Sometimes losing a sale is good, in B2B

B2B, Customer Delight, Customers, losing, Sales

As a business leader, there are a lot of times when you have to take a decision on pricing which results in losing a deal.

I have had to take many such decisions and the sales persons involved in the deal get really upset since they misses their target because of that decision.

See, its very easy to discount to win a deal, but if after winning the deal you’re not able to execute because it’s way out of budget then you get a terrible name. In B2B, if you fail to deliver or deliver badly, then you can be sure that you will not get business from that company again and if the manager involved in the decision , goes to some other company, she will ensure that you do not get business from there also.

I have had a couple of instances where we lost the order, then the vendor who was awarded, did not deliver and after one year of struggling, the customer called us back and gave the order without any negotiation.

And since we did a good job there, they gave us multiple more cases.

The advantage of B2B is that once you do a good job, then generally, the managers want to keep working with you. The inertia and the political situation in the organizations mean that a manager doesn’t want to try a new vendor if she can.

So even if you have to lose a deal, its okay because you will get many opportunities to win. But if you do a bad job, because you don’t have the money in the deal, then you will lose the client forever.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Try just one thing….then move to the next

ideas, Marketing, Sales

I hope the content I give is useful and interesting. It’s good to know that some people read it and some people like it. I am grateful to all of you who regularly read my blog.

However I will be really happy to know if you have used the various marketing and sales ideas which I have given, actually helped you make money. Whether you work for an organisation or are an entrepreneur, at the end of the day its about getting business to happen. Action is what is critical to get anything to succeed. So if you don’t try out the ideas, you wouldn’t know if what I am writing about can be applied to you.

Like the picture above, the film can be in the mind of the director, but until someone cries action and people start acting, a film cannot be made. No director won an Oscar for a film which was not made.

My advise is good for the small companies / entrepreneurs. Its not for the mega corporations who have lots of money to spend in creating brands and then assuming business will come. Mine is more about the small company which does not have enough funds so they have to ensure that whatever they do gets converted into revenue.

Even within these types of companies, there could be some who can afford to invest in relationships and build the business while for some it mean creating a pipeline of prospects today so that they can survive tomorrow and ensure a smooth flow of business.

However you will not know if what you are reading is worthwhile if you don’t try it. If you try and it does work excellent, let me know. If you try it and it doesn’t work, even then let me know. I am trying to see how broad based is the possibility of the ideas I share. These are all things which I have tried to work out and see. When I see some success, I try to see if they can be applied to other areas also. If because of my ideas you can get more success, I will be extremely delighted.

So I look forward to your comments.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Lead magnets…..different medium….different possibilities

campaign, digital, lead generation, Marketing, Sales

Marketing is applied psychology. So you need to figure out the strengths of each medium and blend it with human psychology to help you get leads.

In my earlier posts I have written about different physical and electronic media for generating leads. Today we will limit to seeing how you can utilize electronic media.

One of the key things about Google (including YouTube) paid search and to some extent Facebook paid search is the fact that if you can master them, you can can have the equivalent of thousands of sales people working for you, whenever someone is searching for something similar to what you offer.

So while you might show up because of the PPC, how do you ensure that people click on your advertisement first and then leave their email id, so that you can keep marketing to them in the future.

This is where the challenge starts. With PPC, if you have some smart people, you can get your advertisement to show up at a reasonable cost. But there’s no point if they come to your site and leave without giving you their email address. Then your advertisement has been wasted.

One simple way which I have tested after listening to Joe Polish and Dean Jackson on thir podcast is offering relevant reports. Why this works is that human beings are gatherers/ collectors. So when you are offering something which the person can collect right now and consume whenever they want, they tend to give their email ids.

Right now I have seen that offering this lead magnet using this psychology has worked on getting about 10 email ids a week. I am now working on seeing how to scale it up to see if I can take it to a about a hundred a week….Will keep you posted.

I would suggest mean time if you’ll can also try and give me feedback, in the comments section below, on your success or failure with this.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

If you know how to sell apples …. can you also sell oranges

Customer Delight, Sales

I pride myself on the idea of being able to sell different things. I have sold things from industrial automation items to computers, to embedded devices which get into cars, all the way into selling different kinds of services.

The fundamental principle behind my confidence was the fact that if I know how to sell, then I can sell anything. Which brings us to the topic – when I am looking for someone for a specific role, to hire from outside, then why do I forget this principle. When I am looking for people to join our company from outside then I always ask for specific domain knowledge in selling. So my HR had this question, why do I discriminate.

When I am doing an internal transfer of resources, I don’t mind experimenting and letting people move from selling apples to selling oranges. That’s because, I know the capabilities of the person since they have worked in my team and I know that they will be able to adapt and learn about the new environment. Here there’s only one variable which I am addressing – the ability of the person to learn things about oranges and identifying people to sell oranges. I have had people whom I have moved from HR into Marketing because they had the drive to learn new things and explore.

When I am taking someone from outside, the person is completely unknown to me. Therefore I prefer to know, that in the domain that I want, that person has sold things. There are other variables about the new person which I don’t know. Like will the person be able to adjust to our culture, is she really in a position to deliver whatever she has written in the resume etc. Managing so many variables, including trying to give them new domain expertise is extremely time consuming. So to ensure that people become productive in the least amount of time, I would like to get people with domain expertise, when I am recruiting someone.

Coming back to where we started, if you know the psychology of selling, you can sell any product. You may take time to learn how the new product has to be positioned , what are the pain points that need to be identified etc. But once you know those, you can easily move from selling apples to selling oranges. The key aspect is knowing the psychology of helping a customer identify the problem, helping them solve the problem and delighting them.

There are other dynamics like selling cycles that you need to adapt to, but I have known people who were selling bicycle tyres to retailers get into successfully sell computers to corporates and some one selling sugar, get into selling computers.

So good sales people can sell what you give them to sell – apples or oranges.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!