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Larry Duckworth
Atlanta, GA
Serial public and priviate companies CEO, COO, CMO, CSO; author of leadership, marketing and sales books
Interests: Top line growth, market share growth, people leadership, B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, improved profitability, competitive advantage, go-to-market excellence, fly fishing
Recent Activity
Very good post. "Different strokes for different folks." Such situational coaching is a path to help them be heroes. Per Yogi's great "You can't hit 'em if you can't see 'em" quote, I augment the empathy with "R.A.R.A.:" -Responsibilities -Authority -Rewards/Resources -Accountability If they do not make it then all that could be done was done. Larry Duckworth, 404-307-0033
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All very good selection points. Getting 'go to players' at each position is key to the "coach" being a winner, versus being forced to look for a new team to coach. Four added points (from my "Primordial B2B Sales Management" ebook): 1. Beyond Empathy, is Customer Touch Need (y-axis), contrasted to solution Complexity (x-axis), on a four-quadrants matrix. The upper right is Consultative/Solution selling. The upper left is Relationships selling. The lower right is RFP/Features selling; the lower left is Transaction selling. The sales person's attitudes and personality and spatial thinking needs are very different, and need to be built into the selection criteria... once you know the Customer Touch Needs. The Challey Group's "Quadrant Solution" is a great book in this regard. Have used it for years as CSO. 2. For complex/big ticket B2B selling, "Tiered" selling is needed. The Senior Account Manager needs to be strong in Relationships and Thought Leadership. Keep him or her at that level, supported by Solution Engineers and others that will backfill. Don't have them go down to the "wavetops" of features too much. 3. For Consultative/Solution Selling, industry domain expertise is important. They need to lead the prospect's mind to the right ends and means, but not take them over a cliff due to lack of specific industry knowledge. 4. The skills for selling "once-in-the-door" are very different than "getting-in-the-door prospecting" skills. Know he difference, and recruit for it. For criteria I use contact me at, 404-307-0033.
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Good post, especially related to the last part re B2B customers controlling how to be served. In my "Primordial B2B Sales Management" ebook, based on my CSO to CEO(s) evolution over time, I review that there are four quadrants in that regard, each with very different skill sets involved for success. Selecting the right people to start with is about 90% of the success factor. Trying to develop a rock (no pejorative intended) seldom works. Larry Duckworth, ,404-307-0033 for questions.
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Very good post! To me gamification often is a placebo only, and can be mis-directing. The basics are always in vogue: + Right sales people for the right sales roles, per prospects' expectations and solution complexity. Mis-matches are very expensive. For example, Relationship selling (high customer touch need but low complexity), is very different form Consultative Selling of a complex solution to a prospect with high touch needs. Thus salesperson selection is the starting pint of success or disappointment. + The Unique Value positioning is right, so sales people are not pushing a rope. + In addition to the deal process milestones being tracked (Suspect to Lead..., etc.), the "third dimension" deal QUALITY elements are actively tracked and scored (1-5). Just a few are: -Talking directly to the Decision Maker - Decision maker is the Champion - Compelling change needs/pains exist that will fuel a purchase - In use nine others also ( Gamification CAN be used in this last area, Deal Quality. While "Quality is never out of style," gaining Quality status is hard, so gamification motivation, and resulting visibility, can be helpful. Larry Duckworth, 404-307-0033
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Goo post re coaching. The job of all leaders is to "enable heroes." This includes for Sales Leaders. B2B sales people are a special breed, with strong pride, self-confidence, high energy and competitive spirit. They need space, but it must be the right space. Activities are part of that, and skills and methods are vital also, as a "3rd dimension" success factor. Also coach them on some proven Hows in key areas, such as: + Prospecting success (I recommend SOAR Selling); + Being a trusted adviser initially, and avoid being a peddler; + "Communisuasion(tm) skills (communicating persuasively); + How to provide Unique Value positioning versus alternatives (including what they are doing internally now, and versus competitors); + Where applicable, how be be a consultant, to lead minds to new places that the prospect likes; + How to win the "criteria battles that win the sales wars;" + And many other, often intangible, How methods. Thanks for the post! Larry Duckworth 404-307-0033
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Good post! "An ounce of prevention..." Added to these good process flow predictors, deal quality(!) predictors can be even more powerful for avoiding disappointments. These can be set up in most CRMs for true control of the probability and dependability of the deal happening per projections. External tools can be used as well. B2B Selling is P2P Selling, People To People. Also, compelling needs must exist to provide deal energy. In all of my successful CSO, COO and CEO roles I was heavily focused on deal quality for results prediction (and accurate forecasts to the Board). Besides the dashboard tracking the above deal flow predictors, I use a 10 points quality rating per deal on a 1-5 scoring for each (5 is strong, and the goal; if not a 5 then remediation is needed). The top five are: + We are directly talking to THE Decision Maker; + The Decision Maker is our Champion; + Compelling needs exist in our solution space, that will justify procurement and change management costs being expended; + We have the strongest unique criteria and they will be used in the selection process, whether formal (RFP) or informal; + No key recommenders are against us. These ten checklist items can cause "oh bleep" moments, but it will be early enough to take remediation action. "Quality is never out of style." I can send you an Excel file for these ten at lduckworth@primordial, or 404-307-0033. Larry Duckworth
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SOAR Selling will get you in the door like nothing else I have seen in 40 years of C-leadership. Then once in a No can mean a weak Value Statement (in about the first 30 seconds usually), as well explained by Dave; and/or underlying objections that need to be discovered and then leveraged and pivoted to a Yes. Turning objections into a Yes is an art that can be learned. To me as a former Sales Manager, professional B2B selling does not start until there is an objection to be overcome. Everything else is just simple order taking. If B2B selling was easy everybody would be doing it. Value Statements must have an early emotional "grab" to be acted on by very busy people that are constantly sold to; the Why. After that initial interest grab, a "tell me more" response is the objective. Then you can get into the What elements. The How should then be face-to-face (meeting or webinar), since B2B selling is P2P selling (People-to-People). The flow is a "communisuasion" art. Many outsource such specialized skills to prospecting specialists.
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Nov 3, 2015