B2B Sellers Rely Too Much on Sales Intuition [Interview]

May 23, 2017 by Susan Golder

sales deal strategy

"No longer can professional sellers rely on persuasive interpersonal skills, rapport building and instincts to close a deal. It just doesn't work that way anymore," says sales deal strategist Jason Reed.

Slingshot is proud to announce the addition of a new independent consulting partner to its team of revenue growth experts.

sales deal strategyJason Reed brings an acute specialty in sales pursuit strategy that enables sales teams to win more deals in a predictive way.

Many teams pursue sales opportunities with a haphhazard approach that leads to confused prospects, long sales cycles, unreliable forecasts and lost deals.

Embracing a consistent, proven deal strategy becomes a competitive advantage for the sales teams who are serious about revenue growth.

I talked with Jason in our Grand Rapids office to pick his brain and get his POV on deal strategy and why it's such a big deal. Here's what he said.

SUSAN: Help me understand. What does it look like for sales organizations that don't have a deal pursuit strategy?

JASON: Well, far more today than ever before, the marketplace for B2B sales is buyer driven. There's been a massive shift from the seller to the buyer.

This shift has directly affected what it takes to be a successful B2B seller.

No longer can professional sellers rely on persuasive interpersonal skills, rapport building and instincts to close a deal. It just doesn't work that way anymore. 

It takes more than "the art of selling." Today's B2B marketplace puts a premium on the science or the so-called "science of selling."

Companies are at risk that don't prioritize the establishment and support of modern deal pursuit strategy.  Sales teams that more or less continue to sell the way they've always sold are falling behind.

They are reactive as opposed to proactive in pursuit of high value opportunities. That's a dangerous approach with ever limited customer interactions.

Sellers are relying on soft skills that worked so well in years past but don't work as well anymore. Personality, sales charm, being a "people person," gut instincts no longer cut it.

Sellers without a deal strategy rely far too heavily on their knowledge of the product or solution. Historically, a differentiator for companies was their products. Not so much anymore. Buyers already know what you know.

To make things even more challenging, features of your products and solutions don't separate you from your competition like they once did.

I see sellers pursuing deals that were never legit deals in the first place. It's a common and costly peril of exclusively relying on sales intuition.

Without a deal strategy, sellers don't have an efficient and practical way to identify and share best practices among the team. They squander valuable insights that could have helped them land those critical deals.

Leveraging best practices is nearly impossible without a deal strategy framework that everyone is deploying.

Sellers are all over the place in terms of how they qualify and pursue deals, and management is in the tough spot of trying to hit revenue targets in a consistent and sustainable way.

It's imperative in today's buyer-driven, B2B sales marketplace that modern sellers have an established framework to pursue deals. That's why it's such a big deal.

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Prior to joining Slingshot as an independent consulting partner, Jason was the President of Paradigm Learning, a training company teaching professionals business acumen, strategy execution, new hire orientation and project management.

Before Paradigm Learning, Jason was the Senior VP at Miller Heiman, National Director for Sales and Marketing for Office Depot and Regional VP for Commercial Sales at FedEx Kinko‚Äôs. Connect with Jason on LinkedIn

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About the Author

Susan Golder

Advertising agency, corporate and nonprofit experience in sales and marketing. Sets inbound marketing strategies, customer insight interviews and re-prioritization of marketing initiatives to meet growth objectives. Co-Founder and Partner at Slingshot Growth Partners.

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