It’s About Priority, Not Budget [Weekly Roundup]

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks
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priority-not-budget.jpgWelcome to the weekly roundup for January 8-14. This week we’ve got a deep dive into sales enablement, the ABCs of business, the rebirth of BANT, and sales trends of 2017. Enjoy.

The Starter’s Guide to Sales Enablement

Toronto-based content aggregate Pressly has created this valuable guide on implementing a sales enablement strategy. It’s rare to see in depth content marketing pieces targeted specifically to enablement leaders—if you’re ready to dive deeper and leverage content throughout the customer journey, sales, marketing and enablement professionals, this one’s for you. Highlights:

  • Why Sales Enablement: Companies using sales enablement to personalize content have up to 21% stronger lead acceptance and up to 36% higher conversion rates (Aberdeen Group).

  • The Role And Importance of Good Content: Case studies, industry articles, white papers and videos resonate most with people.

  • Where Companies Go Wrong: Up to 70% of content created by B2B marketing teams is never used.

Always Be Connecting: The ABCs of #Business

LinkedIn’s original social selling expert Koka shares 5 tips on how salespeople can maintain a healthy pipe by constantly staying connected:

  • Social Media Impacts Buyer Decisions. Be aware of what kind of content you’re creating and sharing—81% of people skim instead of read online. 

  • Low Cost. People use social selling for many reasons, but its best uses are the low cost and investment. You’ll minimize overheads and maximize revenue from each sale.

  • Building Relationships. Social makes it incredibly easy to build relationships with prospects or contacts. Your biggest challenge will be sharing content with them to keep them engaged.

  • Educating the Buyer. Don’t just engage your prospects, but engage them in the right way. Send them relevant content depending on what stage of the buying process they’re in.

  • Drawing Traffic To Your Website. Creating new and meaningful insights will increase your chances of growing your audience. No one wants to read the same article twice.

BANT Sales Qualification for a New Era

Jacco Van der Kooij, who served as head of sales for various Silicon Valley startups, dismantles misconceptions that the BANT (budget authority needs timeline) framework is not as applicable as it once was. This piece updates BANT for modern B2B sales organizations, and, though published last April, it hasrecently received tons of traction. Here’s what Van der Kooij says SDRs or AEs can do to embrace the BANT methodology:

  • Rule of SaaS-It Is About Priority, NOT Budget. Early on in the sales process your client is still in discovery mode, this is an ideal time to ask: “Is this one of the top initiatives at your company?” And “Where does this rank?” And “Do you see this priority changing over time?” Ask, “Is this a Nice-to-have, a Need-to-have, or a Must-have?”
  • In SaaS the Authority is Distributed and not Hierarchical. Your first priority is not to determine who is the decision maker but rather what kind of decision process is being followed. You can find out by asking questions such as “Who else is involved in this project that can benefit from this <insert article with insights>?” and “Who else can I invite to the next meeting…?”. Another great question to ask is “Have you been involved in other recent purchases in this area such as <x> and <y>?”
  • Impact over Need. The impact of a service is best found by talking to a customer. So organize a client/sales get-together. Ask your SDR/AE teams to come up with a list of meaningful questions to ask on the impact of the service. IMPORTANT!

    As an SDR, you cannot unpeel the entire onion on the first call – the customer does not trust you yet! But you may be able to unpeel one more layer by asking 1-2 more questions; “May I ask what is the impact of this service beyond giving you better dashboards?”… This will give your AE an incredible advantage, as he’s able to better diagnose the client’s true needs: “My SDR briefed me on you needing this service to impact … did we capture that correctly? May I ask..

  • Critical Event over Timeline. The key to solving this is for the SDR (!!) is to establish what the critical event is. The key question to ask the SDR is “When do you need this service to be on the air” THEN followed by “… what happens if you miss that date?” This simple question will let you know if the event is “compelling” or “critical”.

    As the client is transferred from the SDR to the AE, she can now provide the client with the summary: “My colleague tells me you have to have this on-air by {{date}} to get this {{impact}} or otherwise you {{consequence}} … how can we help you avoid that?” You can now work your way back from the date and start peeling the onion.

The Experts: Anticipated B2B Sales Trends of 2017

The folks over at Venture Accelerator Partners, another Canadian consultancy firm, have curated this insightful list of trends sales experts say the B2B industry will face in 2017. Some of the top anticipations:

  • Peter Gould, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Communitech: Differentiate yourself from your competitors. With so much of the same, “The only sustainable strategy is competitive differentiation.”

  • Tim Davison, Vice President, Enterprise Client Development at Morneau Shepell: Artificial intelligence, “to help organizations better understand their customers, relationships, risks and opportunities.”

  • Brian Lipp, VP of Sales at Sales for Life: Digital and social selling will become more of a priority for executives at progressive companies, but “modernizing go-to-market strategies need to catch up.”


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