When Is a Pricing Problem Not a Pricing Problem?

Posted by Reed Holden on Jul 26, 2017 6:42:10 PM

This is a story of a highly specialized drug, Ilaris, which is sold by Novartis for $16,000 a dose or $64,000 a year. They sell to under 10,000 patients a year. Novartis discovered that the drug may also have a beneficial impact on heart attack survivors. There are 615,000 survivors a year, 246,000 of whom would benefit from the use of the drug.

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Topics: Newsletter, Pricing with Confidence

3 Ways To Start Building an Enterprise Sales Process

Posted by Joanna VanDeWater on Jun 28, 2017 3:00:26 PM

Most sellers follow some sort of sales process. The companies for whom they work may not label specific stages or track opportunities within them; nevertheless, the process exists. As an independent business owner, I was keenly aware of how many people I needed to contact to hold a certain number of consulting appointments to sell a certain number of products. I didn’t label my stages, but you better believe I knew how to work my numbers to hit specific revenue targets. If I didn’t, I couldn’t pay my bills, and as a straight-commission sales person, those numbers, at every step of the process, mattered.

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Topics: Newsletter

Drive Your Value Message with White Space

Posted by Travis Umpleby on Jun 28, 2017 2:59:09 PM

You are sitting across the table from an important influencer within your customer’s buying center. You scheduled this meeting to outline how your new product helps the customer’s teams improve performance. You present one customer value prop after another, so many in fact, there’s no way you can lose.

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Topics: Newsletter, Uncovering your Value

Why You Need a Sales Team with Backbone

Posted by Reed Holden on Jun 28, 2017 2:57:57 PM

Okay, so managing a sales team can be tough. You have a sales team that is in the field doing all they can to hit their numbers and you’re at half-time. You’re asking, “Will we be where we need to be at the end of the year?” The question you should be asking is, “Do your sellers have a wishbone where their backbone ought to be?” The latter is going to get you the results you need.

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Topics: Negotiating with Backbone, Newsletter

Scorched Earth Negotiating

Posted by Reed Holden on Jun 7, 2017 6:08:02 PM

We are all used to the tough negotiators. Be they in procurement or some other part of the firm, these guys push, distort the truth, and apparently do anything to get a lower price – even if it puts their own business at risk.

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Topics: Newsletter

You Can Have Too Much Innovation

Posted by Ellen Quackenbush on Jun 7, 2017 6:07:07 PM

Innovation is the key to revenue growth and a healthy stock price, right? Firms with innovative products and services can crush the competition with unique, market-leading offerings that command premium prices and develop an early market lead. So unleash those product developers and software engineers to innovate away! Not so fast, warns experts from MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research. Siloed innovation can create complexity, increase costs and leave the customer with a dizzying array of salespeople and systems to deal with.

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Topics: Newsletter

Lessons from the NPR Member Drive

Posted by Richard Harrington on Jun 7, 2017 6:05:59 PM

As I work, I generally enjoy having music in the background. My favorite local station here in Minneapolis is The Current, a contemporary music station with a more eclectic mix than the local commercial stations. As a service provided by NPR, The Current had a member drive in the run up to Memorial Day, asking listeners to donate money to keep the station light on advertisements, high on value. While they are quick to point out the risk of closure if they do not receive enough donations, they made it clear that if you couldn’t afford to give, that was fine, and they were happy to have you as a listener anyway.

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Topics: Newsletter

Situational Buyer Type: From Value Buyer to Poker Player

Posted by Saad Shahzad on Jun 7, 2017 5:55:58 PM

When we train people on Negotiating with Backbone, every now and then we get the question, “Can a buyer type change at different times?” The answer we give is, “Yes, it depends on the situation.” Today I want to share a situation I went through while getting an oil change for my car.

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Topics: Newsletter

Change Your Customer Relationship and Eliminate Profit-Eroding Bad Habits

Posted by Tannis Ashworth on Apr 7, 2017 9:16:07 AM

I had lunch recently with Mark S., owner of a small manufacturing and distribution firm who announced, “I had to divorce one of my largest customers today.” I wasn’t taken back by his statement, as I have always known Mark to manage his business well. However, I was curious to know, “Why?” His response was simple, “We weren’t making any money, and I don’t have the deep pockets to keep them without compromising other business.” Six months prior to removing this customer off his books, Mark’s service manager came to him, complaining about the account. He let Mark know that the customer’s shipments had dropped outside their negotiated volume rate schedule and that service calls to the customer had doubled.  Mark and his Service, Operations, Finance, and Account Managers committed to a system of internal Quarterly Business Reviews (QBR) for all major accounts. Mark and his team uncovered additional customers who had taken this vendor’s value for granted which sadly, was the result of Mark’s Account Managers giving value away.

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Topics: Newsletter

A Culture of Asking Questions

Posted by Richard Harrington on Apr 7, 2017 9:14:09 AM

Commentary by Richard Harrington

From: “Bursting the CEO Bubble” by Hal Gregersen hbr.org, March/April 2017

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Topics: Newsletter