Edinburgh World Class Sales Leaders Event – June 13th 2019

On Thursday 13th June some of the World Leaders in IT Sales gathered in Edinburgh to discuss some of the key issues addressing the IT Sales industry today. We discussed:• Reducing ‘no decision’ clients

  • The best channels for generating leads in 2019
  • Account Management and New Business teams: together or separate?

This was a highly successful and useful event receiving excellent feedback from all attendees.

How can marginal gains reduce the number of ‘no decision’ clients in your sales funnel?

Calum Kilgour and John Bissett, Slingshot Edge

Calum and John from Slingshot Edge are experienced sales professionals and run a consultancy business supporting IT sales leaders. They presented an interactive session (featuring some gambling with chocolate coins) to address the issue of ‘no decision’ and your buyer’s struggle to see why they should choose you rather than your competitor or fixing the problem themselves.

According to research from Sales Bench Marck Index, across the B2B sales industry around 58% of deals end in “No Decision”.  Calum and John suggested that this ‘no decision’ is because:

  • The buyer feels that sticking with the status quo was a safer option than risking working with a new supplier
  • The buyer couldn’t sell the change to rest of the decision making group (on your behalf)
  • The buyer can’t see much difference between their options (including addressing the problem in-house)

Everyone in the room agreed, converting some of that 60% of No decisions to sales could make a huge impact on their businesses and their targets.

Calum and John presented the concept of a ‘Cause to Act’ story.  These make your buyers realise that they are effectively standing above a sinkhole by not acting.  In your ‘Cause to Act’ story a salesperson would need to provide evidence that by staying where they are and doing nothing means the client is guaranteed to lose.

Slingshot Edge suggest sharing a “Cause To Act Story” early in your sales conversations.  It should:

  1. Highlight what has changed in your buyer’s world (competition, legislation, trends)
  2. Amplify the impact of your buyer’s common problems in these changed conditions
  3. Suggest high-level steps (aligned with your solution) to avoid these company strangling difficulties.

This will open up your buyer, increase the credibility of your seller and create a context for the rest of the discovery process.  Forrester research call this the “Buying Vision” and sellers who can do this have a much high win rate than sellers who don’t set out this vision.

A Slingshot Edge client who implemented this approach previously had a one in five conversion rate of first meetings leading to second meetings; Since implementing their ‘Cause to Act’ story 4 out of five their first meetings now convert into a second meeting. Their revenue went from 78M to 118M in 12 months.  You can hear their head of Sales Enablement discussing the project here.

Key recommendations: