Category Archives: Insight selling

October 20th, 2014

Challenger® Selling: “Courageous Questions” Differ from “Grenades”

challenger-selling

Challenger® Selling: “Courageous Questions” Differ from “Grenades”

Many sales leaders are urging their salespeople to adopt CEB’s Challenger Sellingmodel to ask “challenging” questions to have effective sales meetings with prospects and clients. The intent is to be more provocative, create differentiation in a crowded market, provide insight, and hopefully add more value to the conversation. This post is designed to share some mistakes I have been seeing with this approach and to offer suggestions for properly asking “courageous questions” in an effective sales meeting.

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October 7th, 2014

Insight Selling: Essential Skills for Shaping and Creating Sales Opportunities

Insight Selling: Essential Skills for Shaping and Creating Sales Opportunities

Opportunities to grow your business with a major account come in three different modes: Respond, Shape, and Create.

When you respond to an opportunity, the customer has already identified the issue, the solution, and the expected outcomes. Now, a provider is sought. This is the most reactive style of account development. The scope and budget are usually already set. Pressures on both price and competition are often high. By no means should you ignore such opportunities. Flexibility is a key element of business. You have to be able to respond as well as initiate. But, responding is not the best way to develop and grow a business relationship.

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September 9th, 2014

Insight Selling – How to Move Beyond an Inward Focus and a Product-based Message

Insight Selling – How to Move Beyond an Inward Focus and a Product-based Message

The Problem – Ultra Informed Buyers

Today’s buyers are savvier than ever, which makes selling to them a greater challenge for sales reps and teams. Whether they’re interested in a one-off transaction for a particular product or service, or a long-term strategic partnership, customers from companies of any size and industry can research just about anything they desire online, which puts them in a position of strength over sellers.

If your salespeople are selling the same old products the same old way, then you could very well be deep in a rut. Have you backed yourself into a corner as a commoditized order fulfillment broker rather than someone who can truly add value?

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July 16th, 2014

Insight Selling: The Next Frontier of Sales and Marketing Alignment

insight-selling

Insight Selling: The Next Frontier of Sales and Marketing Alignment

If you think back five or ten years, the focus of sales and marketing alignment at that time was on the sales process. The emergence of usable CRM systems like Salesforce.com and marketing automation platforms like Eloqua and Marketo enabled tracking across the customer lifecycle from lead to close and beyond. As companies made investments in these sales and marketing platforms, it made sense to agree on a single integrated process enabled by the integrated systems and operationalized through concepts like the “lead waterfall,” marketing qualified leads, sales accepted leads, service level agreements, and the sales funnel. Many organizations are making great progress in this area, and others no doubt have a ways to go. However, from an operational standpoint, there’s been tremendous progress.

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June 11th, 2014

Abused Stats and Figures: Maintain a Healthy Degree of Skepticism 100% of the Time

Abused Stats and Figures: Maintain a Healthy Degree of Skepticism 100% of the Time

Stats and figures help people make decisions or convince others to make a choice. Whether you’re a sales rep or a consumer, these numbers can be beneficial, but they are also easily misunderstood, misrepresented, or abused.

Uri Simonsohn, a research psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, sensed that something was amiss with several sets of research findings published in his field. Upon investigating, he discovered that the studies’ authors had taken liberties with the data and were forced to back away from their published articles. For his efforts, he was labeled a “data vigilante,” which paints a portrait (either white hat or black hat, depending on your views), but more importantly, presents us all with cautionary advice: be careful how you use and interpret data and statistics. (See the full article “The Data Vigilante” by Christopher Shea in The Atlantic from November 28, 2012.)

The article in The Atlantic offers a somber comparison between massaging data to suit your study’s needs and doping by professional athletes: “Outright fraud is probably rare. Data manipulation is undoubtedly more common—and surely extends to other subjects dependent on statistical study… Worse, sloppy statistics are ‘like steroids in baseball’: Throughout the affected fields, researchers who are too intellectually honest to use these tricks will publish less, and may perish. Meanwhile, the less fastidious flourish.” In essence, cheaters with » Continue Reading.

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June 6th, 2014

Richardson to Host Selling with Insights Workshop at Sales 2.0 Conference in Boston

Richardson to Host Selling with Insights Workshop at Sales 2.0 Conference in Boston

Richardson will be the host of a selling with insights workshop at the Sales 2.0 Conference in Boston on July 15, 2014. The workshop will focus on how sales teams can leverage insights to provide value to customers and win more deals.

Richardson’s President and CEO David DiStefano and Senior Sales Training Consultant Kim Dean will host the session. They will focus on sharing best practices to help salespeople to be able to make a connection with prospective customers. Throughout the workshop, attendees will participate in sample exercises that teach sales teams how to generate and deliver sales insights that will create credibility and differentiate their solutions from the competition.

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March 17th, 2014

Avoid the Content Marketing Scrap Heap through Personalizing Insights for Prospects

scrap-heap-content-marketing

Avoid the Content Marketing Scrap Heap through Personalizing Insights for Prospects

The business world is being over-run by content marketing. Prospects are being overloaded with information, and e-mail response rates are in the tank. If you succeed in getting the attention of your prospect, your next challenge is to grab them with something that will keep them on the phone and engaged long enough to warrant a deeper conversation. Upon picking up the phone, inevitably, your contact’s guard is up while giving you only a portion of their attention as they wait for you to give them an opening to say, “No thanks, I’m not interested.”

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February 12th, 2014

Improve your Sales Effectiveness with Insight and Dialogue

sales-dialogues

Improve your Sales Effectiveness with Insight and Dialogue

Selling with insight is all the rage now.  I get why.  As Brian Fetherstonhsugh of OgilyOne has alluded, selling needs to evolve because buyer behavior has fundamentally changed.  While the impact of this is felt differently and more deeply in some industries and verticals than others (context and nuance always matter), the need for most selling organizations to evolve is clear.

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