5600blue

Precision Guided Selling

Introducing Precision Guided Selling

Precision Guided Selling provides management the ability to guide sales people and salespeople the ability to guide customers at every step of the sales process, from qualification to close.

That’s what we do. . .

5600blue has created the first-ever vertically integrated sales platform that delivers the processes, technology and enablement to mine, synthesize and distribute knowledge and insights to your salespeople at the speed of change.

Filtering by Category: Brian's thoughts

Could Sales' Secret Weapon Be Procurement?

Some of you know that I post quite a bit about working with procurement. There are a couple reasons. First, it’s mostly a painful and dreaded experience for those of us who sell. Second, because we’ve been consulting for over 20 years to both buying and selling teams, this practice has provided deep insight into the nature of that relationship.

I want to share an experience from last week. We brought together sales and sales leaders, as well as a chief procurement officer and two of his buyers. In this day-long session, a great deal was learned from both sides. It was one of the most gratifying sessions I have facilitated in a long time as the value was extremely high for all.  

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Will Salespeople Follow the Route of the Dinosaur?

Sales reps need to evolve or they will go extinct; some already have. Don’t believe me? Let me tell you a story. It is a bit long, but I promise the payoff is there.

I am confident that most of you reading this have had the “opportunity” to buy a car from a traditional dealership? I needed a gently used 2017 truck. My favorite car to buy is usually less than one year old and has about 5,000 miles on it. Essentially, I am looking for a new car where someone else ate the depreciation.

When I started my search a couple weeks ago, I went to both the local Ford and Dodge dealerships to look at trucks. At both dealerships, I had nearly the exact same experience.

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Precision Guided Discovery

Discovery has long been among, if not the most important selling skill. Gaining access to stakeholders and uncovering needs is key to presenting your value. 

However, most discovery looks like this:

 " What Keeps You Awake at Night?"

This approach makes it difficult to gain access to execute discovery and makes it harder to uncover areas to add value and differentiate. What is the value to an executive of meeting with you only to tell you what they already know? How are we going to add value when customers, who are more digitally informed than ever, are diagnosing their own needs and prescribing their own solution (many times sub-optimally)? More importantly, it has us following vs. leading.

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Senior Leadership: Fertilizer for your Growth Strategy

Senior executives know that, beyond mergers and acquisitions, a company’s growth is driven one deal at a time by the way salespeople sell and negotiate. That’s why American companies spend $7.2 billion every year on sales and negotiation methodologies. But beyond proprietary (and perhaps biased) consulting reports and high level-level academic papers on change, there’s little information available on whether those investing are actually achieving a return on their investment. 

“More than half of the firms report investing $1500-$7500 annually per sales rep in training…only a ¼ of reps use their company’s methodology more than half of the time”
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Re-framing Procurement Negotiations: From Buying and Selling to Decision Making

Over ten years ago, after having spent more than 20 years a salesperson, VP sales and sales consultant, we secured our first contract to provide negotiation training for the procurement arm of a major US airline. I felt like the proverbial fox in the hen house!

As I was executing research to get ready for the assignment I stumbled on an article stating that this organization had just been awarded...

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Changing the Negotiation Conversation

A client asks us for a proposal. That’s a good thing, right? We do as they ask and provide a proposal. What’s next? We all know the first offer is likely not going to be the last. In fact, what many of us have done with that response is to give the client a price for products and services. The very natural inclination is for the customer to then begin the negotiations at this phase. We have DNA going back 1000 years saying that the buyer should never accept the first offer. We know what the conversation is going to be and where it’s headed, so how do we change that conversation and take control?

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"I Can Get The Same Thing Cheaper From Your Competition!"

In my last post, I reported my friend and colleague, Jim Dickie (https://www.salesmastery.com) recently surveyed sales leaders who stated their top barrier to achieving their 2018 revenue objectives was lack of coaching. That article focused on how to use virtual coach technology to address that issue. For this article, we will focus on the second issue for sales leaders:

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Are You Prescribing a Solution Before Diagnosing the Problem?

With all the changes happening in the world of buying (B2B Digital Revolution, Committee buys, etc.) how is this impacting the fundamental role of sellers and those who support them?

SHORT ANSWER: It is impacting them in a lot of ways.

LONG ANSWER: Looking across the changes and how they are impacting sellers, one stands out above the rest. A seller today, needs to be able to successfully “change the conversation.”  Allow me to explain...

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Evolving from Seller to Thought Leader

The role of a sales professional evolved slowly over many years. We went from being "order takers" to “vendors” to “sales consultants” to “trusted advisors.” The last couple years however have ushered in change at a manic pace! We find it both fascinating and challenging for those attempting to keep pace. We’ve read about The End of Solution Selling in Harvard Business Review and most recently The End of Competitive Advantage by Columbia Professor Rita McGrath. Professor McGrath argues that due to a constant change of your value, as well as that of competitive alternatives, sustainable competitive advantage is being replaced by a series of short term transient advantages. We see that many support systems for sales enablement have not evolved to keep up with the speed of the current market. We’ve also heard about the B2B Digital Revolution (Google/CEB). 

Traditional sales training, CRM and marketing support have not kept pace with what salespeople really need to compete in hyper speed.

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