ACTG Sales Management Blog

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Solution vs. Budget

Posted by Jack Kasel on Wed, Feb 27, 2019

Typically, when a salesperson doesn't win an account it's due to a few different factors; the prospect didn't have a compelling reason to make a change, the salesperson didn't do enough to uncover their capacity to invest, or the incumbent wasn't properly eliminated from the running.

In this article, we discuss the 3 Rules every successful salesperson must follow in order to eliminate stalls and objections during the sales process.

budget-cash-coins-33692

There is an age-old debate about which came first, the chicken or the egg. While that debate may never be solved, there is one “which comes first” situation that shouldn’t be up for debate and that is “see the solution first or know the budget first?” 

In my work with helping client’s develop their sales talent, I know there are two topics that get avoided on a regular basis, and both are to the detriment of the sales person. Those two “taboo topics” are discussing the incumbent and uncovering the budget. I will address the incumbent discussion in a later blog.

When I refer to the budget, I am referring to it in three categories commonly known as ‘TMR’—Time, Money, and Resources. What are they willing to commit, in the context of time, money and/or resources to make their problem go away? It is my experience that the stronger sales professionals don’t shy away from that discussion. They are successful because they follow these rules.

Rule 1#

Have the conversation. The 800 lbs. budget gorilla is in the room so talk about it. Don’t make it part of your opening conversation, but don’t ignore it either. If the need is big enough, and your solutions fixes it, most of the time, they will find the money.

Rule #2

Provide context. Regardless of the investment your prospect needs to make to fix their problem, it needs to be framed in the context of their pain and your ability to eliminate it. If the pain is minimal, then your solution won’t seem that great. We’ve had prospects tell us their problem is a “two-comma problem” meaning their cost of turnover was over $1 million dollars. That’s context.  Know their cost before you proceed

Rule #3

Don’t show your solution until you know the budget. It’s really that simple. If you have ever provided a solution to a prospect only to hear them say “that’s more than we intended to spend”, then you have an issue discussing the budget. Does it make sense to know their appetite for change, including budget, before you provide your solution? Here is where the strong sales professional is different. If the prospect doesn’t want to discuss budget, they know it can be for one of two reasons. They haven’t uncovered enough pain or the prospect simply wants to use you as a pencil sharpener for the competition. You don’t get paid to be a pencil sharpener so don’t become one.

In closing don’t be afraid of the conversation. In the history of sales, no one died from discussing budget. I doubt you will be the first.

Topics: how to get a commitment to buy, consultative selling, providing value to customers, qualified leads, sales acceleration, sell faster, overcoming rejection

A Great Sales Read: Go-Givers Sell More

Posted by Mark Trinkle on Wed, Aug 02, 2017

A guest post by Mark Trinkle, President & Chief Sales Officer 

Should your days or evenings include any down time, here is a great book recommendation for you.  

go givers.jpg

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading “Go-Givers Sell More” by Bob Burg and John David Mann.  I just don’t think I have ever read a book that is more consistent with the approach to selling that we both take and advocate to our clients, particularly along the lines of not sounding like a salesperson.

Listen to this quote from the book on the supreme importance of creating value:

“There is something quite utilitarian about the Law of Value.  Its pragmatic beauty is that it places the principal determinant of your success squarely in your own hands, rather than letting it be a factor of your circumstances.  While you cannot control what others do, you can control what you do.  If your goal is to make the sale, then you are dependent on the buying decisions of others.  But, if your goal is to create value for others, you are dependent on nobody but yourself.”

I also love the section of the book that teaches that your compensation as a salesperson is not a reflection of your goodness, worthiness, merit or industriousness: instead, it is an echo of impact. In fact, revenue (or, for our purposes, new business) is the echo of providing value in your conversations with prospects.

So, how about you?  Do you worry about selling something?  Maybe it would be helpful to simply worry about whether or not your prospect conversations are providing value.  As the authors point out, that is up to no one but you.

So, give the book a try. Thanks for reading…now go sell like a champion today.

Summary: When your goal is to provide value, your success as a salesperson is in your own hands. The impact you make on others determines your compensation. So, worry less about selling and focus more on providing value.

 

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Topics: Selling, achieving sales success, go givers sell more, providing value to customers

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    About our Blog

    Founder and CLO Tony Cole has been working with financial firms for more than 25 years to help them close their sales opportunity gap.  He is a master at using science based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss his weekly sales management blog insights.

     

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