How can we move from price to value?

Have you ever met a prospect where all they are focused on was price? They were not open to answering questions, however well intended or relevant they may be. From where they sit, it is as simple as this: the lowest price will win the day.  Unless we can get them to take a fresh look at things, this one may well be going nowhere for us.  Even if we are used to being the lowest price and are often in this position, is the business actually worth doing? Looking at this from the other end of the equation, how can we sell…

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When do you discuss your pricing ? (4 of 4 posts)

This is the final post of a 4 part series on why ultimately, prospects don’t buy from us. We have already covered no need, no hurry and no trust. This post is about no money to buy. Or at least, that is what we are being told. To go back to basics, whatever we are selling and whoever we are selling to, people make decisions for their own reasons, not ours. Our job therefore is twofold. Firstly, to have a deep understanding of what we can truly effect in an organisation, down to a simple granular and economic level. Secondly,…

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Does the prospect trust you? (3 of 4 posts)

Moving into post 3 of this series of 4, we have established some reasons for the prospect to act quickly which they appear to have accepted. So far, so good. Until for some unexpected reason, we have been informed that we are no longer being considered as a supplier for this piece of business. We are now on the outside looking in. Before we start thinking about whether to go into turnaround mode, let’s just consider some of the potential reasons for them deciding to go with another supplier: Incumbent supplier has leveraged their relationship in the account Lower price Stronger…

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When the prospect is in no hurry to buy (2 of 4 posts)

In post one, we looked at what happens when a good prospect is not progressing as planned. Why is this?  Often, something has happened to slow things down and there isn’t the impetus or ownership from anyone within the prospect organisation that you’re selling to, to make it happen.  To put it another way, we’ve not given them strong enough reasons to make it happen now. This brings us to the second part of this four part series, which is  when the prospect is in no hurry to make a decision.  There may well be, ultimately, a piece of business…

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Only 4 reasons why prospects don’t buy (1 of 4 posts)

For all the hype about different sales approaches, in my experience there are only four reasons why prospects don’t buy.  They are:  no need, no hurry, no trust or no money.  In this post, I will work my way through “no need” (to make a decision). By far the biggest drain on sales productivity is in lost sales and “ no decision” counts as a lost sale. Arguably, this is much worse than losing to a competitor, since at least when that happens they made a purchasing decision and you were in there with a chance at some point? Why then, at…

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Who did you build it for?

Can you answer three simple questions about your proposition and how it aligns it to your ideal customer profile?  They are: Why this? Why us? Why now?  If not, it may partly explain low sales engagement or win rates.  Maybe even both. Why this?  Is linked specifically to the business challenges that you address with your solution. Why us?  is about your unique credibility and track record as a supplier in that space. Lastly, why now? is your in depth understanding of the circumstances that typically lead to a buying decision. This is also sometimes called a trigger event, when the prospect…

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When pausing is the best course of action

I recently met a small business owner for the first time and after explaining how our project-based sales service works, he asked “Can we close some business this month?”  On one hand, this was music to my ears. Meeting someone with clear needs and an appetite to move forward is always welcome. However, in this case there was no qualified pipeline, much less forecast- able orders, or even clear business value linked to their software. My response was that in this situation, arguably the worst thing to do is to just “get on with it”.  Unless you have your ducks lined up properly,…

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One size fits all does not apply to sales hiring

  This is for SMB SaaS owners, transforming from early stage status to taking on outside investment and scaling the business. At this point, creating an effective sales “sausage machine” is critical and is often triggered by a decision to get some proven sales expertise on board. Attracting the right people to your venture is key and for those owners looking at hiring a full time sales person for the first time, why not take a look at our info-graphic How to ensure your first sales hire is not your last. It will help shape your thoughts, as you consider bringing…

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Any ambulance chasers in your sales team?

Ever worked with a salesperson who spend the majority of their time chasing sales that are about to be closed by someone else?  These individuals are often called  ambulance chasers. There is no judgement in this article. We are all in sales and need to get the job done and the numbers in. Whatever works, keep doing it. It’s just that this approach is so high risk and there must be a better way? When the ambulance chaser hears of an “incident”, they must immediately drop what they are doing and respond. After all, the decision is imminent, so there is no…

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How doing the right things early produced 33 x more meetings

    I recently observed two directly-competing organisations trying to achieve their goal: an on-going flow of qualified sales opportunities.  Each had a similar offering and were broadly targeting the same profile organisations for new business.  Both had ambitious growth plans and saw new logo / new client acquisition as a key part of achieving these. Both had marketing resources in place to help drive this growth. Given all the similarities, you may be thinking that they achieved similar results? After all, how different can one direct competitor be to another?  The reality is that over a 12-month period, Company A identified…

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