Is your sales team the “real” sellers of your product or service? We are habituated to having a group we call our sales team. We hold them accountable for revenue, give them a quota, and provide them with a target account list. However, depending on the requirements of your sale, the sales salesperson may only have modest influence and control of the sale. Members of the consulting team or content experts may be the “real salesperson(s)”. This issue is common in complex, high-consideration, and consultative sales. It is vital to align the sales roles in consultative and complex sales.

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In my four decades in sales leadership at both large enterprises and early-stage growth companies, and in my subsequent consulting & sales advisory practice, I have witnessed and resolved many poor sales practices.  If sales leaders do not diagnose and correct these Deadly Sins of Selling, then accelerated and predictable sales outcomes will be in jeopardy. I recount these sins with amusement since they also tell us something about human nature and how that factors into successful selling practices. Individual sellers, their sales managers, sales trainers, and sales coaches can all benefit from being on alert to these common sins.

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Marketing and Sales

Qualification requires a more collaborative approach. Deal Qualification should not be considered as a moment in time, rather it happens thorough buyer engagement process and across the end-to-end marketing and sales funnel. Qualification is based on a body of knowledge and insights gained through prospect engagement along the buyer journey.

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Collaborative Qualification

Post originally published in 2014

We have written a few articles about collaborative qualification and how to select and apply the right sales qualification tools  – including SCOTSMAN and BANT. These tools are quite familiar to B2B sales and teams that focused on a considered sale.  Yet, we see some challenges:

  • As clients are self-selling on websites, they will pre-qualify (assuming they find buying content on the website). This changes the role of sales-led qualification.
  • BANT is a proven model, but  the focus is on qualification from the seller perspective, it works better to qualify OUT the opportunity rather than qualify IN the opportunity.  It does not help build a collaborative relationship with the client. It is confrontational.
  • SCOTSMAN is another great model as it offers a  nuanced approach, but it is hard to remember each of the elements in the mnemonic on the fly. Sales reps may need to pull out a cheat sheet which can be difficult in the heat of the moment. ( See our other post on BANT and Scotsman to learn more. )

So what is the right approach to sales qualification? We suggest a collaborative approach using FACT.

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Marketing and Sales

Written with contributions from Ed Funaro

As growth focused companies realize the critical synergies required across the marketing, sales and customer success functions, they are increasingly recruiting a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) to lead the way. Yet many CROs fail without a properly defined role and an adequate onboarding process. It is vital to ensure CRO success.

A Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) is responsible for a company’s revenue streams. He/she has the ultimate accountability for driving revenue growth. The role is clearly cross functional. The CRO oversees and aligns revenue-generating departments: Marketing, Sales and Customer Success. It is a challenging role. The average tenure of a Chief Revenue officer working at the same company is incredibly brief – only about 18 months, according to an annual survey from CSO Insights.

The first 90 days are critical – Whether a company makes money rests with the CRO. Expectations are that the CRO will have about one quarter or 90 days to prove they can meet management’s expectations. As Michael Watkins points out in his top selling book The First 90 Days.

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Persuasive Communications

Persuasive Communications Enhances Sales and Marketing 

Persuasive Communications helps you communicate more effectively and deliver your message in a logical and persuasive manner. A very useful framework  for communicating and persuasive arguments is S-C-Q-A. At Revenue Architects, when discussing a client presentation, we often ask each other, “What is the S-C-Q-A? ”.

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During my three decades in sales leadership roles at large enterprises, early-stage growth companies, and my management consulting practice, I have witnessed and corrected many bad sales practices. These practices, if not course-corrected, would lead to zero sales. When they numbered an even ten, they became Sherwin’s 10 Deadly Sins of Sales. Out of the office with senior executives, I would recount them to their great amusement.

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