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The Outcome-Centric Selling Blog

The status quo isn’t what it used to be…

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 6-Aug-2020

Whenever a purchase is inevitable (the customer must act) your competition tends to be predictable - and it will often be another vendor like you. But - as is so often the case in complex B2B sales - the purchase is discretionary (the customer may or may not decide to act) - your fiercest competitor is often the status quo.

This was true even before Covid affected our economy. It is even more true now. It will continue to be important in the future. But the status quo isn’t what it used to be.

Preserving the status quo involves doing nothing and sticking with what is familiar rather than venturing into the unknown. It has often been seen by customers as their least-risk option, particularly if there was any significant uncertainty about whether any proposed changes were likely to have a positive impact.

But your customer’s world has changed and for many the old certainties and uncertainties will no longer apply. Battening down the hatches until they can revert to the “old normal” - far from being the safe approach - may now be a risky strategy. For many, change is inevitable...

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From Sales Process to Buying Journey

Posted by Bob Apollo on Tue 5-Mar-2019

The idea of a “sales process” has been around since long before I was offered my first sales role. The concept has been heavily promoted by the mainstream sales methodology vendors and adopted with varying degrees of effectiveness by many sales organisations.

But I’m not sure it was ever an appropriate metaphor and with the emergence of an increasingly well-informed customer community the idea that a complex B2B sale can be distilled down to a step-by-step sales process seems increasingly at odds with reality.

This is particularly the case for unfamiliar, strategic purchases where the customer may have no recent past experience of the various considerations involved. As Gartner recently pointed out, the customer decision journey for these sorts of purchases is inherently non-linear and sometimes verging on the chaotic...

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