Category Archives: sales enablement

July 14th, 2016

The Neuroscience of Sales: Unseating an Incumbent

neuroscience of sales: incumbency bias

Competing against an incumbent provider is one of the more challenging sales situations that we encounter.  The existing account holder likely has a stronger relationship with the client, first-hand knowledge of the client’s business, and enjoys the benefit of being a known entity.  Remarkably, even with mediocre performance, an incumbent can be difficult to unseat, and a lot of the reason why is attributed to psychology.  There are a few neuroscience concepts that give us some insights as to why customers hold on so tightly and how a challenger might loosen the grip.

Loss Aversion

Loss aversion is the simple idea that the fear of losing something is much stronger than the joy of gaining something — in fact, it is about twice as strong, according to research.  In a competitive sales environment, that means that the value proposition of a challenger needs to be significantly stronger than that of the incumbent if the challenger hopes to win the business.  Loss aversion is how even relatively weak providers maintain accounts.  So why is our fear of loss so strong?

It is human nature to overvalue what we already own; this is called the endowment effect.  It is evident when people are reluctant to part with something they own for its cash equivalent, or if the amount that people are willing to pay for something is lower than what people are willing to accept when selling it (Kahneman, Knetsch, & Thaler, » Continue Reading.

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July 12th, 2016

The Neuroscience of Sales: Resolving the Irrational Objection

the neuroscience of sales & overcoming irrational objections

In sales, we hear them all the time — objections from our customers that just don’t make a lot of rational sense… not to us, anyway. We don’t say it out loud, but we’re thinking, “What? Where did that objection come from?”

The irrational objection is one of the tougher challenges in Sales because we know that there is something deeper that the customer is not comfortable sharing. Also, the customer may not be fully aware of some of his/her deeper drivers. Since the sale will not progress until we resolve the objection, we need to discover what is causing the objection — but how?

Our brains — ergo, our customers’ brains — are wired with biases that cause errors in judgment. Because we may not be aware of these cognitive biases, even skilled questioning may not reveal them. During the sales dialogue, we need to identify and understand biases and get good at using “debiasing” techniques to move the conversation forward.

The Status Quo Bias

The status quo bias is at the root of many irrational objections. It’s really simple to understand — our brains don’t like change. Essentially, we have a preference for things to remain the same until the status quo becomes too uncomfortable to accept. This bias is a powerful and normal reaction for us in response to anything new and » Continue Reading.

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January 15th, 2015

Social Selling Made Easy

Social Selling Made Easy

Social networks represent a huge lead generation opportunity for sales professionals. But taking full advantage of this opportunity – using the right social sites, connecting to the right people, posting with proper etiquette, and following company policies – can seem overly complex and overwhelming.

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December 3rd, 2014

Quick Tips to Better Align Sales and Marketing

align-sales-and-marketing

Quick Tips to Better Align Sales and Marketing

Obvious fact: If you align sales and marketing teams, you will drive better leads, close more business, and reduce internal conflicts that may stand in the way of meeting objectives.

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July 14th, 2014

The Benefits of Sales Enablement Tools for Sales Managers

benefits of sales enablement

The Benefits of Sales Enablement Tools for Sales Managers

In a previous blog post, Advice on How Sales Enablement Tools Can Increase Efficiency,  SAVO’s CEO Mark O’Connell talked about a number of benefits from sales enablement tools for sales reps. Here’s what he had to say about benefits for sales managers.

What is a Chief Sales Officer’s biggest gripe about their forecast? Many point to CRM algorithms used to identify at-risk opportunities. These don’t improve visibility because they’re dependent on data input by sales reps, and sales reps only tell sales leaders what they want to hear. As a sales manager, I need to know the productivity of my teams, a deal’s likelihood of closing, and when it’s necessary to intervene on a deal. 

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