As sales tech stacks grow, consuming more time and becoming more expensive, sales results continue to plummet. Far be it from me to tell you what technologies to remove from your sales tech stack, but if you cannot connect something to revenue growth or some important sales objective, you may not need it.
Only one vehicle wins B2B deals, but most sales organizations choose to not spend time or money on it. This vehicle is the sales conversation.
Of all the things you might prioritize, this should always be at the top of your list, no matter the season.
The Single Vehicle to Win Deals: The Sales Conversation
Let me make the case for this view of the sales conversation. Your prospective clients need someone to help them explore the change that would improve their results. In the future, your AI might talk to your prospect’s AI, but until that fateful day arrives, the single vehicle for winning deals is the sales conversation.
Open your sales pipeline and count the opportunities you won that didn’t require any conversations. Notice that a few salespeople win a large percentage of your deals. Salespeople who win more do so for several reasons, but the largest factor is these salespeople have access to something that most are missing.
What Sales Organizations Get Wrong
The first thing a salesperson is shown during onboarding is that they will be taught what makes their company special. Once they buy into the idea that their company is the best in the industry, their indoctrination continues until the salesperson believes that their solution is better than anything their competitor offers.
You want your sales force to love their company and believe their solution will help their clients produce the results they need. But it is a mistake to teach and train salespeople that the success of their company and their solution will be enough to win deals. The contest in sales is rarely between two companies and their solutions. Instead, it is a contest between the salespeople and the value they create for the clients in the sales conversation.
Allow me to provide you with proof that the sales conversation is the most important variable when winning a deal. You take a call from a prospective client who spends enough that winning their business will ensure you reach your sales goals. Which of your salespeople do you send to the client and why?
If the prospective client was in a territory managed by a salesperson with a low win rate, would you risk losing the deal? Would you believe that a conversation about your company and your solution would be enough to ensure you won the client’s business?
How You Sell Is More Important Than What You Sell
Most of us have enough competitors that we are often treated as a commodity. This poor treatment is common even when your solution is better than your competitors’. To avoid being treated like a commodity, you must sell differently than your many competitors, creating value and a better sales experience for your contacts and their stakeholders.
One challenge for sales organizations is that their discovery call has been completely commoditized. A sales organization can break out the commodity trap by providing their prospective clients with something more compelling and helpful. This gives them a better chance of converting the first meeting to a second meeting.
How you sell is more important than what you sell. This is why there is so much variation from one sales rep to the next, even within the same company, working under the same manager, calling on the same types of clients, and competing against the same competitors. How the salesperson sells is a larger variable than most people recognize.
Your sales methodology is either built on value creation, or it is not. This is binary.
The sales conversation is a dynamic conversation about change and better results. Salespeople who use a methodology designed to create value while also leading their clients through their buyer’s journey have an extreme advantage over their rivals. There is no substitute for value creation in the sales conversation.
There is also no substitute for being One-Up, as you have greater knowledge and experience than your clients. Being able to leverage information disparity allows you to educate your clients and help them make a decision with certainty that it will move them toward their goals.
The Only Technology That Wins B2B Sales
Consider your sales methodology to be your most important technology, as it determines how your sales force sells. Because the sales conversation is the largest variable for winning or losing deals. Your methodology will either create value for your client, or it will not.
Using ancient methodologies is like trading your smartphone for a flip phone. While they are both technically phones, a modern smartphone is also essentially a computer, creating far more value.
If you pursue net new revenue, instead of a massive sales stack, you need a set of value creation strategies that will allow your team to schedule a first meeting, and convert that meeting into a second meeting by performing well.
Your first and your most important technology is your sales methodology. Leaving this article, consider your current methodologies and identify the value creation strategies that would cause your prospective clients to prefer to buy from your sales force.