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Provocation-based selling:proving pain does not close a sale
Monday, 30 May, 2011
Provocation-based selling:proving pain does not close a sale

A friend sent me the Harvard Business Review article written by my hero Geoffrey Moore and two of his colleagues – Todd Hewlin and Philip Lay – titled “In a Downturn, Provoke Your Customers.”
REALLY? BUYERS BUY BECAUSE THEY ARE IN PAIN? REALLY?
I found the article ruefully humorous. Here are some of the smartest business minds in […]

Deciding for the Customer
Thursday, 26 May, 2011
Deciding for the Customer

My friend Chip Bell has just published a new book (Wired and Dangerous:  How Your Customers Have Changed and what to do about it) with his co author John R. Patterson. His books are always enlightening – and this one is his best. Chip has been a friend since Selling with Integrity came out in […]

Are Salespeople Going the Way of Telemarketers?
Friday, 20 May, 2011
Are Salespeople Going the Way of Telemarketers?

Selling Power predicts that by 2020 the number of salespeople will drop from 18M to 3M mostly due to online interactions and other sales support functions taking their place.
In the early 90s I wrote a column for TeleProfessional Magazine. My book Sales on the Line was doing well, and I was the voice of reason […]

Make the vendor an active partner from early in the buyer’s decision path
Friday, 13 May, 2011
Make the vendor an active partner from early in the buyer’s decision path

Because choosing a solution is the last thing a buyer does, the vendor isn’t an active partner at the point the most important decisions get made.  We  like to think that because we gather good data, deeply understand pain, and have a relevant solution, we’ll be considered an ‘active partner.’
SELLERS ENTER TOO EARLY
We fail to realize that we are […]

Musical sales people: moving sellers to be near buyers is irrelevant
Friday, 29 Apr, 2011
Musical sales people: moving sellers to be near buyers is irrelevant

When I recently heard that a prospect was re-organizing and moving the sales folks into geographic verticals, I was baffled. Across the board, through decades, using any sales model, selling any solution, the sales model closes 7%, plus or minus 2%. Regardless of where the sellers sat.
From what I gather, the thinking behind this is to ‘be nearer […]

Proposal Management: the missing qualification piece
Monday, 25 Apr, 2011
Proposal Management: the missing qualification piece

I recently spoke at my partner Qvidian’s Connect11 User Conference for proposal management folks. As part of my talk, I did homework to understand the issues the field faced so I could help them be more successful. In my research I discovered:
1.proposal managers are responding to literally hundreds of unqualified RFPs annually with no capability of […]