I recently was introduced to the CEB Sales Leadership Council and their research on sales and sales effectiveness. Their research shows impressively how the sales process has been changing as product and solution information becomes readily available to buyers online.
Today most buyers actually have made their purchasing decision by the time they even would consider talking to a sales professional. Equipped with comparative information a sales discussion turns quite simply into a barter session about the lowest possible price.
The CEB impressively shows that in such an environment it is about challenging prospects on their assumptions; their assumptions on how to tackle the issue at hand. The shortcut buying the cheapest possible solution might in fact just be that, a shortcut.
This challenger sales approach is not only more compelling but – and the CEB backs this up by hard numbers – manifold more impactful. In fact it is about delivering key insights to prospects on issues that impact their business. Quite a different approach to build, ship (aka fire) and forget. And something we baked deeply into our Customer Insights product.