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Connect and Engage Better with Provocation-based Selling
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Connect and Engage Better with Provocation-based Selling

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Today's buyer has been forced to do-more-with-less, and has less time than ever before to uncover their issues, and explore solution options. …

Today's buyer has been forced to do-more-with-less, and has less time than ever before to uncover their issues, and explore solution options.

How can you sell to a prospect if they are unaware of the opportunity or priority of the issues you can address, and that indeed a remedy exists?

Published in Business , Technology
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  • 1. TOM PISELLO, Chairman & FounderBlog: http://blog.alinean.comTwitter: @tpisellohttp://www.alinean.com http://www.fightfrugalnomics.com Diagnosing Customer Issues: Connect and Engage with Provocative Selling & Assessment Tools
  • 2. Today’s Economic-Focused Buyer http://www.fightfrugalnomics.com © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 2
  • 3. Successive Downturns Cause Fundamental & Permanent Change B2B Spending Annual Growth12.0%10.0% Tech Bubble 8.0% 6.0% Great Recession 4.0% 2.0% 0.0%-2.0% 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011-4.0%-6.0%-8.0% IDC 2010 IDC historical spend Forecast compiled from IDC, Forrester, Gartner and Goldman Sachs Two successive downturns in past 10 years have permanently changed buyers Affected technology marketplace first:  Prior: Innovation, growth, time to market, features / functions drove purchases  After: Saving money, bottom-line impact, best value and fast payback “Great Recession” downturn reinforcing / accelerating this fundamental change  All areas of economy impacted for all of B2B purchase decisions © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 3
  • 4. The Economic-Buyer • SizeMore Leads to Close Same Executive Scrutiny Reduced Deal Size Amount of Business Longer Sales Cycles Increased CompetitionMore Stakeholders Stalled Deals © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 4
  • 5. Internet Fueled Buying Cycles• Buyers do more research independently and online• Arm themselves with ideas, solution, competitive product knowledge• Firmly in control of buying process• Using online vendor content + 3rd party sources / social groups• Inviting sales later, after set strategy, budget and solution roadmap At Same Time, Perceived Sales Readiness Is On the Decline Not Prepared Well Prepared 29% 35% Somewhat Prepared 36% IDC 2010 © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 5
  • 6. CFOs & Executives: Large and In Charge • #1 Reason for NOT Meeting Sales Quotas – Inability to Communicate Value Messages (27%) – SiriusDecisions 2010 • Only 38% of sales reps understand the customer’s issues and can identify how vendor can help – Forrester 2010• CFOs responsible for more groups• Taking control of strategy + buying-cycle• More financial due-diligence on allpurchases © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 6
  • 7. A New Selling Approach is Required http://www.fightfrugalnomics.com © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 7
  • 8. Fight Frugalnomics with Value Selling & MarketingProduct Focus Solution Focus Value FocusDiscussion: Discussion: Discussion:• Customer knows issue • Prescriptive & Quantified • Customer knows issues &• Tie features / functions to desired outcome • Discover… Is customer needs aware of issue? • Questions to discover pain• Compares product points alternatives • Diagnose… How bad is it?• Feature • Function • Price • Recommend solution to • Quantify … Value of change solve pain • Compare … Value vs. StatusDrive: Sales Led: Product Drive: Sales Led: Pain-Point Quo / CompetitionDriven Driven Drive: Diagnostic Led: What is issue & value of change? Solution Vendor Trusted Advisor Provider © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 8
  • 9. Product / Solution Selling Still Reigns Forrester Sales Enablement Forum- 2011 © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 9
  • 10. Strategic Vendors Reap Rewards More Opportunities Greater Deal Size Shorter Sales Cycles Greater Competitive Advantage © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 10
  • 11. Facilitating the Buyer’s JourneyBUYER’S JOURNEY Loosening Exploring Committing Justifying Committing Making the of the possible to a the to change selection status quo solutions solution decision DISCOVERY CONSIDERATION DECISIONContent Marketing & Sales Enablement Strategy Help Align Align buyer solution Validate/ Create reinforce problem with identify with Make the awareness choice business needs in specific business casearound a new issues; drive solving sets of for change Prove best problem urgency the business value problem needs © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 11
  • 12. Loosening the Status QuoBUYER’S JOURNEY Loosening Exploring Committing Justifying Committing Making the of the possible to a the to change selection status quo solutions solution decision DISCOVERY CONSIDERATION DECISIONContent Marketing & Sales Enablement Strategy Help Align Align buyer solution Validate/ Create reinforce problem with identify with Make the awareness choice business needs in specific business casearound a new issues; drive solving sets of for change Prove best problem urgency the business value problem needs Buyers Are: Risk adverse / overloaded Easier to do nothing than change Don’t have time to fully understand issues Executive driven / CFO aligned Internet fueled / Sales often not engaged yet © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 12
  • 13. Provocation-Based SellingProspect’s Don’t Buy a Solution For a Problem They Don’t Know They Have - Seth GodinIn a Downturn, Provoke Your Customers (Geoffrey Moore)1. Illuminate issues, of which they might not have been aware2. Confirm the symptoms they were aware of, but could not easily put a name on3. Prioritize which issues require the most ardent pursuit4. Quantify the competitive or other value which may be achieved by resolving the issue (creating urgency)5. Recommend, based on priorities, a solution roadmap to stepwise remedy the issues. © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 13
  • 14. Implement Provocation-Based Selling with Diagnostic Assessment Tools http://www.fightfrugalnomics.com © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 14
  • 15. Discovery - Diagnose with Assessment Tools– Connect and engage early in sales process– Stimulate change and loosen status-quo– Survey current spending and practices– Diagnose issues– Benchmark status quo versus competition and leaders– Recommend improvement strategies– Map solutions to improvement strategy– 3rd party validation to improve credibility 15 15 © 2011 Alinean, Inc.
  • 16. Profile for Benchmarking Benchmark comparisons Typically by industry, location and size © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 16
  • 17. Survey Survey Questions – Multiple Choice, Pulldowns, Quantifications, Rankings Spending, Sentiment or Current Practice Questions Don’t Force Customer to Fill All In prior to Seeing Some Results © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 17
  • 18. Diagnostic Assessment Results Compare current responses vs. peer averages and leaders Drive priorities through benchmark comparisons Collaborate with customer / teammates to complete / refine © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 18
  • 19. Detailed Drill Downs Drill into details, layer by layer via pop-ups / drill downs Confirm where doing well, illuminate areas needing improvements © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 19
  • 20. Roadmap and Next Steps Intelligently recommends solutions to resolve most pressing issues Recommends next steps in buying lifecycle © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 20
  • 21. Personalized Report Results expanded in Word report. Can be further personalized. PPT and PDF options available as well. Multiple report options in single tool. © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 21
  • 22. Discovery - Diagnose with Assessment Tools – Reason to connect & engage earlier in decisions – Earn right to call higher with executives – Help set strategies, budgets and roadmaps – Establishes urgency of resolving these issues over others – Reduces time to realize issues and commit to change – Elevate relationship from Vendor to Trusted Advisor – Improves competitive position 22 22 © 2011 Alinean, Inc.
  • 23. Other ExamplesTrend Micro Risk and Compliance Assessment Sage Pacer Survey © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 23
  • 24. How to Create a Provocation-Based Selling Program http://www.fightfrugalnomics.com © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 24
  • 25. Identify a Critical Problem• Find the critical issues the buyers / decision making executives may be facing • Industry, company specific challenges • Group / day-to-day challenges • Aligned with what your solutions can help resolve• Examples: 6.0% • Spending Levels 5.0% • Goals and Priorities 4.0% • Tactics 3.0% • Capability & Maturity 2.0% • Governance & Risks 1.0% • Effectiveness 0.0% IT Spending vs. Revenue Your Company Peer Average Leaders © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 25
  • 26. Formulate your Provocation• The provocation can be formulated into a diagnostic / assessment methodology and tool.• Key Diagnostic Assessment Tool Components: 1. Survey 2. Benchmark Comparison 3. Diagnostic Assessment 4. Roadmap Advice 5. Outcome / Value 6. Next Steps © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 26
  • 27. Lodge you Provocation – Marketing & Demand-Gen• Centerpiece of engagement campaigns• Offering a free assessment to respondents: – ―We’ve worked with companies in your peer group and have seen how the leading players are experiencing this painful problem. – We think it’s possible that your company is at risk in this area as well." © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 27
  • 28. Lodge your Provocation – Sales Enablement• Assessment Workshop• Facilitative discovery process versus confrontation or a sales pitch, – Helping the customer to uncover the issues that might be preventing them from reaching their goals – Helping them realize that change would ―do them good‖• ―The goal is to disturb the executive’s equilibrium—and make the status quo untenable—without putting him or her on the defensive.‖ – Geoffrey Moore• ―Presenting specific, well-supported concerns and remedies in a forthright manner keeps the focus on business performance for an executive who is accountable for it.‖ – Geoffrey Moore © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 28
  • 29. Alinean: Facilitating the Buyer’s Journey w/ Interactive Sales & Marketing ToolsBUYER’S JOURNEY Loosening Exploring Committing Justifying Committing Making the of the possible to a the to change selection status quo solutions solution decision DISCOVERY CONSIDERATION DECISIONContent Marketing & Sales Enablement Strategy Help Align Align buyer solution Validate/ Create reinforce problem with identify with Make the awareness choice business needs in specific business casearound a new issues; drive solving sets of for change Prove best problem urgency the business value problem needs PROVOCATIVE APPROACH VALUE APPROACH Interactive White Diagnostic Assessment ROI Analysis Tools TCO Comparison Tools Papers Tools © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 29
  • 30. Next StepsAlinean powered tools can significantly upgrade the quality of sales interactionsthroughout the buying process, allowing prospects to drive at the beginningthrough simpler, self-service tools and sales to provide greater depth as the buyingprocess proceeds – SiriusDecisions 2010 1. Your Sales & Marketing Ready to Do Business with Frugal Buyers? Take this Diagnostic Assessment to Find Out. 2. Research White Paper: Sales Enablement and the Economic Buyer 3. Over 200% ROI from a Value Selling Program Sound Impossible? Find Out for Yourself 4. Why Alinean? Alinean Vendor Profile (SiriusDecisions) http://www.fightfrugalnomics.com © 2011 Alinean, Inc. 30