Binary Beasts

Yesterday I facilitated a thoroughly engaging solution sales workshop.  The intent was to introduce a twelve-strong team to what entering this arena entails, given their historical emphasis on relationship and product orientated selling.  The live projects this $40m team worked through typically shared around a dozen key players, long cycles with two year gestations commonplace and average annual contract values in the region of $1m.

The single biggest factor I find that distinguishes top performers is their ability to develop and follow a repeatable successful sales formula.  It’s very much about the process that they pursue.

In terms of ‘strategy’, a large chunk of the day opened their eyes to detailed political mapping and the exertion of influence that this enables.

At one point we discussed the typical responses of certain categories of buyer when the team chief commented about the issues surrounding “binary beasts”.  These are people that will only see things in black or white, who’s default stance is usually black.

In the jargon, these tend to be ‘technical’ buyers.  Subsequent analysis  means it is paramount that you understand both:

  1. the impact of the change to each person as they perceive it that your proposal would bring, and
  2. what their key self-interest is and how they feel this is served by your proposal

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