I had a dream. No really, I actually had this dream 2 nights before writing this on a flight to London, UK. Here is how the dream goes:
Whether you like it or not, you can’t stop your buyer from learning. They will learn using their peer networks, and/or they will conduct online research. While they won’t buy a complex solution online like it’s Amazon Prime (the eternal excuse people use to not practice Social Selling is “my buyer doesn’t BUY on LinkedIn”), a PORTION of their buying journey will leverage digital insights, referrals and triggers.
As an excuse, you can argue with me that your buyer is not a digitally-savvy buyer today. Perhaps it’s their industry like coal mining, or their geolocation like Mongolia… I get it. BUT, you CAN’T argue with me that they’re becoming MORE digitally savvy. Come on, whether it’s pressure from the next generation (Gen Z), or cultural changes with a mobile-first economy, digital is only intensifying.
After 6 years, +300 customer engagements, and meeting countless sales and marketing leaders in my travels, I’ve seen the GREAT, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to sales and marketing initiatives and leadership. Leaders have been asking me for tactical soundbites from the strong leaders I’ve met that are inspiring, change agents, and all-around great people to work with.
Based on that popular requests, I welcome you to follow my new series of blogs and video interviews dedicated for senior sales and marketing executives. This is the first of the series.
You can argue with me by saying “my customer is not on social media platforms, and isn’t terribly digital in consuming content”. The reality is some sales leaders believe that the digital evolution will never effect their business. You CAN also argue with me that social selling or digital selling is not a proactive thing in your industry, or your country, right now…
For our fifth and final sales play (see Storyboard Sales Play #1 – “Sphere of Influence,” Storyboard Sales Play #2 – “Stack Ranking,” Storyboard Sales Play #3 – “Market Intelligence,” Storyboard Sales Play #4 – “What Does the Emerald City Look Like?”), it’s time to switch gears and think about how you help people, not companies.
For our fourth sales play (see Storyboard Sales Play #1 – “Sphere of Influence,” Storyboard Sales Play #2 – “Stack Ranking” & Storyboard Sales Play #3 – “Market Intelligence”), this play is one of my favourites. I’d like you to remember the movie The Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy and her motley crew of friends (Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion) are trying to get to the land of Oz and visit the wizard inside the Emerald City. Along their journey, they encounter some pretty hairy situations, like fighting trees and flying attack monkeys… and they get pretty discouraged. What I believe would have motivated and better guided this team would have been a clear picture of what the Emerald City looks like, smells like, and benefits from – in advance! Dorothy would have been more determined to march to the Land of Oz.
For our third sales play (see https://salesforlife.com/blog/storyboard-sales-play-1-sphere-of-influence” & Storyboard Sales Play #2 – “Stack Ranking”), I recommend you bring the knowledge level to Pontification. The goal here is to present the prospective customer with a crystal ball view into the future. Showcase where the market is moving and provide ideas on futuristic trends that they need to be concerned with or focused on.
For our second sales play (see Storyboard Sales Play #1 – “Sphere of Influence”) to see the first play, I recommend you engage the prospective customer by showcasing Stack Rankings. We find, and our customers find, that this data-centric approach is a great wake-up call. As a prime example, Gartner’s Magic Quadrant rankings are an excellent example of this sales play. You’re delivering data to a customer to help them understand their market position against their direct competition, and/or best-in-class.
One of the most common questions and concerns we get from sales professionals is “what do I say and share with a prospective customer to really get their attention?” These sellers are stuck in the “Account Planning & Storyboarding” stage of their sales process, right between Account Selection and Account Engagement.