JBK has been in business in silicon valley now for more than 30 years, and given our experience, one of the more frequent questions we get asked is: “What’s changed in the sales training business?” Every time we hear that question our response is always the same …it’s the wrong question. The better question is: “What has changed in customer buying and decision-making processes?” We see three very powerful changes in customer buying behavior that have emerged slowly over the last few years – changes that will not likely reverse themselves.
Today, anyone with a browser and 30 minutes of free time can find out more about our company, and our products, faster and from more diverse perspectives than they will ever get from us. In fact, the research shows that customers facing a considered decision are often quite far down the path in their decision-making by the time they first engage with sales.
It would appear that customers have less time for the long lunches and dinners, golf and sports outings, and the other similar events that the prototypical relationship oriented sales people found so useful in the past. The research by the Corporate Executive Board that is summarized in their book, “The Challenger Sale”: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation” points up the somewhat startling realization that the relationship oriented sales rep of yesteryear is at a big disadvantage in most sales campaigns, and even more so when attempting to impact the more complex sales customer decisions.
If is more diffcult for customers to discern differentiated advantages of your solutions – if alternatives appear to be relatively similar, on what do you think they will then base decisions? Price. So if customers are self-educating, are far down the path towards a decision before we meet them, and don’t want to spend as much time engaging us as they used to, what role does the sales representative play and what now is their value-add? We need to find an alternative to the old role of transporting product information from the company to the customer. We need to find ways to transform the way the customer views their situation – to change their perspective on it. And not to change it for the sake of changing it, but to do so in a way that helps a customer see the value of differentiated advantages that only we can bring to their situation. Lastly, we need to do this in a way that we can scale this efficiently across our different product lines, business units and sales regions. Simple to say, but hard to do. Which is why we built the Impact with Insight Beyond Product™ working session.
Upon completion of the Impact with Insight Beyond Product session, the participants will have:
For more information, download a of our Impact with Insight Beyond the Product program fact sheet or contact us directly.
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