B2B Selling Isn’t Black Magic


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Selling B2B products or services doesn’t involve any form of magic, black or any other colour. But it does require discipline and focus. There needs to be a process everybody understands, including the prospect. There needs to be attention to detail, with no stone unturned in the search for clarity. There must be teamwork – individuals don’t win B2B on their own.

Whenever the selling team loses that discipline, attention to detail, and teamwork, the proposal is in trouble. The buying team will be out of control, and difficult to influence. When buying teams aren’t counter balanced by effective selling teams they are likely to make very bad decisions. For examples of how bad they can be, see what a mess government procurement of IT can deliver.

That’s the MBA version of the theory at least. In reality life is more complex than that.

Selling B2B can seem so difficult because keeping everybody and everything in synch with the strategy and the process is close to impossible. Sods law says if something can go wrong, it will, and in B2B it always does.

The person leading the sale – the team’s front man – must take ownership of and control over the sales plan, and everybody contributing to it. In most cases, that person is the sales rep, which is both a problem, and an opportunity.

Giving responsibility for managing the corporate effort to the sales rep will be a tough ask for most managers. Reps have many great strengths. Unfortunately discipline and attention to detail are rarely amongst them. Hunters are rarely farmers but in B2B the sales lead needs to be a bit of both. Add the unfortunate fact that sales people rarely have MBA’s, or even training in major account management, and its easy to see delegation at this level as an accident waiting to happen. Such is the problem.

On the other hand a sales rep equipped with the right tools, and coaching in how to use them, can be highly effective. The motivation is obvious, and the other skills in communication and conversation are already honed. Equipping the motivated expert in communication and conversation with tools to help with strategy and process offers the opportunity. When the sales rep gets it right, first time, every time, the rest of the team can get on with its job. Everybody can be confident they have the best chance of winning, or exiting the negotiation early when they don’t.

This paradox can only be resolved when those right tools and coaching are available to the sales rep, 24X7, anywhere, anytime. S/he has to be able to monitor the process, and get ideas about next steps, as events occur. S/he can’t be constrained by internal issues – working around the buyer road blocks is difficult enough. S/he can’t wait for anybody to return a call. S/he needs to make decisions on the run, responding to stuff as it happens.

If only those tools and coaching existed, life would be simpler for everybody.

That’s why we were knocked out when Occulus came within our radar. This online service checks all the boxes. With Occulus the best practice identified through of hundreds of research projects is delivered to sales reps and their managers over the Internet. They have the very best process management tools at their fingertips whenever they need them.

Not surprisingly we decided to work with Occulus, helping our readers and consulting clients understand what they can achieve with its support, and how to implement it.

If this sounds like the tool set you need to get to the next level of sales operations excellence check out the online demo.

Work through one of your current sales opportunities and compare your own evaluation and forward plan with the ones you’ll get from Occulus.

We’re here to help if you’d like some advice on implementation.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steven Reeves
Consultant, author, software entrepreneur, business development professional, aspiring saxophonist, busy publishing insight and ideas. Boomer turned Zoomer - thirty year sales professional with experience selling everything from debt collection to outsourcing and milking machines to mainframes. Blogger at Successful Sales Management. Head cook and bottle washer at Front Office Box.


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