Monday, May 23, 2016

Webcast: Sales and Marketing Content That Challenges the Status Quo

Did you know the types of insights mScreen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.26.21 AMarketers and salespeople feel are most effective are exactly the opposite of the insights they believe their companies are delivering in their marketing and sales content?

It’s time to reverse that trend and start delivering the types of distinct, forward-looking insights that make the biggest impact on positive selling outcomes—and help you defeat your prospect’s status quo.

Join Tim Riesterer and Jamie Shanks (Sales For Life) as they discuss how to create messaging and content that smash engagement benchmarks and compel prospects to consider doing something different than what they’re doing today.

Date: Tuesday, May 31  

Time: 2 PM EST / 11 AM PST


from Corporate Vision-Sales Lion-Reel SEO-SuperCoolCreative-StreamingMedia via web video marketing
from Tumblr

Thursday, May 19, 2016

CVI Perspectives: Two Things a Salesperson Never Wants to Hear—and How to Respond When You Do

By Conrad Smith, VP Consulting Services, Corporate Visions

Smith04We see you as a commodity.”

Ouch. Painful words after years of great service. The first time I heard a customer say those words, I was indignant until I realized how they saw me was far more important than how I saw myself.

Take a discerning look at your competitors and yourselves. There’s probably a lot of sameness. Change is a lot easier when your customer sees your product or solution as the same product or solution they can get someplace else. Take a look at your products and solutions through your customer’s eyes. How does your product or solution interact with your customer’s business? What ideas can you bring to improve how your product or solution affects inflection points and latencies within your customer’s business? What if you could improve the order to cash flow for your customers? What if you could reposition your solution to bring value not only to your customer, but your customer’s customer? If your customers believe they can buy your solution and products somewhere else, it’s incumbent on you to sell the value that you bring beyond the product and service.

“It’s not you, really, it’s me.”

Of course it’s not you. It’s never been you. It’s always been the customer. A mistake that a lot of salespeople make is losing focus on the customer, and particularly, the right customer. It’s very easy to become complacent with your day-to-day, long-term relationships. These relationships are fed by the status quo. These are the people who need your product or service and they give you the next purchase order. You may be surprised to find out you haven’t been having the right conversation with the right person. Quantifying business value means measuring the impact that your ideas are creating for your customer. You need to have that business conversation with the right person in the organization who understands and appreciates the business value you create. This means more than making sure that your product or service delivers to the specified requirements. This means going beyond to measure business impact created and expanding relationships to make sure that people throughout your customer’s organization know that value has been created and quantified.

After you create great ideas that drive improvements throughout your customer’s organization, and after you quantify those impacts and communicate them to the right people, the process will start all over again. Your customers are far more likely to remember any part of the relationship that did not go well than they are to remember the value you create. Being consistently focused on bringing new ideas, that are all about your customer and their business, and making sure the right executive decision makers hear those ideas, are ways you can do your best to make sure you aren’t on the receiving end of the call that ends the big relationship.

Good luck and good selling.

To learn more about making a compelling business case to executives in your existing accounts—and about making an impact in new ones—check out this short whiteboard video:

from Corporate Vision-Sales Lion-Reel SEO-SuperCoolCreative-StreamingMedia via web video marketing
from Tumblr

Saturday, May 7, 2016

CVI Perspectives: Why Your Pipeline Problem is Actually a Conversation Problem

By Eric Nitschke, Director of Product Marketing and Sales Enablement, Corporate Visions

Eric NitschkeBaseball season is upon us—it’s an exciting time in my household, but it also comes with discouragement since this doesn’t seem to be “the year” for my team. The coach’s explanation for the team’s lackluster play? The players are young, the team is still coming together—and in the end, we get the answer no sports fan ever wants to hear: It’s a process.

Unfortunately, I often hear the same answer from sales organizations looking to improve the conversion of leads and opportunities to billable revenue. A client recently noted that their deals either close right away, or take forever to close—if at all.

Naturally they want to know how and why that happens, so they embarked on an exhaustive pipeline progression analysis to find out why. They looked at marketing and sales qualification of leads, broke down the timelines, determined how long leads were in the pipeline, and calculated the quote-to close-ratio.

Their result? Reps weren’t following “the process”—they weren’t developing their engagement plans, filling out their opportunity sheets, or checking off all the boxes in their CRM system.

That’s all important, but it misses the point. Studies show that 89 percent of first sales meetings fail to get a second meeting because the seller hasn’t shown business value. And business executives value that level of expertise and four times more than just having a great relationship with a seller. In fact, 74 percent of executive buyers will choose to work with the company that creates a buying vision.

Fixing sales process issues only helps fix the few deals that manage to get to the second call. And often those opportunities are doomed for reduced prices and squeezed margins because they didn’t start from a position of differentiation.

Even sellers who are “leading with insight” could be hurting their pipeline progression. One recent study by Corporate Visions and Dr. Zakary Tormala revealed that asking diagnostic questions and providing insights requires a very specific cadence and timing if you want to get prospects to admit their pain. Similarly, another study by the same team found that creating risk with a great insight is only the start of a status quo-busting conversation. To actually open prospects up to change, you need to also show how you can resolve the risks you’ve identified with the alternative, safe scenario you’re proposing.

Solving the challenges in pipeline progression isn’t a process problem—it’s a conversation problem. If you want sellers to close long-term business, you have to help them succeed in the first sales call. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Defeat the status quo with neuroscience: Sellers that jump right to the conversation about why your company and products can help solve buyer challenges miss the fact that many buyers still haven’t committed to doing anything different. That’s called the “status quo bias,” and as sellers, it’s a bigger enemy than the competitors in your market. The good news: You can overcome buyer inaction with a “why change” story that reveals inconsistencies or uncertainties in the way your prospect is doing business today. By making prospects aware of the costs of doing nothing, you’ll bring about a shift in the way they perceive change, and make them more open to the possibility of doing something different with you.
  • Create a buying vision with social psychology: Researcher Daniel Kahneman noted that people are two to three times more motivated to make a change to avoid a loss than they are to achieve a gain. Sellers can inject uniqueness and urgency into customer conversations by messaging to prospects’ unconsidered needs—challenges or issues they’ve overlooked or underestimated. By basing your selling message around unconsidered needs, you can show prospects how the pain of doing nothing is actually far greater than the pain of change. That will create the buying vision you need to get to a second meeting.
  • Use behavioral economics to tell visual stories: The Picture Superiority Effect points to the profound impact that simple visuals can have on a customer conversation, and speaks to the idea that prospects process change emotionally, not rationally. Visual storytelling through a simple “why change” story provides the insights and contrast you need to convince your prospect that he or she is unsafe in their current situation, and that you are uniquely qualified to guide them to a new and better change scenario.

In baseball, teams and managers who ask fans to “trust the process” may be glossing over a weak farm system and clear skills gaps in their current players. And much like those managers, companies that think the sales process is the key to fixing pipeline progress may be missing the point. Pipeline progression can only be successful if reps are equipped to nail the first conversation—it’s the only way to get customers to “play ball.”

from Corporate Vision-Sales Lion-Reel SEO-SuperCoolCreative-StreamingMedia via web video marketing
from Tumblr