Signals of a Transactional B2b Sales Person

One of the biggest signs of a problematic b2b sales performance is the challenge of unlearning the traditional or transactional sales tactics of the past. When b2b sales people start telling me how hard their job is today – and it is – I first want to empathize with them and then find the answer to their problem.

I agree with one “excuse” customers & prospects want to get the best deal – which to many means lowest price. To the superstars, it means they want the best value offer which is quite different from the lowest price concern.

Now as someone who has assisted many sales people and sales teams transform from Transactional Selling to a more Progressive B2B Selling, this has always been an issue for the sales executives. The Key was to fundamentally change or transform the mindsets of the sales teams.

An interesting observation from these experiences – it usually just took One Sales Person to accept the new mindset, change the way they sold and have success in the field. Amazingly, the majority of the team would sudden change their performance levels shortly afterwards. This proves the power of mindsets in the world of selling.

So, how do you know if you are a Transactional Sales Person today? Usually you are not happy with your results, while your gross sales may be the same – your margins are lower and you feel you get less respect from both the customer and the sales manager. So what is causing this issue?

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How Discover the Information You Need

Since I am a total proponent for the Questioning Model in Sales, how do you use this model to learn the Information you need to successfully make the B2B sales?

Obviously, you use questions during your discovery process as you want the prospect or customer doing most of the talking. Their answering questions allows you to learn about what is going on within their organization.

Note: even the very best b2b sales superstar is NOT an insider for the prospect or customer company. While it is important to have a coach or champion who wants you to win the account, not all the time will you have this person in place. And, sometimes (this has definitely happened to me) your inside champion leaves or is promoted away from your target area.

Now what do you do?

You plan your questions carefully to uncover the answers to several important pieces of information.

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Stop Educating Your Buyer – Start Finding the Opportunity

Earlier I wrote an article about how the buyer does not need the b2b sales person anymore. And, this statement or information is true. Yet, there are some systematic issues which are creating confusion within the sales organization.

Okay, first, the amount of product knowledge training is still out of control. During the Great Recession, companies figured they could constraint expenses by using more product knowledge training – which could be handled by internal staff rather than outside sales advisers. The data has been showing organizations have been spending upwards of 85% of their “sales training” budgets on product knowledge.

Second, it is true product knowledge does help the sales person to be more creative in recognizing sales opportunities when they are dropped in their laps. And, a side effect is the higher confidence factor when a b2b sales person understanding their products and product lines well.

Third, the majority of product knowledge training is a total waste of time and resources!

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Buyers Do NOT Need B2B Sales People Anymore!

Before you think I have totally lost my mind, take a moment to read what I have to say about this topic – because I believe it has more Truth than I thought I would see in my lifetime.

Sure I read the book from Neil Rackham – one of the most acclaimed sales researchers in modern times – as he stated buyers do not want to be bothered by aggressive and pushy sales people anymore. That much I truly believe is correct based upon my interaction with so many buyers and decision makers.

Yesterday, I listened to a Marketing Expert talk about how much times have changed relative to actually how much a buyer needs a sales person. He stated prior to the widespread use of the internet, buyers actually needed us for product information and ideas for solving their problems.

Today, that has changed, the buyer can get as educated as they want from their laptop or tablet by searching the internet for product information, success stories, how to use our products, applications of solutions and even do some price comparisons – all without a sales person to talk with for one minute.

Does that ring any bells for you?

Okay, so what do you need to do to counter this change in need focus on the part of the buyer?

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Barriers to Overcome to Get Decisions to Buy

To continue the theme of why it is getting harder to be successful in b2b sales today, I thought it would be a good idea to clarify the barriers to decision making for you.

Most of these barriers are connected to the major theme for the decision makers today – job security. With the possible exception of the Great Depression in the 1930’s job security has never been this important – across the board.

Therefore, new strategies and focus must be added to your b2b selling skills box of knowledge. It is a time for wisdom to take a higher position or ranking in the minds of b2b sales people.

So, here is my list of barriers to the Decision Makers…

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Happy and Prosperous New Year to All My Visitors

As the author of “Developing B2B Sales .com” I first want to thank you for visiting my website so often. Sharing B2B sales information and knowledge has been a great learning – for both of us.

Thank You for continuing to challenge me to stay ahead of the curve in the world of B2B Selling and then to share what I’ve learned with you.

New B2B sales tips are already scheduled for 2012 and I will be adding and updating information as I find or experience it. That is right, I’m a B2B Sales Person and proud of it. This is why you will only get useable ideas, tips and techniques from this site. No Ivory Towered Concepts here – only practical and usable information. My goal is to help you become a better b2b sales person – and it is okay to share your ideas with me too.

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How Emotion Wins and Loses Your B2B Sales

Got to thinking about the role of emotion in our b2b sales world. Interestingly, emotion can be helping us win accounts or it can be driving a wedge between us and the decision makers. This is the classic case of a dilemma.

Okay, so we all know that all decisions are 100% emotional and we need to engage the emotional side of the decision makers brain. That is correct and this is an example of the positive side of using emotions in the b2b sales process.

So how can emotion be a problem for our b2b sales success?

Simply when we get too emotional in our sales process.

There are several ways this occurs, so let me review the negative side of emotion relative to our sales success.

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Recognizing the 3-E’s a Customer Wants in B2B Sales

Musing on the topic of “What do Customers Want When Assessing a B2B Sales Person or Company?”

This topic seems to lack any clarity regarding what customers want and relating that to what they are willing to pay when they find it?

Okay, I’m back to the world of reality now, so let’s look at exactly what your customers are thinking about when they become aware they need help and assistance to move forward. It really is quite simple once you realize you can categorize what they are looking for from you.

The Three E’s provide the clarity of their want and then you can position yourself or your company to meet those wants. So, what are the 3-E’s? Let’s take a look at the Three E’s…

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What Tone of Voice to Use In B2B Sales Call?

Recently I had this question presented to me by a b2b sales person. At first, I thought about the typical response of “be yourself” or “match the tone of the person you are calling.”

Both of those answers will get the job done. However, as I began to think about the question in greater depth I realized my first two answers were too board or in some cases difficult to do on the first call.

So, after much thought and clarification I have a real answer for the question in the title of this b2b sales tip. And, here is the answer…

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