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This is a story about a seller named cindy...
She is a salesperson in your company. Just like you, she is a human being. Just like other people, she want's to do the right thing for her other people.
She wants to do what her employer tells her and she also wants to do the right thing for her customers. It's getting harder and harder for her to do both.
- Her compensation plan provides incentives to behave one way
- Her sales manager puts pressure on her to do different things
- She knows she needs to be focused on her buyers, but gets product training
- She struggles to get clarity internally as it seems each group has a different answer
- She never seems to have enough time to do everything she's being asked to to
...AND a Buyer Named Steve
He is an executive inside a big company. Just like you, he is a human being.
He's feeling a lot of pressure because on one hand, he knows he needs to do different things to be successful. On the other, he's not willing to take a lot of risk because there is a lot of political tension inside his company.
- He is bombarded by reps trying to connect with him and rarely meets them
- Most of the reps he meets only want to talk about their company or product
- He's growing more frustrated with his vendors because they don't understand him
- To get things done, he's got to create "buy-in" within is company
- New ideas are interesting, but risky because they represent change
- Change has become extremely difficult inside his company
Cindy and Steve need each other
Value of Cindy TO STEVE
Cindy has information that Steve doesn't have.
New ideas about how his company can either:
- cut costs,
- be more productive,
- move more quickly,
- or sell more stuff.
Steve can be a hero to his company if he can do these things. So, when he finds someone like Cindy who wants to help him, he's going to explore that idea.
Value of Steve TO CINDY
Steve has something Cindy wants - the keys to the treasure chest.
If Cindy is going to close the opportunity she's foretasted, she's got to get a signed contract. She needs Steve to be motivated because he's going to have to work with a lot of people to get the budget to fund the initiative Steve will launch that includes Cindy's products and services as ingredients. When push comes to shove, he's not going to stick his neck out and invite the scrutiny of the budget request unless he's confident the idea will work.
Cindy Has Planted the seed with Steve
Cindy is a good sales person. As a good sales person, she's done a huge amount of work to get Steve to even be open to a new idea.
- Done her homework
- Learned about Steve's company and what his role is inside the company
- She's taken all of the information she's gotten and created her own way to help Steve see a problem through a different lens
- She's thought through ways your company can help Steve through that problem
- She's developed her own examples that match the situation
She's excited. It's always a great feeling for her to get to this level of connection with a potential customer because it takes so much effort.
Steve is excited. He rarely has meetings with people who have a practical new idea for him. He doesn't see Cindy as a sales person, even though he will call her that. She's given him a great idea. It's existing.
What is cindy's problem?
After she got back from her meeting with Steve, she wrote the notes into the CRM systems as an opportunity with a good probability.
And why not?
Steve is at a high enough level that he's definitely got access to budget. He was clearly interested ; she got all of the buying signals you'd want her to look for. The meeting met all of the deal scoring criteria.
Overtime, momentum between her and Steve slowed and then stalled.
Her opportunity with Steve is now being lost to "No Decision"
So, what is her problem?
She doesn't have enough empathy for all of the things Steve is going to consider to bring a new idea into his company. She doesn't know if Steve:
- Feels like he's got the right talking points about the idea to share with his peers to get their support
- Has thought through the implication on his team and how they will react
- Has put aside enough budget to be successful with what you are talking about
- Believes he's got enough political capital to strongly advocate the idea
Steve doesn't know how to navigate all of the internal obstacles he believes he must overcome in order to move forward. The idea has become too time consuming or risky for him.
Cindy needs to enable Steve to sell internally
why should you care?
SALES IS A TEAM SPORT
If Cindy cannot help Steve gain internal buy-in, then there is no funding available.
Without funding, there is no deal.
Despite how well Cindy did her job in the first half of the pipeline, even great reps lose to "no decision".
This happens most often when Cindy is:
- Cross-selling different products and services to meet needs of a problem Steve has
- Promoting an overall business relationship between her company and Steve's
- Introducing a new innovation or new product
How it effects your entire tribe
The situations Cindy finds herself losing to no decision relate 1:1 with challenges your company has executing its business strategy.
- "Were going to deepen our penetration within our existing clients"
- "We're going to delight our customers by making the overall experience working with us much easier"
- "We're capitalizing on the opportunities created by the digital economy by bringing innovative new products to our customers"
You can just hear your CEO say one (or a few) of those sentences can't you?
NONE of those strategies work unless Cindy can help Steve sell the idea internally. So, Cindy's problem effects everyone else.
It takes a village
If your company is losing a lot of opportunities to No Decision, then consider the possibility that Cindy is being over burdened. She's being asked to weave together all of detailed insights of those various specialists inside your company and connect them with Steve and all of his people.
How can you be a hero for your company? Shift the focus from loading up Cindy with lots of specialized information to empower her with the answers Steve needs.
Those answers exist mostly within your company.
they exist in fragments across many different people; each of them have highly specialized roles (product marketing, training, sales management, professional services, customer success). Each of them have different perspective of Steve, but don't interact with him the way Cindy does.
Your job becomes a lot easier and you add more value by empowering Cindy to enable Steve to be successful.
How Do you help Cindy enable Steve to be successfuL?
Why it happens
Steve, like most other human beings, is more likely to avoid taking risks than he is to peruse something seems new. His instinct is telling him not to do this.
How to PRVENT it
To make Steve more comfortable, he needs a clear path to his success. He's never bought the thing Cindy is selling before, he needs a map.
STEPS TO FIX IT
Learn what steps you can take as an organization to gain the perspectives of your whole tribe to empower Cindy to be Steve's guide for success.
We Can Help
Our company is founded by buyer-obsessed sellers and have a unique perspective on solving Cindy's problem. We're specialists in having enabling conversations and bringing diverse groups of people from together to solve challenging problems.
How to Get Started
Our approach is built with you in mind. We know that to help make your sellers successful, you need to get different groups together, just like Steve does. We do this with our highly collaborative and inclusive engagement process.
Get the conversation started
Interested in learning more? We'd love to talk about your situation with you.