One of the top challenges sales leaders share is their Sellers' hesitancy to engage in early, prospecting conversations with customers. It is common for us to hear sales leaders lament that their "Sellers are great once the product discussion starts, but they will not engage in open-ended conversations where they don’t know the answers. They assume they must always play the role of the expert.”
Management guru Peter Drucker stated that the purpose of business is to create and retain customers. But Drucker omitted an essential component for how companies stay in business — namely, that the customers they select and serve must be profitable. Otherwise, hand that customer over to the competition. Not all business is good business; and last time I checked, B2B businesses were not charities.
Topics: Selling with Backbone
Today’s customers are savvier and more impatient than ever. Being a Challenger and disrupting the customer’s status quo is just not enough anymore.
Topics: Negotiating with Backbone
Personas are a great tool for the right situation but are often over-used by marketing to communicate with customers and generate leads. Personas define how a person in a specific role—let’s say the General Manager of a Business or the VP of Sales—thinks about their key challenges, KPIs, or opportunities to drive business improvement.
Topics: Negotiating with Backbone
Recent articles and blog postings are abuzz with the power of price segmentation, driven by the abundance of transaction data and the power of pricing analytics to create highly-tuned segmentations to capture customer willingness-to-pay. Some analytics create hundreds—even thousands—of micro-segments to maximize profitability by exploiting the differences in willingness-to-pay within your installed base. What’s not to like about this? Sounds like easy money to me. However, there are some embedded assumptions about price segmentation that pricing professionals need to consider:
Topics: Pricing with Confidence
You and your pricing team have been diligent in using your pricing software to monitor price realization and eliminate outliers, reduce unwarranted discounting, and tighten up your price band. Beware—you may be victim to the Price Complacency Trap—that wonderful space where you are confident that you have instilled price integrity for your core products. In reality, you may be trading single-digit improvements by raising transactions to the regression line for double-digit declines in the entire regression line over time.
Customers buy your products for a reason—namely, the impact your products have on their business results. If they could get the same results without buying your solution, believe me, they would. They would gladly refocus their time and money on running their business.
Topics: Uncovering your Value
Celebrating 10 Years of Pricing with Confidence (video 3 of 11).
Ellen Quackenbush discusses the second rule in Pricing with Confidence - "Understand the Value You Offer to Your Customer."
You can't have confidence in your pricing until you have confidence in the financial value that your offerings have on your customers' bottomline. Even though managers are convinced they can't get this kind of information, the reality is that most of your customers are eager to talk about it. All it takes is asking the right questions and being willing to listen.
*Download an Improving Practice Plan so you can follow along with all videos and plan how to drive profitable changes in your organization:
(Part 2 of 3)
In the first blog of this Asking Great Questions series, I talked about the need or rationale for asking questions. Great questions can undoubtedly be great tools in the right hands. However, as any good craftsperson can tell you, the key to getting the most out of your tools is knowing how to use them. Using a hammer to drive in a screw never works, no matter how hard you pound.
Topics: Selling with Confidence