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The Inflexion-Point Blog: VALUE SELLING STRATEGIES

Why your pipeline doesn’t need any sales stages

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 27-Nov-2018

This is a subject I’ve referred to before, but an excellent article by Don Mulhern has prompted me to promote a concept that deserves far more attention - and which is driving impressive success in the growing number of sales organisations that have embraced the idea.

Most CRM systems - and most sales methodologies - are based on the idea of the pipeline reflecting a series of sales stages which are assumed to be progressively completed over time. It is also assumed that the further we have progressed through these sales stages, the more likely an opportunity is to close.

Many systems go even further: applying the same default probability to every deal that has reached a certain stage. Even worse, many CRM implementations take the “out of the box” default percentages without ever giving any thought to their accuracy or relevance.

But complex B2B sales are - unsurprisingly - far more complicated than that, and it’s yet another example of how simplistic, statistically derived assumptions that can be made to work in straightforward transactional sales environments don’t apply anything like as effectively to complex buying decisions.

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What Sales could learn from Customer Experience

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 10-Sep-2015

I’m very grateful to Bob Thompson of CustomerThink for hosting a very stimulating round table with a group of the UK’s leading customer experience consultants yesterday. It was fascinating to hear what today’s best-in-class organisations are doing to create exceptional customer experiences - and somewhat galling to recognise how much room for improvement the rest of us have.

The essence of sales is surely (or ought to be) all about the quality of the buying experience, and there is clearly a great deal that those of us whose primary focus is on acquiring customers can learn from those whose business is primarily about retaining and developing customers…

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