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The Outcome-Centric Selling Blog

The Buyer’s Journey: Why Change? > What To? > Why You?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 13-Jan-2016

It’s awfully hard for many sales people to resist the “itch to pitch” when they come across a prospect that seems a perfect fit for their solution. After all, why would they want to hold back? It turns out that there are many compelling reasons why rushing to present your solution is a really bad idea.

Closing a sale in one call might be possible in some transactional sales environments - in fact it may be the only economic way of dealing with low-value opportunities. But in complex, high-value buying decisions, the last thing most prospects are interested in at the start of their buying journey are the fine details or unique capabilities of your solution. Here’s why

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Forrester: 4 types of B2B buyer = 4 types of B2B seller

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 9-Jun-2015

There’s a lot of attention been paid to Forrester’s recent projection that 1 million B2B sales people are going to lose their jobs to self-service eCommerce by 2020 in the US alone. Their report highlights the growing disconnect between B2B buying preferences and traditional B2B selling behaviours.

But the projected decline in sales force numbers isn’t universal. Forrester identify 4 types of B2B buying environment and match them with 4 types of sales profile - and one of those sales profiles isn’t in decline - it’s actually projected to grow. Unsurprisingly, it’s all connected with the value that sales people can bring to these different buying environments…

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It’s time to kick the Shih Tzu out of buyer personas

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 2-Jun-2015

B2B marketers are directing an increasing percentage of their energy and budget towards content creation. But the consequent focus on quantity rather than quality is leaving B2B buyers unimpressed: according to Peter O'Neill of Forrester, more than 3 out of 4 believe that vendors are generating too much material for them to sort through.

Much of the content is simply a weakly disguised product pitch. But even when the content addresses a relevant issue, it often leaves the reader feeling that they have been subjected to a worthless re-hash of ideas they were already familiar with, and that they have learned nothing new.

One thing is obvious: if you don’t know what your target audience is likely to see value in, you’re unlikely to be able to create the sort of content that will engage them and make them want to learn more. So B2B marketers are now seeking salvation in buyer personas - but many are making unfortunate and avoidable errors in their implementation…

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Sales Enablement: the essential bridge between B2B Marketing and Sales

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 5-Feb-2014

What is the primary role of B2B marketing in today’s business environment? It’s certainly no longer just about the traditional “awareness and preference”, or how many website visitors you attract or how many as-yet unqualified enquiries you generate.

In fact, many of the traditional marketing focuses, priorities and metrics are downright dysfunctional in the modern B2B landscape. There’s no point in generating even more “leads” that the sales force can’t be motivated to follow up. And there’s even less point in being rewarded or applauded for doing so.

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Forrester: Prospects only rate 7% of sales calls as worthy of follow-up

Posted by Bob Apollo on Wed 23-Nov-2011

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...

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Forrester - Which CRM Metrics Really Matter?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 19-Jul-2011

Bill Band of Forrester Research has just published the results of his latest study into “The Right CRM Metrics for Your Organisation”. It’s an issue that I see many organisations struggling with. Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean that you should measure it - or that the results will be meaningful. It turns out that why you measure something is just as important as how you measure it...

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B2B Sales: Top Sellers are Storytellers

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 14-Jun-2011

Is your sales process characterised by lengthy buying cycles with the involvement of multiple decision makers? Are buying decisions frequently delayed or postponed? Are you finding that you are losing to a decision to “do nothing” as often as you lose to a conventional competitor? Then you’re not alone...

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B2B Marketing: Forrester on Becoming a Customer Obsessed Company

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 9-Jun-2011

Leading research firm Forrester recently published a new report on “Competing in the Age of the Customer”. Although the majority of the examples they cite are from B2C, their conclusions have profound consequences for any B2B focused organisation. Here’s why...

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12 Key Questions Your Go-to-Market Model Needs to Address

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 31-May-2011

What does "go-to-market" mean to you? Many companies react to new challenges in their business environment by declaring that they need to change the way they go to market, but as Scott Santucci of Forrester pointed out recently, this frequently used term has a variety of interpretations...

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When You’re “Selling”, are you Collecting, Collating or Creating?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 28-Apr-2011

Forrester Research recently concluded that only 1 in 8 B2B sales meetings create any useful value for the prospect. The remainder are simply an unproductive way of passing their time - and it’s hard to bore your prospects into buying. So here’s my question: what mindset are your sales people taking into these meetings - are they collecting, collating or creating?

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