Damian Thompson, Chief Customer Officer of LeadFuze, joins me on this episode.
- Damian says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is an identity problem. The average person’s view of sales is unfavorable. Reps use words other than ‘sales’ as job titles. Damian says reps should own the sales job title.
- Reps have the wrong idea about their roles, making success harder. Their job is to serve, not to push. Sales is service, not manipulation. Sales solves problems.
- B2B sales is a complex puzzle to solve. Reps who can solve problems make the best salespeople. But sales leaders advertise for aggressive hunters, not for curious, analytical problem solvers. ‘Closing’ is the wrong word.
- Customer success is one of the keys to sales. As customers use your solution to their problem repeatedly, you create a long-term paying customer relationship.
- Andy and Damian discuss the fallacies of probability-weighted forecasts. You have no idea what the buyer is really thinking. Do they even want a solution? The customer may even be afraid a solution will replace them.
- Damian talks about the history of sales training, starting with IBM. Fifty years later, it does not hold up. B2B is not transactional. When a sales rep gets defensive about a deal, it is clear the deal is not going to happen.
- Buyers do not plan to ‘string along’ sales reps. When there is no decision, the rep didn’t qualify or disqualify the buyer properly. It’s not the customer’s ‘fault.’ Serve your customer by helping them make their right decision.
- The Internet has opened up information about the product, for customers, and about the customer, for reps. Customers are being deluged by emails. But people often answer their mobile phones. People can be reached.
- Reps need to work past rejection and make multiple attempts to contact until they get into a conversation. Reps need passion and a firm belief in the value they add to the customer. Reps need persistence.
- The customer is the judge of what is of value to them. The value you deliver has to be something the customer wants. If they invest time in you, they need value in return. The ‘first sale’ is the exchange of value and time.