Getting And Keeping Executive Access

Value Added MethodologiesGetting And Keeping Executive Access

No matter your sales methodology (whether one of the well known ones or one you built yourselves, or if you have one at all), getting and keeping the interest of the (pick your naming nomenclature) Executive Decision Maker and/or Economic Buyer is a key expectation.

To do so WHO – WHAT – WHEN – WHERE – WHY – HOW are essential:

Who they are?
What they care about?
When and Where they are involved?
Why and How they are involved?

The following chart is excepted from “Selling to the C-Suite”, one of the best reads available on the subject of executive selling*:

In a nutshell,

  • Sales Cycle A is where the prospect identifies the need
  • Sales Cycle B is where the competition helps the prospect identify the need
  • Sales Cycle C is where I, the seller help the prospect identify the need

See Three Ways an Opportunity Starts for more information.

If we, as sellers, play by the normal rules, don’t change this dynamic, we will rarely get to the key part of the
executive selling dynamic.  But it can be changed, no matter whether Sales Cycle A, B or C, and when we do,
we get an extra point of connection with the Economic Buyer.

So the starting point is to know and understand WHEN the Economic Buyer/Executive is involved, next we’ll talk about WHAT they care about, along with WHY and HOW.

And HOW for us as sellers to do something about it. Finally, a really good watch word to think about:

“Sellers get to talk to who they sound like.”

WHAT, WHY AND HOW depend on this, and none of this matters without getting this right.

My opinion on this book being one of the best, and here’s why.
“Selling to the C-Suite” is based on research with several hundred
C-level executives. Why they want to talk to the right sales reps,
what they care about and want in those conversations.



Value Added MethodologiesMethodology? Sales Process? Are they the same, or how are they different?

A Sales Process is the steps and stages of working through engagement with a prospect to turn them into a customer (or qualify them out so as to not waste time), a Sales Methodology has the tactics to effectively and efficiently move through that Process.

George Brontén wrote a great piece on Methodology versus Process, it’s absolutely worth reading.

As George opines, Process and Methodology are intimately related, co-dependent for success and ultimately blended together. A great (and timely) example comes from AppDynamics. Founder Jyoti Bansal writes about The Science of Enterprise Software Sales. While Jyoti’s #4 is titled “The Sales Process”, AppDynamics actually had an effective blend of Methodology and Process. Case in point, Jyoti talks about “justifying the technology/business case for your solution” and describes the rigorous application of “Business Value Assessments” to do so. BVA’s are part of a Methodology, a tactic, to drive through the Process.

My personal opinion? For “complex B2B sales” a BVA should be a stage in your Sales Process in addition to being a tactic in your Methodology. Why? If buyers do not spend money without business value, why would sellers not articulate their value??? It doesn’t have to be ultra-complicated and expensive like AppDynamics. We have customers doing that and more. We also have customers with an ASP of $12K. See Next Generation ROITM for more.

I would dare say the BVA tactic is one of the most important elements of an effective Methodology that makes the Sales Process work. There are lots of proof points, the multiple AppDynamics received is a great one.

Unfortunately, B2B buyers say they get this support from sellers a small fraction of the time.

If you want your Methodology to work, for your Sales Process to be successful, make sure you
have a world-class capability to produce Business Value Assessments, and that BVAs are an
integral part of your Methodology/Process. It’ll be the best ROI you’ll ever achieve.




Sales Methodology Execution

Value Added MethodologiesThe Challenger Sale, Target Account Selling, Command of the Message, MEDDIC, Power Based Selling, The Complex Sale and more. The principles of these and other sales methodologies are the key to high performance selling, exceeding sales plans, beating the competition and customer satisfaction.

The last one is no mistake. At their core, sales methodologies expect an understanding of the customer or prospects needs, desires and objectives. When sellers understand and line up on what the customer cares about, customer satisfaction abounds.

Make no mistake, it takes a lot of acumen, discipline and skill to execute sales methodologies designed for complex B2B selling. I’ve always said sales is a noble profession requiring significant skill to achieve the pinnacle of success. There’s no doubt.

So this series will be about sales methodologies, execution, best practices and more.   From sellers and customers alike. We look forward to sharing and growing together.

Read more about Value Added Methodologies in our continuing series