This blog post is about three things:

  1. The #3 ZMOT Selling strategy
  2. 5 Ways to GET MORE at Dreamforce
  3. Challenging the Challenger Sale

After spending the last 18 months writing for the likes of LinkedIn, Salesforce.com, InsideSales.com, EverContact, Nimble, Canada’s National Newspaper: The Globe and Mail, and others, I’m finally getting back to writing for this blog again.

In the coming months, I plan to complete my countdown to the #1 ZMOT Selling Strategy and then share my most effective sales tactics

#3 ZMOT Selling Strategy

This is a continuation of the top 7 ways to apply Google’s Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT) in B2B sales.

In my last four blog posts I shared the following ZMOT Selling Strategies:

The #3 ZMOT Selling Strategy is to understand the Stimuli (as Jim Lecinski calls them) that create Zero Moments of Truth. The best way to do this is to analyze the sales that you win NOT the sales you lose – aka Won Sales Analysis

Some people believe you are best off just analyzing your biggest wins. I disagree with this approach because to win the really big sales you often have to:

  • Provide significant discounts
  • Significantly modify your product/service
  • Make concessions on your support structure
  • Wait for what seems like forever before a purchase decision is made

I believe a better approach is to analyze your best wins.

But how do you decide which are your best wins?

I think your best wins are those where three or more of the following were true:

  • It was relatively easy to reach the decision maker
  • The prospect made the purchase quicker than usual
  • You did not have to discount heavily in order to win the business
  • The decision maker provided you with a testimonial, was willing to be a reference and/or provided you with the most treasured thing in sales,  timely introductions to other decision makers who will soon have a need for your services.

Conducting a Won Sales Analysis™ on your best wins will help you understand and start noticing the Stimuli that create Zero Moments of Truth.

How to GET MORE at Dreamforce

Recently I was asked to share the stage with Ken Krogue of InsideSales.com at Dreamforce 2014. Once I said yes,I decided I needed to find a creative way to make the most of Dreamforce, so I have two special offers for those going to Dreamforce.

For Attendees:

Visit one of the two booths below to get a free copy of my award-winning sales SHiFT!.

  1. In the West Hall visit the Avention booth (W631) and pick up a special card with instructions on how to get your free copy.
  2. In the North Hall visit the Nudge booth (N2210) and scan your badge so you receive an email with instructions on how to get your free copy.

For Exhibitors:

I created a special eBook on 5 Ways to GET MORE From Dreamforce.

It’s designed to help exhibitors do four things:

  • Get more sales
  • Get more meetings
  • Get more follow up calls
  • Get more ‘prospects’ on a drip/nurture list

The book contains 14 pages of trade show tactics, links to 4 popular webinar recordings, and resources from great minds like (in order of appearance in the eBook) Peter O’Donoghue, Nigel Edelshain, Matt Batchelder, Matt Hill, Andy Paul, Dan McDade and Jamie Shanks.

It also shares information on the 13 sales 2.0 and social selling tools that I and/or my customers use (also in order of appearance in the book) Avention, Beep Directed Voicemail, BriteVerify, Charlie App, EverContact, FatStax, InsideSales.com, KiteDesk, LinkedIn, Nudge, SalesScrripter, SalesLoft and ToutApp.

Use this link if you prefer the PowerPoint version of the eBook, so you can integrate some of the slides into the trade show training you are giving your own team.

When I was in sales I loved working trade shows. I believed they could be one of the best ways for me to start a new relationship with decision makers who are often very hard to reach via phone or email.

Research conducted by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) proves that to be true. It says that in-person seminars / conferences / trade shows are the #1 preferred information delivery channel for traditional buyers – see page 6 to see what #2 & #3 are.

While my eBook was made specifically for those exhibiting at Dreamforce, its content is highly applicable to getting more from exhibiting at ANY trade show.

If you would like to meet at Dreamforce, text (+1.403.874.2998) will be the best way to reach me while I am there.

Challenging the Challenger Sale

There are a couple of elements of the Challenger sale I agree with a) you need to be first in to win, and b) you need to sell to mobilizers.

However, I feel compelled to challenge the challenger sale for three primary reasons.

Reason #1

Only 7% of initial meetings result in a second meeting.

This is the the biggest complaint I hear from senior VP’s of large technology corporations about the Challenger Sale. It seems that no matter what they do they can’t get beyond that number.

RainToday

According to Forrester Research, only 15% of executives say their meetings with salespeople met their expectations. And only 7% scheduled follow-up conversations.

Sigma Web Marketing

Even after a successful first meeting, advancing the conversation and maintaining the prospect’s engagement is essential to meeting quota. Only 7% of sales people are able to get a second meeting. (Sales Benchmark Index)

Reason #2

It does not align with my personal experience or that of my customers.

The Corporate Executive Board says:

B2B customers are delaying serious engagement with sales until they are 57% of the way through the purchase process.

BUT according to the ITSMA How Buyers Consume Information Survey:

70% of customers want to talk to sales during the epiphany, awareness, and interest stages: when they’re information-grazing, when they first learn what you can do, and when they put you on the shortlist. In fact, buyers perceive value in interacting with sales at every stage of the buying process—even the early stages.

I believe the difference between the to data points above is caused by the fact decision makers are so busy solving other problems that they don’t have the time to figure out who to reach out to or time to make the initial contact regarding an emerging problem.

Be proactive and reach out to decision makers who are early in their decision-making process and they will welcome you in to help them define the problem and design the solution.

Forrester Research says your close ratio goes up to 74% when you do this.

Get the 9 page report here!

Reason #3

Established senior executives who have been in their job for a while are not going to put their careers and reputations at risk and buy from someone they barely know, just because they gave them a fantastic idea.

I bet almost every sales person who has tried this has had decision makers ‘borrow’ the idea provided and share it with their preferred vendor or sales person – aka Emotional Favorite.

To be first in and get more second meetings you are much better off focusing on decision makers who recently experienced one or more of the following ‘Trigger Events’:

  1. The decision maker moved into a new role
  2. The sales person for the current vendor moved on
  3. The decision makers’ current vendor disappointed them

On a recent webinar titled, “How to GET 10 TIME MORE MEETINGS,” I shared two compelling stats that were provided to me by Peter O’Donoghue.

You get 530% more first meetings and 330% more second meetings by leveraging Trigger Events like the ones above.

My all time favorite Trigger Event is when decision makers are new in their role.

Decision makers who are new in their role are up to 10X more likely to switch vendors and 80% of those who are new in their role and spend $1,000,000 on new initiatives will do so within their first 90 days.

If you doubt the power of job changes watch this 15-minute webinar that explain the power of following job changes of decision makers.

Hint: Following just 100 decision makers and their related job changes creates 200+ leads in 1 year and almost 1,000 leads in two years. Once you watch the webinar, imagine what would happen if you started with a list of 1,000 or 10,000 decision makers instead of just 100.

If you have not read the Challenger Sale check out: http://www.heinzmarketing.com/2013/01/the-challenger-sale-in-less-than-10-minutes/

If you are interested in other people who are challenging the Challenger Sale have a look at what others are saying:

See you at Dreamforce!

Craig