To help avoid race-to-the-bottom price comparisons, most B2B companies know they need customers to view them as different from their competitors. If the offering is not different (in a way that creates value for the customer), buyers will quite understandably hone in on the cheapest provider.
And, whilst most of us hear the word 'differentiator' weekly, if not daily, within the corridors of power, I've seen many organizations (from the many I've worked with across Europe, NA and Asia) struggle to get this area right, whether they're a mainstream product/service provider or, for instance, a professional services firm. To read my article on how best to combat this, click here.
Whereas The Challenger Sale (see my review of that book) made the case for selling earlier in the buying cycle using insights, The Challenger Customer focuses on why many sales fail to occur – even when sellers lead with insight and create value with senior decision-makers. The title is all about understanding why so many proposals still don’t get signed off and, thus, enter the solutions graveyard.
Click here to read my book review.
You'd be hard-pressed not to have noticed a marked increase in interest over ‘insight-led’ selling approaches
recently. The broad story is that buyers are now contacting sellers later in the buying process when
they already know what they want, so price becomes the main decision factor. Therefore, sellers need to engage senior decision-makers earlier in their buying process to create
differentiation in the sales conversation. They do this using insight which helps the customer better run their business. Such insight creates customer value and greater purchasing
More and more companies are adopting this strategy and it feels like new books covering this subject are arriving thick and fast. Indeed, many industry leaders think we are in the midst of the largest change in selling practices for decades.
Interestingly, there are now several key developments compared to the situation three years ago when one particular insight-based method, ‘Challenger’, was grabbing most of the attention. To read our article, commissioned by the UK's Institute of Sales & Marketing Management Journal, click here.
There's a lot of talk at the moment in the B2B world about changing the sales experience - through the front-line sales person or through better pre-sales consultancy teams. We all know it's easier to retain existing customers that win new ones so, whilst you're focused on improving the sales experience, are you also just as focused on demonstrating value delivered to current customers?
To find out more, click here.
As customers issues get more complex, Sales increasingly need to use specialist consultants to help explore the true issues, devise options for change and solutions, and help implement them. In the name of efficiency and effectiveness, commercial organisations use pre-sales consultancy experts to go into prospects and customers and run a magnifying glass over everything related to issues they believe exist.
We've found there's typically 4 stages of development existing for pre-sales advisory or consulting units. If you have a function such as this in your organisation, you may want to reflect: is it
a true differentiator against what the competition provide? Are you getting high performance? What is the vision and journey for the unit?
To read more on this topic, click here.