Sales manager’s typical response to sales persons not meeting sales targets is more activity – that is, more emails, more calls, and more meetings. The premise is that, more activity would lead to more customer actions /response which could result in increased sales closures

The strategy of more activity may have worked well in the past and perhaps works for some even now but the % of success would continue to decline. This is because the buying process has changed dramatically in the last few years

Open ended questions the typical tactic of “solution selling” where the sales person is on an explorative journey with the “C” executive. Now imagine “C” suite executive meeting 10 vendors with open-ended questions, for instance, the famous “what keeps you up at night?”. And having to repeat the entire response 10 times over.  This tatic may have worked in an era emerging from “product selling” but in today’s context where the buyer (team) have made up their mind on 70% of the buying process even before inviting the sales person, the typical solution selling techniques do not work

If the buyers are well on the way in the buying process then why do they engage sales persons?.  It is because they still have doubts – it could be about the full context of the problem, gain information from the vendor about solutions that may have been implemented recently not available in the public domain, perhaps a different perspective. They engage to receive new inputs (at best) and at the least confirm their own conclusions about the problem and the potential solution

A recent study indicates that the

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From the above, Insight selling not only applies to large or enterprise sales, but it also applies to SaaS companies. It does not matter if they are selling less expensive ARR or monthly subscription renewals as long as the company is engaged in a B2B sales process. For SaaS-based products, perhaps the customer expectation in terms of the level or the depth of insight, may not be extensive never-the-less, it is expected. In this context, the role of the marketing team tightly coupled with the customer experience team is critical to helping the customer discover the “insight sales” moments

So if your a B2B sales person or a sales leader, it’s high time you changed tracks that resonate with the reality of the customer

 

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