A Genetic Cure for Ailing B2B Sales

By Robert White December 2014

On the radio today the medics were describing a major breakthrough in the treatment of cancer. Instead of searching for conventional drugs which are expensive in time and money, they’re genetically modifying the patient’s own cells to go hunt down and kill the cancer cells. Early trials are indicating a better than 80% success rate.

This is not 'thinking outside the box' – this is a new box.

I think B2B Sales needs a 'new box’. Why? Because, despite billions spent on sales training, the same issues continue to recur:

Our customers come to the market to increase their profits by having us solve their problems. They hesitate to buy because they cannot clearly see how to convert the ‘cost’ of our solution in to ‘additional profit’ for themselves – and we’re doing a poor job of helping them deal with this uncertainty.

Uncertainty sometimes slows or defeats the customer’s ability to make decisions. Here’s why:

These things don’t go away because we are not properly addressing our customers’ fundamental needs and concerns and this drives us around the loop of continuing to seek solutions within the confines (and comfort?) of our current ’box’.

There are only two reasons for this:

Very often, the sales team is blamed for poor sales when, in fact, the true problem lies in a lack of ‘value’ definition, tools and skills – and it’s someone else’s job to provide these.

The solution to this state of affairs requires a radical change of thinking not just for Sales but for the whole of our organisations – hence the need for a 'new box’.

I believe we need to re-equip our Sales Teams with these capabilities:

In so doing we give our potential customers a quality way to make complex buying decisions based on the net profit they will receive not the price they will pay.

It is possible to achieve these things and early results are showing that they can deliver a step change in Sales performance (triple digit profit growth across a number of sectors). But be in no doubt, this is a radical change and requires strong, clear and sustained leadership to bring it about.

“Change before you have to” Jack Welch

Robert White