How can Sales professionals beat the Price Game and win large deals tripura multinational
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How can Sales professionals beat the Price Game and win large deals?

Kevin is a B2B salesperson. Prospecting for sales is not an easy job for him. First, he identifies his B2B sales prospects, then he works on building trust and relationship with his prospective buyers. Often, he gets rejected and by chance if he manages to convince the prospect, he picks out those who can make faster decisions instead of making him wait to say, “no deal”. Once he clears that, he identifies the pain points, gaps, or aspirations which his product or solution would address. If there is no reason for purchasing his product or service, he must influence and help the customer to consider his product or service for a future potential need.

After this, Kevin tries to understand all the decision-makers and manage them well. He ensures that he drives consensus within all stakeholders without hurting their egos. After all these meticulous steps, he might find that there is no budget which leads to everything going down the drain. If he carefully allots the budget, then things go well at this stage leading to the client testing his product. The client requests for some time to test his product, asking for demo.

Meanwhile Kevin does a competition analysis of his products and once he crosses all these hurdles, he awaits the PO with the final decision from the customer. Then he hears something like this– “We like your product as it is the best available product in the market. We respect your team because they are knowledgeable, and we are sure they will handle any post-sales support issues well. We like your organization as you are the specialist in this domain, BUT your competitor has quoted only 50% of what you have quoted. They are the L1 in commercials. We want to place the order with you only, so we want you to match the price and take the order.”

Having come this far, Kevin is caught by that one demand of ““Match the L1 pricing and take the order” that hinders his entire process.

B2B sales is a tough ballgame. And sometimes, pricing is everything.

With my experience from several B2B deals, I can tell you there are four major prospecting skills that a salesperson like Kevin should keep in mind.

1) Identify the purchase criteria of your customers

A salesperson should first understand the various criteria or parameters of a customer. These criteria should be explicitly recorded so that both customer and the salesperson have clear expectations. If a salesperson fails to understand the criteria, then he may have to face L1 issues in future.

For example, if the client mentions 5 parameters on which he would decide on a product / service / solution, note these down. It can be

  1. The product should have these certifications / approvals.
  2. The product should increase my productivity by x%
  3. The product should decrease my idle time by y%
  4. The product should have at least 5 years of warranty
  5. The product should be within my budget which is Z.

Most of the times, sellers like Kevin think that the price can be discussed later. Of course, the commercials or the investments can be discussed later, but at least the client should be aware of the range of the investment that he needs to make. Otherwise, even if you meet the first 4 parameters, you still lose the deal because of the fifth one, which is extremely critical for the customer.

After knowing about the parameters, we should have a conversation with the customer to understand the weightage that he would assign to each parameter. This can help the salesperson position his products/services. For example, if the client says 10% each for the first 4 parameters and 50% for the price parameter, then he should understand that this customer is just a price conscious customer. He should prepare his sales pitch accordingly.

2) Stakeholder Mapping

It is important to understand who is genuinely interested in your business and who can help build an immense potential network. Stakeholder mapping gives a clear understanding of the target audience and how they feel about a particular business or service. A thorough only research of the company and their stakeholder profiles can help offer a preview of the people you might have to deal with. If you have an established network, then you might ask around. For greater clarity, it is best to hold meetings with the stakeholders and have direct conversations addressing all the queries that you may have. It is useful to use a matrix to understand which stakeholder wields greater power and low interest, low power/high interest, and which ones have low power/low interest or high power/high interest. Analysing their motivation, pain points, preferences and interests can help you to convince them at various levels.

3) Influencer Mapping

It is never enough to know a buyer’s persona until you have mapped influences. Mapping influences mean finding out the different interests of the prospects and then charting them. Charting what influences them and interests them in terms of people and services can help you build a relationship with the stakeholders. Any prospect you are interacting with will not be taking a decision alone in isolation so it is important to know who he/she will be consulting. It’s important to know who guides them at the awareness stage of purchase, who helps them assess market and competitors? If you wish to build a relationship of trust, it is important to add value to their business and lives in some way. For this, symbiotic equation it is necessary to find an intersection of interests and people that influence your prospect. That way you can produce the best solutions to address their pain points. Your content should strike a chord with them, only then can you start earning their trust. The idea is to question constantly, “Do they wish to be influenced by me?” Or “How can I influence them or make a difference to their business?”

4) Manage all the stakeholders involved in decision-making

Apart from understanding the purchase criteria, another essential element a salesperson needs to know is who are the decision-makers. Gone are those days where a purchase decision is taken by one or 2 people in an organization. A recent research report says there are at least 8 decision-makers involved, when it comes to mid-size and large deals.

A salesperson should identify these different stakeholders and manage them effectively so that he has absolute control over the deal. Sometimes, there may be a purchasing committee that gets formed, and smart salespeople navigate the entire committee.

A smart salesperson can educate the customer that if they consider only L1 in pricing, they will have to embrace H1 in high risk-taking. There may be more reasons for a L1 situation but if a salesperson manages these essential B2B prospecting elements in a sales cycle, the chances of him winning the deal are remarkably high.

Kumar Somayajilu is a Sales Director with over 30 years of B2B sales experience in the IT System Integration and People Enablement sectors. His passion for sales is only mildly surpassed by his love for sports. In a previous life, Kumar has also held the COO position and has experience in operations, management, mergers and acquisitions and P&L.
Chandrani Datta works as a Manager-Content Research and Development with almost a decade’s experience in writing and editing of content. A former journalist turned content manager, Chandrani has written and edited for different brands cutting across industries. The hunger for learning, meaningful work and novel experiences keeps her on her toes. An avid traveller, Chandrani’s interests lie in photography, reading and watching movies.

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