What’s the best way to get a buyer’s attention, move deals quickly through the buying cycle, and increase close rates? Follow these five fundamental steps. (For a handy summary of these steps, download our tip sheet, "5 Steps to Close More Deals.")
Step #1: Identify your buyer’s business problem.
B2B buyers don’t make purchases based on impulse or emotion. They only buy products that help them solve business problems. As a B2B seller, your understanding of that business problem will provide you with the opening you need to develop and expand a relationship with the buyer.
One of my fundamental beliefs is that the strategic marketing team—not sales, finance, or operations—should own pricing.
What Happens If Sales Controls Price?
Historically, most salespeople are compensated based on sales revenue. Because lower prices can 1) attract more customers and 2) help sales overcome customer objections, the sales team is naturally incentivized to lower prices. Even if a company has made a shift to compensating sales on margin or profitability, there are additional problems with sales owning pricing.
Topics: B2B marketing
Quite often sales and marketing professionals are looking for a TCO tool when an ROI tool would actually be a better solution. Many people assume they need a TCO analysis to close deals, when an ROI analysis would actually be far more beneficial.
I know this because I get frequent requests to create TCO tools, and my first question is “What problem are you trying to solve?” The answer to that question dictates whether a TCO or ROI tool would be a better fit. Unless the answer is some variation of “We are frequently in competitive bid situations against competitor X,” then it is likely an ROI tool would be a better fit.
This post was adapted from Sticker Shock: 3 Tactics to Avoid It in Your Sales Process on the salesElement blog.
It’s happened to the best of us: you tell a prospect how much your product or service costs and silence ensues on the other end of the line. This is known as “sticker shock” because car salesmen have become the salesperson cliché.
If you’ve done your job as a salesperson, your customer should never experience this. Why? You’ll have set up the value and discussed price early on and therefore eliminated any price sensitivity. However, there will be times when, despite your transparency with price, the prospect may not have been paying attention or started to think about pricing as part of the buyer’s journey.
Topics: B2B Sales
What makes sales management such a tough job? There are many reasons, but a very basic one is that your success as a B2B sales manager depends on the performance of your sales team. If your sales team doesn’t perform well and make quota—despite your best efforts to coach, motivate, support, mentor, and lead—then you can’t succeed.
Setting the price for your offering is critical. Price dictates whether or not your offering will succeed or fail in the marketplace. A price that’s too low can cause you to operate in the red or leave profits on the table. However, a price that’s too high could create drag on the sales cycle or make it tough for your salespeople to close deals.
Why Common Pricing Strategies Fail
When setting price, you’re looking for the optimal price to maximize profitability. That number is not the highest price possible nor is it based solely on what your competition charges, yet I hear many marketers talk about pricing in exactly those terms. Here are the two most common approaches to pricing I see.
Our value-based approach to selling helps sales teams succeed consistently and more frequently. Here are four useful sales tips you can use today to move deals through the buying cycle faster and increase your close rates.
Tip #1: Focus on your prospect’s business problem.
Many salespeople rely on the following tactics to make the sale.
- They highlight the bells and whistles of their offering.
- They point out what features the competition lacks.
- They offer price discounts or other incentives to buy.
The other day I got a call from a client asking for my help with a sales problem. His company sells document management solutions to property and casualty insurers, and he said reps were having trouble with a specific set of sales objections.
The other day I caught a reference on an episode of Mad Men to the Four P’s. The episode was set in the early 1970’s, which means Phil Kotler’s game-changing concept of the Four P’s (product, price, placement, and promotion) had just recently been published in his book, Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning, and Control.
This got me thinking: are the four P’s still relevant today as they were in previous decades? If so, how do they apply today for B2B marketing?
For the B2C marketer, I think the four P’s still make sense. But for the B2B marketer, I think there’s a P missing: problem.