What’s in it for me?

What’s in it for me? Very few people dare say it out loud during business negotiations but very few can truthfully say it doesn’t cross their mind.

A deal needs to make sense professionally and have benefits for owners, management, product and/or staff. The business ROI is important and always needs to be central in all sales presentations.

Selling is however complex, involves many stakeholders and will in many cases have a personal element where chemistry, trust and connectivity play a role.

Sales are not only about having the best product at the right time to the right customer for the right price. It is understanding culture, environment, people and politics in any given company and situation.

One key element of this is understanding the personal ROI for key stakeholders.
We are all professionals but value is also helping individuals to achieve their personal goals economically, strategically and personally.

It is crucial to analyze and ask what’s in it for the key stake holders – How can this purchase help them achieve their personal goals?

It might not be the most important or defining factor (but could be) but it will always play a role. Many sales reps fail to document, position and demonstrate how they can add unique value to their prospects. As a result they lose even though they have the solution that offers the best business ROI.

Stakeholder analysis will be a crucial element of any sales process and an insight to the personal ROI reflections among key stakeholders will lead to great results.

You need to understand the stakeholder’s position, concerns and needs. You need to learn about internal and external influencers. You need to adjust to their ambitions, objectives, interest and risk profile. You need to gain insight to one of their key questions – What’s in it for me?

Ugly Baby Syndrome

It is almost impossible to tell parents to a new baby the whole truth about the actual look of the baby. We will all say it is a cute, beautiful baby no matter how ugly, bruised or strange looking the baby really is.

As a consultant it can also be challenging to tell business leaders, project managers and product owners the whole truth about their situation.

Many committed business people love their company, work or product so much that they deny seeing the reality or the problems.

It is their little baby and it is almost an insult to tell that their company or product has serious flaws.

A professional board, user groups and well planned internal seminars can often bring some reality on the table, but the ugly baby syndrome is alive and kicking in many companies.

The experienced consultants at Converzion admire business people and their commitment and passion but we strongly believe that first step in ensuring major growth is realizing and accepting flaws, problems and mistakes.

This is easy on paper -This is easier said than done.

Owners and managers are with good reason focused on the positive, the good results and they prefer celebration to evaluation.

They want good vibrations, positive feedback and encouragements, not a lot of negative talk and focus on the few problems and mistakes.

“Past is past …. Let’s just work harder, smarter and faster and get some new sales” is a great motto and we understand that priority.

To allow analyzing, evaluation and questions on the entire business model can however change the reality. Straight, honest, direct, unwrapped feedback, suggestions and proposals can make a sweet but ugly baby perfect in all aspects and produce great results.

Don’t let the ugly baby syndrome slow your company down!

BtB – Be The Boss

In every sales process we as sales people often come to a point where we think the decision is now out of our control. The decision to buy or not is decided by others, and we have done what we could, and now have to hope for the best.

That is ultimately true in most cases, but the reality is that we often can influence and control the sales process better and especially longer.

The fact remains that the buyer will control the sales process the moment we back off, so it really comes down to taking control of the sales process as much and as long as possible.

Being proactive, tackling the sales process’ questions and becoming our prospects’ best project manager might seem a bit much, but most decision makers are actually looking for help getting through tough decision making.

There are many hidden questions, stakeholders and factors in a sales process and to point out, debate and answer some of these will not only making it a better sales process but also more predictable and faster.

A few areas where we as sales people can guide our prospects are

Relationships – Are they aware of all decision makers in the different roles and areas? Is there a clear stakeholder map? Can they talk, demonstrate and explain to all key players or do they need help?

Situation – Have they uncovered and acknowledged a key challenge, pain or opportunity in their company? Can we exemplify and support their ideas, needs and recommendations?

Process – Do they have a clear decision process with all key players and specific elements that are key factors in this process? Can we initiate and support an efficient evaluation process?

Solution – Are they aware of how the product or solution will impact their business and how it will work with current functionalities and processes? Can we assist in ensuring answers and solutions to all players in management, sales&marketing and IT departments?

Value – Has the prospect understood and promoted the key value drivers? Can we develop and support a favorable perception of the value of the solution?

Taking control of the sales process, being proactive and not being afraid of tackling the process questions will in complex sales processes be key to gaining insight, trust and closed deals – so get the deals you need; Be the Boss

Change Culture

In our fast moving economy owners, managers and staff are all constantly facing need for changes.

Only problem is that most people want changes but don’t want to be changed. We are creatures of habit and very few people wake up every morning and want to be changed.

We like stability, known procedures, clear tasks, specific role and most people prefer minimum changes to work functions, office structure, technology and routines. Even privately we tend to live in the same house, have same friends, same habits and same interests for very big part of our lives.

With a business climate where products, services and technologies from last year already are being replaced, copied or outperformed, owners and managers are constantly faced with the critical problem of needing changes in a company where most people are uncomfortable with changes.

The key is to ensure that the managers are aware of the change challenges – That they handle changes efficiently and create a change culture. Changes are a constant process so it has to become an integrated part of the company culture and so normal and acceptable that changes are expected not feared.

This can only be ensured by managers that

  • Acquire input on needed changes through professional board, advisers, networks etc.
  • Focus on objectives and not roles, tasks and procedures
  • Establish – and respect – team and individual empowerment
  • Encourage and reward questions, ideas and experiments
  • Believes in relational management with dialogue and relationships
  • Want to be visible and available (manage by walking around)
  • Accept criticism, failures and mistakes

Managers can only succeed if they handle change in a productive manner and the biggest challenge is often they have to change themselves. Great managers know when things are great and they feel things are perfect, it is time to change – I love it. It is perfect. Now change it