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How to Shift Your Sales Force to a Buyer-Centric Selling System

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Watch the webinar recording or download slides: https://www.smmconnect.com/events/1714?gref=mikek

Have you seen the recent B2B buying research? Study after study report that buyers:
- don’t trust salespeople
- do more and more of their own research
- don’t believe they understand them or their businesses
- grow weary of stereotypical seller behavior.

More than ever before, buyers don’t want to feel “sold to.” Yet, sellers still have quotas and a job to do. It’s a conundrum, for sure.

Fortunately, there is a path forward. It’s time to shift to a buyer-centric selling system that prepares reps to deal with modern buyers to “help them buy” and earn their respect and trust, while still being able to meet company quotas and succeed in sales.

Published in: Sales
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How to Shift Your Sales Force to a Buyer-Centric Selling System

  1. 1. 1 How to Shift Your Sales Force to a Buyer-Centric Selling System Mike Kunkle VP, Sales Enablement Services
  2. 2. 2 What • Sales Transformation Straight Talk webinar series Why • Provide the latest thinking and actionable ideas to transform your sales results How • Solo webinars, guest speakers, panels, Q&A - Always taking requests When & Where • Usually mid-month, usually mid-week, usually 2 pm Eastern, usually every month, right here on SMM Connect - Always check www.smmconnect.com for details
  3. 3. 3 AGENDA • Buyer-Centric Selling: Why It’s Time • Buyer-Centric Selling: What It Is • Buyer-Centric Selling: How to Shift • Your Questions Our Plan for Today 3 3
  4. 4. 4 Buyer-Centric Selling: Why It’s Time
  5. 5. 5 Buyer-Centric Selling: Why It’s Time Buying is evolving – Sales, not so much: • The percentage of salespeople making quota dropped from 63% to 53% over a 5-year period. (CSO Insights) • In 2007 it took 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts. • 85% of prospects and customers are dissatisfied with their on-the-phone experience • 58% of buyers report that sales reps are unable to answer their questions effectively. (Spotio) • 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally (Sirius Decisions) • 94% of B2B buyers will research online before finalizing a purchase • In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in buying decisions (Gartner) • 88% of executive buyers want a conversation not a presentation. (Acquire B2B). Learn more… • https://learn.g2.com/sales-statistics • https://spotio.com/blog/sales-statistics/ • https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-statistics
  6. 6. 6 1 2 3 4 Understand my business / Know me Demonstrate excellent communication skills Focus on post-sale Provide insights and perspective Buyer-Centric Selling: Why It’s Time What Buyers Expect… https://www.csoinsights.com/the-growing-buyer-seller-gap-results-of-the-2018-buyer-preferences-study/
  7. 7. 7 Buyer-Centric Selling: Why It’s Time 33% 27% 25% 60% Feel that sellers are well-informed Say salespeople are able to translate business data into insights Of sales reps are effective at engaging with influencers Question their sales rep’s integrity https://www.valueselling.com/press-release/study-finds-most-b2b-buyers-question-sales-reps-integrity What Buyers Are Getting (and Think About Sellers)…
  8. 8. 8 Buyer-Centric Selling: Why It’s Time Wait until after they have fully defined needs70% Wait until they have identified their solutions 44% https://www.csoinsights.com/the-growing-buyer-seller-gap-results-of-the-2018-buyer-preferences-study/ 20% Only lock down the details When Buyers Contact Sellers… Identify & Clarify Needs Identify Solutions Evaluate Solutions Resolve Concerns Negotiate Implement
  9. 9. 9 Buyer-Centric Selling: What It Is
  10. 10. 10 Buyer-Centric Selling: What It Is • It’s the best of the past: consultative, value-based, client-centric approaches… • … molded to work with modern buyers, in our current business climate… • …to help buyers buy, in an informed way, to achieve the desired outcomes that matter to them.
  11. 11. 11 Buyer-Centric Selling: What It Is Qualify the opportunity: • Funding • Alternatives • Committee • Timing / Urgency • Need & Solution Alignment Understand your buyers/decision makers: • Roles & Goals • Challenges | Opportunities | Impacts | Needs | Objectives | Priorities • Buying process • Buying process exit criteria • Metrics that matter most Flip the script to buyer-centric messaging: • Focus on problems not products • Discuss solutions to their problems • Focus on resolving impacts and enabling outcomes • Address both business and personal needs • Tailor by persona/person Do exceptional discovery: • Situation assessment • Current state • Future state • Gap analysis • Impact analysis • Outcomes Co-create solutions: • Build to solve problems • Build to deliver outcomes • Communicate value • Message by persona/person Manage the process: • Uncover/meet exit criteria per stage • Confirm acceptance of your support • Gain commitments to move forward • Keep your commitments/build trust • Communicate regularly with clarity • Manage both people and process © Transforming Sales Results, LLC & SPASIGMA It’s an Outside-In Way of Thinking and Working
  12. 12. 12 Buyer-Centric Selling: What It Is COIN-OP Personas Challenges Opportunities Impacts Needs Objectives Priorities Metrics / How they are measured Value messaging to capture interest based on  Targeted discovery questions / approach How to demo/present based on  How to build solutions to address COIN-OP Common concerns and how to resolve Competitors and how to position against Outcomes and value they want and how you enable both Role 1 Role 2 Role 3 etc. It’s Preparing for Better Business Conversations © Transforming Sales Results, LLC
  13. 13. 13 Buyer-Centric Selling: What It Is It’s Meeting Your Buyers Where They Are • When prospecting, learn where your buyer is ASAP and adapt and align accordingly – bring insights to create opportunity • Don’t STOP selling; sell DIFFERENTLY (find or create awareness of problems you solve) • Digital selling and social nurturing make sense but do not forgo outbound selling (observe and respond to trigger events and sales signals) • Even when in a Buying Process, recognize that the process may not be linear. Different decision makers/influencers may be in different stages at different times; shepherd and guide them appropriately • Remember that Objectives and Exit Criteria may vary by buyer • Don’t push; maintain forward momentum through trust, value, compelling outcomes, meeting exit criteria and HAM/BAM (have a meeting, book a meeting) • New entrants (decision makers or influencers), Objectives, or Exit Criteria, can change things; don’t get complacent. © Transforming Sales Results, LLC
  14. 14. 14 Buyer-Centric Selling: What It Is Buying Process Exit Criteria: What each decision maker needs to see, hear, feel, understand and believe, in each stage of their buying process/purchase decision, to be comfortable moving forward to the next stage with you. Selling by Superstition It’s a Laser Focus on Buying Process Exit Criteria • Uncover • Clarify • Validate • Meet • Confirm Acceptance © Transforming Sales Results, LLC
  15. 15. 15 Buyer-Centric Selling: What It Is Learn more… • https://www.amazon.com/Beat-Bots-Humanity-Future-Proof-Career/dp/1544503458 • https://www.mikekunkle.com/2019/05/15/implications-for-b2b-selling-in-the-age-of-artificial-intelligence/ • http://closingbigger.net/2017/08/the-right-brained-sales-revolution-podcast/ Why? Human Value-added Trust-building Buyer-centric Often Missing Highly Effective Competitive Differentiation Connecting Dots Data to Insight Decision-Making Problem-Solving Critical Thinking Consulting Judgment Listening Empathy It’s a Focus on “Human Differentiators”
  16. 16. 16 Buyer-Centric Selling: What It Is Current State (Before) Desired Future State (After) Gap Analysis Impact Analysis © SPASIGMA, from “Modern Sales Foundations” Reminders: • It’s about them (human-centric), not you. Meet your buyers where they are (adapt) • Be problem-centric, not product-centric - Strike a POSE: Use personalized Problem, Outcome, Solution, Explore messaging for prospecting • Diagnose first, before prescribing - You can’t launch without NASA: Need And Solution Alignment • Qualification still matters: - Get your FACTs straight: Funding, Alternatives, Committee, Timing • Paint a compelling story of Before / After with impacts and outcomes • Engage them in co-creating solutions with you • Focus on Buying Process Exit Criteria • Stop “overcoming objections” and use a process and good communication to resolve buyer’s concerns • No “closing techniques” – just summarize and ask for commitment to move forward.
  17. 17. 17 Buyer-Centric Selling: How To Shift
  18. 18. 18 Buyer-Centric Selling: How To Shift Create the right environment PatientCollaborative Well-informed Service-oriented Tech-savvy Data-driven & Insightful Business-savvy Communication Skills Consultative Interpersonal Skills Value Based Outcome Buyer Centric Outcome Oriented
  19. 19. 19 Buyer-Centric Selling: How To Shift Sales Effectiveness Acumens © Transforming Sales Results, LLC • The building blocks of sales effectiveness • Includes but moves beyond “selling skills” and Sales Acumen toward business advisor [More detail in Appendix]
  20. 20. 20 Buyer-Centric Selling: How To Shift © Transforming Sales Results, LLC • How/where you apply the Sales Effectiveness Acumens to daily workflow - This is the higher-level, supported by the deeper Acumens • Think “Pareto Principle:” - The foundations are the 20% of what sales reps do that will drive 80% of their results. [More detail in Appendix] Foundations of Sales Effectiveness
  21. 21. 21 Buyer-Centric Selling: How To Shift © Transforming Sales Results, LLC Learning Design Manager Engagement Knowledge Acquisition Knowledge Sustainment Skill Development Skill Transfer Coaching to Mastery Measures Change Management Performance Management 1 5 4 3 2 Training Content The 5 Stages of Sales Mastery & Behavior Change Do to all of this… You’ll need a Sales Training System, or a way to: • Prepare your sales force for the adoption of new skills and the necessary mindset and behavior changes • Guide those changes and help them develop and use the new skills • Cement the change in place and make it part of your sales culture
  22. 22. 22 Buyer-Centric Selling: How To Shift © Transforming Sales Results, LLC Prepare for Change • Ensure that your training content will get results • Design a great learning experience • Engage, enable, and empower frontline sales managers Learning Design Manager Engagement Knowledge Acquisition Knowledge Sustainment Skill Development Skill Transfer Coaching to Mastery Measures Change Management Performance Management Training Content The 5 Stages of Sales Mastery & Behavior Change 1 5 4 3 2
  23. 23. 23 Buyer-Centric Selling: How To Shift © Transforming Sales Results, LLC Prepare for Change • Ensure that your training content will get results • Design a great learning experience • Engage, enable, and empower frontline sales managers Guide the Change (The 5 Stages) • Teach the content, validate learning occurred • Sustain the knowledge • Develop skills (practice with expert feedback loops) • Transfer and apply skills on the job • Coach to mastery over time Learning Design Manager Engagement Knowledge Acquisition Knowledge Sustainment Skill Transfer Skill Development Coaching to Mastery Measures Change Management Performance Management Training Content The 5 Stages of Sales Mastery & Behavior Change 1 5 4 3 2
  24. 24. 24 Buyer-Centric Selling: How To Shift © Transforming Sales Results, LLC Stage 1: Knowledge Acquisition Stage 2: Knowledge Sustainment Stage 3: Skill Development Stage 4: Skill Transfer Stage 5: Skill Mastery STAGE Recorded webinar on the 5 Stages: http://bit.ly/STSTonSMM-11142017 Acquire the knowledge behind the skill with examples and assessments/tests to validate learning. eLearning, Classroom Instruction (FTF or Virtual), Assessments WHAT HOW WHY Sustain the knowledge; reverse the “forgetting curve.” Q&A, Check-Ins, Assessments, Learning Reinforcement Systems Develop and practice skills. Convert knowledge into behavior. Flipped Classrooms, Role Playing, Live Simulations, Virtual Coaching Tools Apply the newly- acquired and practiced skills in the workplace. Mentoring and Preparation to Use Skills, Forms/Job Aids/Performance Support Guide and coach reps to skill mastery and performance outcomes, over time. Sales Analytics, Field Training and Coaching, Coaching Forms and Tools Learn something new. Known to work. What, Why, & How. Don’t forget. Just because they learned something, doesn’t mean they’ll retain it. Develop skills. Just because they know and remember, doesn’t mean they can do it. Apply skills. Just because they can do it, doesn’t mean they will. (Skill/Will Matrix) Achieve mastery. Just because they tried it, doesn’t mean they did it well or will continue.
  25. 25. 25 Buyer-Centric Selling: How To Shift © Transforming Sales Results, LLC Learning Design Manager Engagement Knowledge Acquisition Knowledge Sustainment Skill Development Skill Transfer Coaching to Mastery Measures Change Management Performance Management Training Content The 5 Stages of Sales Mastery & Behavior Change Prepare for Change • Ensure that your training content will get results • Design a great learning experience • Engage, enable, and empower frontline sales managers Guide the Change • Teach the content, validate learning occurred • Sustain the knowledge • Develop skills (practice with expert feedback loops) • Transfer and apply skills on the job • Coach to mastery over time Cement the Change • Get metrics and measures in place • Manage to behavior and performance expectations • Lead and manage the change until it cements in the culture 1 5 4 3 2
  26. 26. 26 Buyer-Centric Selling: How To Shift © Transforming Sales Results, LLC Learning Design Manager Engagement Knowledge Acquisition Knowledge Sustainment Skill Development Skill Transfer Coaching to Mastery Measures Change Management Performance Management Training Content The 5 Stages of Sales Mastery & Behavior Change 1 5 4 3 2 Prepare for Change • Ensure that your training content will get results • Design a great learning experience • Engage, enable, and empower frontline sales managers Guide the Change • Teach the content, validate learning occurred • Sustain the knowledge • Develop skills (practice with expert feedback loops) • Transfer and apply skills on the job • Coach to mastery over time Cement the Change • Get metrics and measures in place • Manage to behavior and performance expectations • Lead and manage the change until it cements in the culture
  27. 27. 27 Transfer4 Job Aids/Systems Manager Toolkits Sales Playbooks Workflow Support Use Sales Enablement Tools/Services to Support The 5 Stages Stage 1: Knowledge Acquisition Stage 2: Knowledge Sustainment Stage 3: Skill Development Stage 4: Skill Transfer Stage 5: Skill Mastery Virtual Practice Environments 3 Skill Learning Reinforcement Systems 2 Sustainment Conversation Intelligence Coaching 5 Mastery Learning Platforms 1 Knowledge START Training Content Must Get Results When Used © Transforming Sales Results, LLC
  28. 28. 28 Appendix
  29. 29. 29 Mike Kunkle is a respected sales transformation architect and internationally-recognized sales training and sales enablement expert. He’s spent 34 years in the sales profession and 24 years as a corporate leader or consultant, helping companies drive dramatic revenue growth through best-in-class learning strategies and his proven-effective sales transformation methodologies. Today, Mike is the Vice President of Sales Enablement Services for SPA and SPASIGMA, where he advises clients, writes, speaks, leads webinars, publishes sales training courses, and designs sales learning systems that get results. Connect with Mike & Follow His Content Transforming Sales Results Blog https://www.mikekunkle.com/blog SMM Connect Webinars http://bit.ly/STSTonSMM BrightTALK Webinars http://bit.ly/TheSalesExpertsChannel LinkedIn Publisher http://bit.ly/MikeKunkleLIPublisher LinkedIn Profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikekunkle SlideShare https://www.slideshare.net/mikekunkle Twitter https://twitter.com/mike_kunkle 216.455.1558 mike.kunkle@spasigma.com https://spasigma.com Mike Kunkle VP, Sales Enablement Services
  30. 30. 30 Sales Effectiveness Acumens (Detail) Sales Acumen Includes sales research, sales call planning, prospecting/lead generation, digital selling practices, opportunity qualification, consultative selling using an adaptive sales methodology (including discovery/situation assessment, solution development/co-creating solutions, developing proposals, conducting demos and/or presenting solutions/solution dialogue, resolving concerns, and gaining commitment), sales meeting management, multi- threading to message appropriately to buyers with different interests, storytelling, insight selling, negotiating, influence skills, consulting skills, general dialogue and communication skills, team selling, and strategic account management. Customer Acumen Understanding general buyer personas and buyers’ journey or buying processes, including Challenges, Opportunities, Impacts, Needs, Objectives, Priorities (COIN-OP), decision process, decision criteria, decision roles, desired outcomes with metrics/measures, and consideration of both the decision makers’ business and personal needs. Solution Acumen Understanding of products and services and how they solve customer problems, critical thinking and problem solving, forcefield analysis, how solutions tie to Industry Acumen, Financial Acumen, Customer Acumen, and Ecosystem Acumen. This is the culmination of acumens, used to create value for customers (and differentiation for the company) to achieve customers’ desired outcomes. Includes an understanding of competitive offerings and how to position against them, as well as against DIY and the status quo. Business Acumen Understanding business models, financial acumen, operational metrics/outcomes such as key performance indicators and critical success factors, pricing, how customer organizations make money, and how to build a business case and calculate ROI. Industry Acumen Domain Expertise: Understanding the industry challenges, opportunities, technologies, regulations and legislation, business practices, current events/news, and the general state of the profession. Ecosystem Acumen As applicable, understanding of vendor and channel partners and how to most effectively build relationships and engage with them to uncover, manage, and win opportunities through the effective co-creation of solutions for customers. Organizational Acumen How to plan and organize effectively. Includes territory planning, account planning, sales call planning, leading sales meetings, task management, using CRM, sales enablement tools, other technology tools and performance support, action planning, calendaring, project management, change management, and personal productivity practices. Operational Acumen How to get things done: how to make things happen in your own organization and in others – includes an understanding of processes, political savvy, culture, collaboration, consensus-building, and the ability to execute on all the above plans effectively. © Transforming Sales Results, LLC
  31. 31. 31 Foundations of Sales Effectiveness (Detail) Value Creation Value creation is your ability to understand what each buyer values and co-create solutions to deliver value and communicate the outcomes of your solution to articulate the value you deliver. Value includes Business Value, Experiential Value, Aspirational Value, and Personal Value. Buyer Centric Being buyer centric is an outside-in mindset that considers everything you do from the buyers’ perspective and influences your behavior to act in your buyers’ best interest, to achieve your success by supporting their success. Prospecting Prospecting is the act of researching, planning, and approaching decision maker contacts in target accounts, in such a way to successfully generate interest in exploring how you might help them achieve their goals, and setting an appointment to do so. Discovery Discovery is the act of understanding you buyers’ situation and what matters most to the decision makers and key influencers – their current state and related impacts, their desired future state and related outcomes, and the size of the gap and the urgency to close it. Opportunity Qualification Opportunity qualification is analyzing various factors of the situation that typically indicate that there is an opportunity (a problem you can solve that is compelling enough to spur action) and that you have a reasonably enough likelihood of winning the business to commit the time, energy, resources and money to pursue it. Opportunity Management Opportunity management is the act of purposefully uncovering and satisfying each buyers’ decision criteria and buying process exit criteria, to successful shepherd the opportunity through the stages of the buying and sales process to a final win decision. Strategic Account Management SAM is the act of analyzing account potential, setting account objectives, considering relationships and other factors to build an account plan that will achieve the pre-set objective, and executing that plan to achieve the objective (usually: grow, maintain, recover). Territory Management Territory management is the act of analyzing the accounts and potential within your territory, however it is structured, to ensure proper account coverage and to optimize the potential of your territory. Account Planning Account planning is the act of setting account objectives and creating a plan to achieve them. Part of Strategic Account Management. Sales Call Planning Sales call planning is the act of setting sales call objectives and then creating a plan to achieve them. Resolving Concerns Buyers and customers may express various concerns at any stage of the buying process or customer lifecycle. Resolving concerns is the act of following a buyer-centric process to acknowledge and clarify their issues to identify the type of concerns they have, so you can offer relevant perspectives and recommendations to effectively address them. © Transforming Sales Results, LLC
  32. 32. 32 http://www.strategicpricing.com https://spasigma.com SPA is a leading provider of profit-maximizing analytics and skills training. SPA integrates pricing, sales, and purchasing analytics with sister-company SPASIGMA’s virtual sales training and platforms to drive and monetize customer value. Together, they have helped over 600 businesses boost profitability and competitive advantage.
  33. 33. 33 http://go.spasigma.com/training-innovation Download here: No name or email required! Complimentary eBook © 2019 SPASIGMA
  34. 34. 34 THANK YOU!

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