Collaborative Qualification

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

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

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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Good Better Best Sales

Good Better Best Sales

 

Face it. Most of the sales methodologies from the 80’s are tired. They do not address what growth companies need today. Growth companies need to shift from using a sales methodology to using a revenue methodology.

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Many management experts remind us to find the most important element to manage and stay focused on it! What is that “one thing” for increasing revenue?

I would argue that most important factor is the difference in the amount of revenue produced by the top sales person compared to the average salesperson during the first years of a product’s introduction.

Frequently for new differentiated products the “top 10 percent” salespeople will sell more than 2x or 3x the amount that the average salesperson sells. The early sales are critical for gaining market share for new products while the differentiation is high.  Over time, as the market and the other salespeople learn more about the product and the customer value delivered, the size of the revenue gap will decrease…but by then the competitors will have started to catch up also and the differentiating advantage decreases.

What does the average salesperson learn after the introduction and a couple of sales cycles that enables them to increase the amount of revenue produced, approaching closer to the sales levels of the top salespeople? If the firm provided that information earlier, would the average salesperson be able to produce higher sales levels earlier? The answer is yes!

Firms really can’t get much more revenue out of the “top 10%” salespeople, and trying to save the “bottom 10%” is a waste of time. But we can provide the information needed by the average salesperson to impact their revenue production by almost 2X.

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Improving the quality and completeness of sales messages delivers hard ROI. Here are three reasons you should review the content your sales teams are using and take a diagnostic approach to assess the effectiveness of your sales messaging:

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Three Reasons to Audit Your Sales Messaging:

1) Reduce the time required for achieving channel effectiveness: 

  • Channel effectiveness occurs when the average salesperson can cost effectively close the sale. Eventually the sales channels [and customers] will learn the value of the differential being offered, but while the market is still learning these values, the effectiveness of the sales channels is reduced. It is difficult to close the sale when the customer doesn’t know the value of the differential being offered, and the sales channels has not been provided with the values, calibration, and evidence needed to convince them.

2) Increase sales capacity

  • Sales capacity is the number of salespeople [or outlets] that are effectively selling your products and solutions. Retail uses a term “self ware” to refer to products that are sitting on the shelf but aren’t being bought. Having salespeople that are expected to sell the product but can’t/don’t is the channel equivalent of shelfware. Frequently this occurs when the skill required to sell the product exceeds the skill available in the channel. So the top 10% of the salespeople can sell the product, but the average salesperson can’t. Poor quality sales messaging is frequently the cause of product shelfware.

3) Reduces the cost of sales

  • Improved messaging increases the close rate and reduces the number of sales calls required to do so because the customer value being offered is clear and with evidence.

Use a diagnostic process for more consistent implementation

  1. Review the “top 10” sales messaging deficiencies to see if the issues are identified.
  2. Check the material being sent to sales people –  before it is sent!
  3. Use a checklist to ensure the quality and completeness of the information being provided.

Make certain your content and messaging is sufficient for the average salesperson to cost effectively close the sale. Would you like a copy of the checklist? Check out the 9 Sales Enablement Content Imperatives.

Here is another article by Bud: 10 Message Deficiencies.  Contact us to schedule a discussion.

This is a guest post by Bud Hyler – a member of the Revenue Architects’ expert network.

Bad Sales Guy

Generating revenue and winning customers requires a balance of good content and confident sales. Design your sales enablement content around what your medium-skilled salespeople need.

Bad Sales Guy

Your top salespeople have sufficient confidence and sales skill that they don’t need a lot of content to be successful in their sales efforts. However an average salesperson with less confidence and less sales skill will require much more content.  Top sales people usually need less content because they are able to develop a greater level of customer relationship and trust.

One of the responsibilities of sales management is to specify the content requirements that sufficiently augments the sales skills of the average salesperson so that revenue is successfully generated.

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