There’s a multi-million $ industry built up around solution selling. Training companies deliver courses promising to help delegates achieve it. Authors write books promising to reveal the secrets behind it. Consultants (your writer included) charge sales organisations for advice on how to achieve it. Sales people claim to have mastered it in interviews.
BLOG: SELLING IN THE BREAKTHROUGH ZONE
I'm delighted that Swayne Hill, Co-Founder & SVP of Field Operations at Cloud9 and author of the excellent Data-Driven Sales Management has agreed to let me republish another of his thoughtful articles - this time asking "Marketing Scores Leads, Why Doesn't Sales Score Opportunities?" - as a guest contribution to the Inflexion-Point blog. I really like the methodical way in which Swayne thinks about these matters, and I think you will too. Over to you, Swayne:
I'm delighted that Swayne Hill, Co-Founder & SVP of Field Operations at Cloud9 and author of the excellent Data-Driven Sales Management has agreed to let me republish one of his latest articles, entitled "Battle-Tested Method for Creating a Dynamic Sales Process" as a guest contribution to the Inflexion-Point blog. I hope that you enjoy his perspective on a critical aspect of B2B selling as much as I have. Over to you, Swayne:
Gerhard Gschwandtner, publisher of Selling Power - in a characteristically provocative piece - recently predicted that the number of sales people in the United States could decline from the current 18 million to around 4 million by 2020. He quoted a Gartner report that projected that 85% of the interactions between businesses will be automated without any need for human interaction by that time.
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book of the same name, pointed out the power of “The Tipping Point”, and sought to demonstrate with a series of examples how little things can make a big difference. Now Lauren Carlson of Software Advice has picked up on the theme in a recent blog, in which she asks whether SFA (and its more widely targeted superset CRM) has passed a tipping point?
Facing a rapidly evolving technology landscape, any organisation involved in commercial software development is being forced to cope with architectural decisions that have the potential to make or break their company going forward. There are many dimensions to consider - but David Skok of Matrix Partners did a masterful job of identifying some of the key considerations in a recent presentation…
If you’re like most of the companies I work with, you’ve got two key focuses at the moment: finishing the current year in the strongest possible position, and ensuring that you’ve laid the essential groundwork for success in 2012. I’d like to suggest 5 simple strategies that could help you to accelerate revenue growth in 2012…
Companies have regularly declared that “improving sales and marketing alignment” is a top priority - and with good reason. The latest research from the Aberdeen Group proves that best-in-class organisations achieve an average annual revenue growth rate 38% higher than laggards - and generate three times as much pipeline value from their marketing activities.
There’s an end-of-quarter scene that’s about to be played out in companies across the world. The sales forecast so confidently predicted at the beginning of the quarter has been steadily eroded. Deals have dropped out, fallen in value or lost to a competitor. The quarter is at risk. Management is under pressure. Then - at close to the last minute - the superhuman efforts of one or a handful of your best sales people rescue the situation. The heroes are applauded. And then the process starts all over again.
According to recent Forrester research quoted by Tim Riesterer in his excellent “Conversations that Win the Complex Sale”, prospect senior executives rate only 7% of the sales calls they take part in as being worthy of a follow up. You can explain some of the remaining calls away as being down to a mismatch between what the prospect needs and what the vendor had to offer. But I believe that most of the shortfall reflects a continuing problem with the quality of the average sales conversation...