Provocation Selling


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Provocation Selling


TechTransform, February 6, 2003: It doesn't take a high-powered seminar to understand that selling technology has changed dramatically. But Geoffrey Moore's latest seminar on Provocation Selling makes some great points on how to approach the tough selling climate.
Here's a report from a Marketing VP who attended a seminar:
I had the chance to hear a GREAT presentation by Geoffrey Moore (of Crossing the Chasm fame) yesterday.  
Besides being a very entertaining presenter, as always, Geoff is also extremely insightful and the whole point of his presentation was how the rules of the marketing and sales game have changed from the 90's to today's environment.  
Some key points of change:
Consultative selling
Building RELATIONSHIPS at the high level (a modality that is used all over the world except in the US)
Marketing by referral -- moving away from horizontal marketing into very very tactical approaches
PROVOCATION SELLING -- poking where it hurts, rather than just being nice, good, pleasant and persistent
This applies mostly to larger software products, sold to enterprises - rather than software sold to consumers.
Thanks - see notes below!


NOTES ON THE SEMINAR
I got a chance to look at the slides from Geoffrey Moore's PROVOCATION SELLING SEMINAR and here are a few provoking excerpts:
ďLeaky PipeĒ Provocation: Your Customerís Processes are Leaking Money!
Why the Leaky Pipe? No budget for anything new.
Only way to fund new things is thru quick ROI
Leaky pipes spill out money every day
Duct-taping the leaky pipe pays for itself
Customers do not expect to buy anything.
Ongoing budget-cutting is the norm
Putting off projects is the norm
One way to break through the resistance:
Provocation: Things are going to get even worse
Unless: You act immediately to head them off
Two Key Challenges
Challenge 1: Getting the meeting:
Normal lead generation does not work
Personal referrals are a must
Securing a referral is marketingís key deliverable
Challenge 2: Conducting the meeting:
Requires a senior executive from the vendor
Dialog is about the customerís business, not about vendorís products or services
Goal is to get the right to do business
Referrals-Based Marketing
Articulate an original provocation:
Work on a critical pain point for the category
Develop a non-standard point of view
Apply the point of view to the target company
Build an evidence package to support it
Work contact backward from the target
Three degrees of separation, or less
Sell the intermediaries on the provocation
Get them to get you the meeting
Get the right person to go to the meeting
Reviewing the Sales Cycle
Prospecting
Referrals are a must: Do not enter without them.
Use leads to do pre-referral reconnaissance.
Qualifying
Focus on the compelling reason to buy
Get executive buy-off that process is both broken and mission-critical.
He or she will support taking immediate action.
Chasing unclosable deals is the most common strategic error in a down market.
Working the Sales Cycle
Needs Analysis
Interview all the major constituencies
Bring templates to the process
Capture ROI in the voice of the customer
Do not cut short this phase of the selling cycle
Proposal
Use Problem/Solution structure
Highlight ROI qualitatively
Racing through needs analysis is the most common tactical error in a down market
Closing the Sales Cycle
Selection over Competition
Compete on completeness of solution to the broken mission-critical process
Most dangerous competitor is status quo
Contract Negotiation
Focus on the value of the whole product
Negotiate pricing from ROI basis
Make your case using the customerís voice
This is a value-based game. You cannot trade away the value at the end.
Final Thoughts
The value is in the reengineering
The focus is on the point of pain
The key sponsor is the pain owner
All demand efforts should focus here
Your competitive advantage comes from:
Domain expertise
Whole product completeness
All fulfillment efforts should focus here

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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