious, right? To win sales you have to maximize value.

In practice there's no denying that sales winners are much better at getting buyers to perceive maximum value than the rest. In fact, in our research, only one factor—"overall value was superior"—was of top importance to buyers in all of the categories we studied (e.g. how winners win the initial sale, what drives repeat business, what drives referrals, etc.).

Before you can learn how to communicate value, however, you need to understand some key concepts about value.

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Infographic: 18 Tactics Buyers Use in Sales Negotiations
By Erica Stritch

sales negotiation infographic

Good negotiators have the ability to recognize the negotiation style of the other party.

When a buyer comes to the negotiation in partner mode, it allows you to work collaboratively to create possibilities that expand the pie and result in the best possible agreement for both sides.

But what about when your buyer takes a different approach? What if your buyer is just trying to get the price reduced, get more from you for less, or something else altogether?

Despite the benefits of a partner-style negotiation, you need to know how to deal with positional buyer tactics when they arise.

In this infographic, we share 18 of the most common tactics a buyer might use, what they look like, and how you can be prepared for and respond to each so you can successfully negotiate with buyers on their terms.

View the infographic now.

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Should Buyers Take You Seriously?
By Mike Schultz

insight seller attributes

What do James Franco, Daniel Craig, and Mo'Nique all have in common? They're described as actors who bring gravitas to their roles on the big and small screens.* Another is Sir Patrick Stewart, who embodied gravitas as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Picard had power and authority. He commanded respect. When he spoke, the Enterprise—and everyone else in the universe—listened.

Gravitas is rooted in Latin, meaning heavy, serious, having gravity. In the sales world, gravitas means you're someone to be taken seriously.

When buyers take you seriously, they're more apt to take your advice and buy into your ideas. That's why gravitas is a key quality of an insight seller.

Got Gravitas? What It Means for Winning Sales

Insight sellers possess 12 key attributes needed to succeed in sales. We've divided them into tendencies that drive behavior and qualities that guide those actions. Gravitas is one of five qualities found in sellers who consistently win sales. So what does gravitas look like?

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Do You Have What It Takes to Become an Insight Seller?
By Mike Schultz

insight seller attributes

There’s a revolution underway in sales. What used to work, even just a few years ago, is no longer enough to win major sales today.

As a result, a new breed of seller, who's beating out the competition and winning the sale, has emerged: the insight seller.

Insight sellers share new ideas and perspectives with their buyers, and they collaborate with buyers to develop the best solutions. They don't just sell the value of their products and services, they become the value.

To succeed as an insight seller, we've identified 12 key attributes, which we divide into tendencies and qualities that drive their success. They're divided like the image to the left.

Insight sellers share 7 tendenciesthese are the predispositions that drive how people choose to spend their time: 

  1. Passion for Work and Selling: Insight sellers have a desire for success in general and for selling in particular...

 

Image source: Schultz, Mike, and John E. Doerr. Insight Selling: Surprising Research on What Sales Winners Do Differently. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2014.

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The End of the End of Solution Sales
By Mike Schultz

armageddon

Since articles like "The End of Solution Sales" and "Selling is Not About Relationships" were published in the Harvard Business Review, there's been a lot of disagreement in the sales world about what's working and what's not. The arguments behind these articles were steeped in data. The arguments against these articles seemed more based on experience and belief. Which were true? We didn't care one way or the other, but we certainly wanted to know.

So we decided it was time to collect and analyze fresh data to find out what's really going on in sales.

We undertook research from the buyer's perspective to understand what buyers want from sellers and what sellers can do to tip the scales in their favor. To find out, we studied over 700 B2B purchases made by buyers with $3.1 billion in annual purchasing power.

We found that sales winners don't just sell differently, they sell radically differently, and they exhibit a specific combination of behaviors to achieve better outcomes than second-place finishers.

Guess what? It is most certainly not the end of solution sales. Not even close...

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