Is discounting slowly killing your B2B business? While performing an account review for a client recently, we heard a seasoned sales rep ask “Can we ‘motivate’ the customer to buy?” Wait. Did we hear this right - did he just ask his boss for a discount?
If you’re selling a product or services within a complex sales cycle, it might not seem like a bad idea to throw in a discount to get that sale over the line. But here’s what happens when you dangle a discount to encourage a sale; the prospect now has that discount tucked away for when they’re ready to buy - not before. The sales cycle hasn’t been shortened at all, and your salesperson still needs to find a way to guide the prospect towards the dotted line.
While you might be able to absorb the occasional cost of a discount, this practice creates a mindset and crutch that slowly erodes your profits without making the intended difference of increasing sales.
There comes a time in every startup journey when you realise that in order to move forward and scale, you need to increase sales and revenue first. And that means transitioning from selling your own products and services to handing over sales to a professional salesperson.
It seems easy enough; place an ad, interview a few people and pick the best one. So then why is it so many founders and owners end up on the hiring and firing merry-go-round? What does this cost your business? And more importantly, how to hire the right salesperson for your B2B startup who will meet and exceed your sales goals.
Over the years of creating sales blueprints for B2B startups, there’s one common thing we’ve noticed in just about every business. Typically founders have a strong technical or consulting background in their field, but no sales experience. The issue is clear. Without a background in sales, it’s going to be tough to find the...
On Media Watch this week Paul Barry spoke about the most overused phrase in the media during this pandemic. It was “Petrie dish”, as in the “schools are like a Petrie dish for Coronavirus”. Since this pandemic started to bite into the economy about 3 weeks ago, the most overused word in business seems to be “pivot”, as in “we need to pivot to stay relevant”.
I attended a great online discussion hosted by Ivan Kaye last week, with Professor Clive Smallman as the guest presenter. Clive is a specialist in crisis management (www.clivesmallman.com) and he helped me put the pivot in perspective relative to the greater changes around a business today.
Clive put up this fantastic graph to show what a business is going through at the moment.
The brief summary, and Clive does this much better than I can, is that the crisis hits and we immediately drop revenue, take some time to adjust costs, make some adjustments, prepare for...
How do we maintain Sales As Usual and Business As Usual when everyone is focused on impending health and economic doom?
Let's get our priorities right from the start. It's a real health threat and everyone must take the right precautions to protect themselves and everyone around them. We have a duty of care to each other, so take care and listen to the professionals on this one.
Can the world sustain an environment where business STOPS for 1 month? 3 months? No it can't. We are a resiliant bunch and while the experts in health must be listened to, we can prepare for what the business environment looks like with everyone at home for 3 months. Businesses will find a way to function. Are you ready?
There are some good links in an earlier post on how to maintain BAU with staff working from home. Let's focus on selling in this environment. What does Sales As Usual look like?
Priorities change for businesses. The focus shifts from...
What does Business As Usual (BAU) look like when health authorities are telling everyone to send staff home?
Where do you find useful and trusted resources around Coronavirus, and how you can use technology to keep as close to BAU as possible?
No matter what tech you are using, all the major players are focused on supporting your remote workforce.
We find these links useful for our business and for our members:
Stay safe, work smart, keep business moving - its in all our interest.
You can also...
Welcome to the September Newsletter where we highlight what happened in August and provide summaries of key information we have shared.
JD posted on Value in August on LinkedIn. The key points were:
What is Value? And how should we measure it?
Firstly value is measured by the customer. It doesn’t matter how valuable we think we are it’s only the customer's view that counts.
Secondly, it is not only their personal view of value but how their company measures value.
How does your customer measure value? Here is a tip: if you think value is measured in terms of your product you are wrong. It should reflect the customer's problem and how much you will make them or save them. If you are unsure it's never too late to ask or reconfirm with your prospect.
We had such a big response to the Build Your Pipeline Masterlass in July that we were asked to run it again in August. JD took everyone...
The $8 Haircut was posted by JD on LinkedIn today. It is shown below.
JD challenged you "When you visit your next prospect what will you do differently?"
There were over 50 comments on the post and I love the ones who encourage us to listen more. When we talk with our members about being different, we start with listening. Trust me, if you listen to your clients and prospects you'll be different to almost all your competitors.
We talk about earning the right to sell. And telling is not selling.
Do you really understand your customers? How much time do you spend understanding what your prospective customer is trying to fix with your product?
If I could guarantee you 10 hours with your next prospect at the start of the sales cycle:
Thank you to all those who attended the live Build Your Pipeline Masterclass.
Please click the Build Your Pipeline Masterclass Replay to watch it again and remind yourself of where those new leads and future customers are hiding.
At Sales Director Central we meet and talk with many Founders, Owners and Directors in Tech2to20 (technology companies with revenues between $2m to $20m). Their views and approach on Sales Leadership, and even for some of the more savvy investers in Tech2-20, is a constant source of discussion. We interview the key stakeholders during free diagnosis/triage sessions and again during the initial stages of our engagement. The seven signs on sales leadership we notice are common across all businesses are approached in vastly different ways. So, whatever you are doing, you are not alone.
The seven signs we commonly discuss and see are: