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Putting sales 2.0 to work

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Putting sales 2.0 to work

  1. 1. Putting Sales 2.0 to work Scott Miller District Vice President of Sales – Ceridianwww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 1 of 20
  2. 2. The world of selling is changing and the change is wrapped up in the catch phrase, “Sales 2.0.” On the buyer’s side, best practices are more readily available, as well as information about solutions and competitors. In some cases, buyers no longer rely on a sales people for product demos or access to their customer base. Barry Trailer, co-founder of CSO Insights frames the phenomenon: “. . . essentially universal Internet access provides unprecedented (some might argue unlimited) insights to product features, benefits, applications, pricing, successes and failures—even before a sales rep is involved in the conversation. This shifts the dynamics (i.e., power) in the buy-sell equation. Sellers unwilling, or unable, to leverage the various communication channels available to facilitate buyers investigations will increasingly find themselves less successful in their sales efforts.” Sales people can no longer use traditional techniques as effectively as they once did. Picking up the phone, making a cold call, scheduling an appointment, doing discovery, demonstrating capabilities, competitivewww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 2 of 20
  3. 3. differentiation, handing a proposal, providing references, and negotiating a deal were once done on the sellers terms because they had all of the information. The irony is that many of us have been selling information technology that would eliminate manual process; but, we were never affected by it on a personal level. With tools like Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Podcast, Blogs, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, consider that chapter of selling closed. The information is now, quite literally, at your finger tips. Forward-looking sales organizations are embracing this change. Terms like social networking, mobility, online presence, and search engine optimization have given marketing a well-earned seat in the board room. Now, sales people need to be able to compliment marketing’s efforts by selling to buyers the way they are buying today and, most certainly will buy, tomorrow.www.scottymiller.wordpress.com 3 of 20
  4. 4. As Anneke Seley and Brent Holloway, authors of the book Sales 2.0 state, “Sales 2.0 practices combine the science of process-driven operations with the art of collaborative relationships, using the most profitable and most expedient sales resources required to meet customers’ needs.” The Evolution of Selling The evolution of selling began as B2C: business to consumer. I have a grainy image of pioneering Americans flipping through a catalog back in the old west. Then, as the world began to industrialize, businesses were created specifically to sell to other businesses, hence the genesis of B2B selling. At first, B2B selling was as simple as you need “X” and I have “X,” sign here. Then, Neil Rackham created the SPIN selling mechanism while working for Xerox. He found that the most successful sellers were the ones that listened. They pointed their focus on the customer and away from the product. Sometime later, Michael Bosworth created the Solution Selling method to help sellers understand that pain is fluid. Pain can start high and trickle down or osmose from the bottom to the top. He also taught us to alignwww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 4 of 20
  5. 5. with our buyers’ vision of addressing that pain. Jim Holden taught us organizations have a few key personalities with power when he introduced Power-based Selling. Rick Page ties the concepts of pain and power together and adds the third concept: preference. Preference gives deeper insight in respect to competition and politics, ideas once thought taboo by earlier methodologies. He then added prospect, part and plan to create the ground breaking R.A.D.A.R.® methodology to win the complex sale. Our challenge is quite simply this: How do we take the new reality that is Sales 2.0 and marry it with the best practices of winning the complex sale? After all, if buyers don’t need sellers, how can we at least stay relevant and KEEP OUR JOB? Lucky for us, buying rarely has an altruistic and utilitarian decision- making process. In a complex selling environment, there are multiple decision-makers and multiple vendors. Each decision-maker will be impacted by the selection differently and they make their decision based upon that impact! Stated otherwise, complex sales have risky, political ramifications for the decision-makers.www.scottymiller.wordpress.com 5 of 20
  6. 6. The marriage of leveraging emerging technologies and selling the greatest amount of impact to powerful people is Sale 2.0. Putting Sales 2.0 to work The purpose of this e-book is to expose emerging technologies that allow us to communicate with buyers in the new age. Then, we must use these emerging technologies to incorporate a strategy to win a complex sale. It might read like a sprint, and it should. Keeping up with the speed of information is critical to our success. In this e-book, I will introduce 2key concepts: 1. Consolidate emerging technologies and strategy into the CRM to create a sustainable competitive advantage for your sales force 2. Add value beyond the traditional buyer/ seller paradigm to gain trust and relevancy and sell peer to peer (P2P)www.scottymiller.wordpress.com 6 of 20
  7. 7. Consolidate Emerging Technologies and Strategy into the CRM One thing all sales leaders should know is that poor CRM (Customer Relationship Management) adoption from the field is the rule, not the exception. Most sale professionals see very little value in the CRM because there is very little value in recapping their activity. In their eyes, the CRM is for management oversight. As Rick Page, CEO of The Complex Sale, Inc. states, “the last thing we want to do is turn six figure big game hunters into data entry clerks.” We, as sales leaders, need to change that perception by equipping our reps with the best possible tools available for success. With emerging technologies changing the rules of buying behavior, the CRM must keep pace. It must be a single source of competitive advantage and the first place your sales force goes for strategic selling information. There are many CRMs to choose from, but I recommend and use Salesforce.com because of its ease of use and wide adoption within the profession. More importantly, I recommend Salesforce.com because of thewww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 7 of 20
  8. 8. App Exchange. The App Exchange is where users can install pre- integrated tools to make the database into the strategic arm of your sales team. Think of it like the iPhone, where hundreds of applications are available to choose from. For a CRM to work optimally, it needs to mirror your sales cycle. For a sales cycle to work optimally, it needs to match your customer’s buying cycle. As an example, every natural milestone in your sales process needs to be reflected as a stage in your CRM: Buying Cycle Selling Stage Understand and Develop Need Territory Coverage Sponsor Project First Call Research Vendors Discovery Evaluate Solutions Proof of Concept Select Vendor of Choice Proposal Submit for Funding Approvalwww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 8 of 20
  9. 9. Within each stage, we need to come to agreement upon and document the tactical best practices that will progress the sale to the next stage. These best practices should be embedded inside the CRM as reference points, or even check points, as to whether we continue working an opportunity. As the buyer becomes less and less dependant upon the seller, sellers must become more and more insistent that they are doing the right things to progress the sale. Create (Demand Creation) Win (Opportunity Management) (Phase 1) (Phase 2) (Phase 3) (Phase 4) (Phase 5) Territory Coverage First Call Discovery Proof of Concepts The Proposal Webinar Research: Pain Demo Solution Will we win Cold Call Individual Prospect Link Pains Will it close Web Visits Position Preference Sell to Power How much Trigger Event Company Process Differentiate What’s our plan Trade Shows Industry Power Social Network Planwww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 9 of 20
  10. 10. As a salesperson, I know I am doing the right things to progress the sale to the next stage by documenting the best practices. As a sales manager, I can feel comfortable that my rep has an understanding of my expectations. It might be easy to do a “quick online demo” or submit a template pricing proposal, but we shouldn’t without reciprocity that will help us win. A Sales Culture of Accountability – KPIs A recent survey from the Complex Sale found that 93% of sales leaders thought that having a sales culture of accountability was the number one cause for success! Oftentimes, sales organizations use revenue attainment goals as the key metric for success. The revenue attainment objective is owned by one person and divided among that individual’s direct reports. This process continues throughout the sales organizations down to individual sales representatives quotas. Revenue, however, is a lagging indicator of success. The best practices implemented by the world’s greatest sales forces also attach leading keywww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 10 of 20
  11. 11. performance indicators as goals. The goals start at the top and cascade down to the field, just as revenue attainment quotas. Leading Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are specific to individual sales organizations based upon their clients buying cycles and revenue generation targets. Most successful organizations start with how much revenue they need to attain from the base of accounts and create metrics around account penetration and retention. An example of leading indicators for account management would be net new opportunities, renewal rates, and percentage of growth, as applied to each account. We prescribe other goals for opportunity management and demand creation. These companies track the progress of these KPI’s on a continual basis (monthly or quarterly) through a KPI dashboard inside of the CRM. We see that the most successful companies use this process to hold sellers accountable for the correct activity and management accountable to the sellers. This practice leaves out any uncertainty in expectations throughout the sales organization.www.scottymiller.wordpress.com 11 of 20
  12. 12. Peer to Peer Selling (P2P) A new study by Forbes finds that 53% of C-level executives do their own research online, well before they delegate a project or contact vendors. Therefore, sales people need to add much more value than the standard discover, present, pricing method that permeates our business. The buyer wants to buy from someone who can add value well beyond your offering. They want advice from a peer who has seen everything and provided a solution to a problem, not a product. Successful sales forces are able to take their operational features and functionality and translate their benefits into a compelling value proposition for non-technical buyers. As you begin to sell more complex solutions, more stakeholders are involved in the decision-making process. These stakeholders often do not have the technical expertise to distinguish your solution from the competition or other in-house alternatives.www.scottymiller.wordpress.com 12 of 20
  13. 13. Inherent in a value proposition is a keen understanding of the pains of the non-technical buyers and a linkage of your solution to solving those pains. Many organizations make the mistake of having one generic value proposition; when in fact, the value proposition must be tailored to the individual to whom you are selling. As a go-to-market strategy, successful sales organizations take a census of every potential stakeholder in their sales process. They uncover every potential pain this individual could have and link their solution to solving that pain. If they don’t have a solution for a pain, they stay involved and recommend someone who does. They also take inventory of every potential competitor and create competitive position statements and ways to handle objections. They lean upon the expertise of their best practitioners and marketing departments to create an easy-to-access tool kit or playbook for the sales force. With this knowledge and confidence, they become more of a peer to their prospects. With social networking, they can communicate with them as a peer.www.scottymiller.wordpress.com 13 of 20
  14. 14. Territory Coverage Demand creation in a Complex Sale 2.0 world can be summed up in one word: touches. You don’t know how your prospects want to be communicated with, so you cast as wide of a net as possible. You don’t know what message will resonate, so you offer many. Additionally, you don’t know when your prospects are ready to hear from you, so your outreach is constant. The medians available to you will not replace the telephone as the primary means of communication – they will enhance it. Sellers don’t want to make a cold call as much as buyers don’t want to take them. Your buyers need your information. They just don’t want to talk until they are ready. Brian Carroll of InTouch writes an excellent e-book entitled Lead Generation for the Complex Sale. Carroll explains the multimodal approach to engage prospects in a manner that they prefer, before they are ready to make a purchasing decision.www.scottymiller.wordpress.com 14 of 20
  15. 15. Steve Woods, CTO at Eloqua, wrote a great white paper, Digital Body Language. The premise is that by using Eloqua’s tracking capabilities, sellers can know when prospects hit their website, what pages they go to, and how often they do so. By creating an algorithm that weigh all three, the prospects score themselves and sellers use that score to triage their selling efforts, all inside of the CRM. For example, pages on your website that indicate cursory interest, like the home page, result in a low score. Pages that reflect deep interest, like an online demo, reflect a much higher score. Buying Cycle Selling Stage Web Page Understand / Develop Need Territory Coverage E-books / Blog / Webinar Sponsor Project First Call Online Assessment / RFP Template Research Vendors Discovery Product Datasheets / About Us Evaluate Solutions Proof of Concept Online Presentation / Trial Offer Select Vendor of Choice Proposal ROI Calculator / Clients Submit for Funding Approval Terms & Conditions / Financialswww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 15 of 20
  16. 16. Social Networking Peer to Peer salespeople understand that building your personal brand is just as important for you as building a corporate brand is for the marketing department. The first place to build an online presence to network is LinkedIn. Using social networking sites like LinkedIn is peer to peer selling. My LinkedIn profile is a virtual billboard about my accomplishments, people who network with, and recommend me. LinkedIn allows you to view up to three degrees of separation to see the mutual contacts you have with your connections. It also allows you to communicate with your network en masse or one-off. There are a number of applications one can add to their profile that raise awareness about what you are reading, shared presentations, polls, and personal blogs. LinkedIn also allows its members to form and become members of other liked-minded groups. The Complex Sale, Inc. has created its own group called the R.A.D.A.R.® Alumni Association. Our members are updated via e-mail on group discussions, shared best practices, news links, job openings, and Complex Sale points of interest. Afterall, the best prospectwww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 16 of 20
  17. 17. is one who has bought from you in the past. In sum, social networking tools like LinkedIn are a great way to stay connected. I also have an account on Twitter for those that prefer communication in that median. This is an emerging technology that has gained controversy. The median has grown well beyond a way to tell your friends what you are doing. While twitter may not be the median of choice for your buyer, it can most certainly be used to gain information about their interests and company. Simply type in the key words that your target buyer would care about and see the results. (As an example, try this key word search on sales 2.0 and see all of the thought leaders tweeting on the topic.) I recommend following thought leaders in your industry and sharing their insights with your buyers in a median that they prefer. It is a source of endless competitive advantage. By following your customers, competitors, and industry, you will become a better resource to your buyers, perhaps even becoming their peer. But remember, for social-media to be effective, it must be relevant andwww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 17 of 20
  18. 18. consistent. You must be willing to connect and follow people that connect and follow you. Today’s buyer needs to hear from you well before they need your solution. WebEx and Gotomeeting.com are both great tools to share thought leadership via a webinar or podcast. The webinar is a central focal point for a campaign-based demand creation strategy. Like all social-networking, webinars need to be relevant, thought provoking, and consistent. Try to deploying polls to keep the attendees engaged and keep the dialogue conversational with panelists instead of a one-sided infomercial. Invitees that accept share their interest in your topics/ service, and those that accept multiple invites show allegiance to yourwww.scottymiller.wordpress.com 18 of 20
  19. 19. brand. Attendees that express they want to be contacted at the end of the webinar should be put into the CRM as a lead. Recorded webinars should be on your website and catalogued to pique the interest of your visitors. Trigger Events Jill Konrath, in her best selling book, Selling to Big Companies, coined the phrase, “use the news.” What she refers to is allowing your prospects to tell you when they are ready to buy. Organizations offer press releases about new position appointments, quarterly earnings, partnerships, new initiatives, etc. in an effort to generate public relations and investor interest. Google allows its users to create a personalized home page to consolidate social networking sites and RSS feeds of industry content. The Google reader feature allows for centrally located content to be catalogued under various headings without having to go directly to a variety of news, industry, or trade websites. I recommend Google alerts to be created on all of your top prospects, competitors, and industry.www.scottymiller.wordpress.com 19 of 20
  20. 20. About the Author Scott Miller is a District Vice President of Sales at Ceridian Corporation. He has worked in Sales, Sales Consulting, Sales Management, and Sales Training for over a decade. His passion is optimizing the sales process so that his sales team can be in front of the right buyer, to say the right thing at the right the right time. That is what Sales 2.0 is really all about.www.scottymiller.wordpress.com 20 of 20

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