Winning Over the Buyer: The Interplay Between Sales Effectiveness, Win Rates, and Differentiated Buying Moments with Andy Paul
Sales effectiveness is not a new theme on our podcast, nor in the sales world in general.
But for many salespeople, it’s still something mysterious, and they don’t quite understand why they should even bother about it.
In fact, we’re also wondering…
How does sales effectiveness translate into win rates and why are elements of a differentiated buying experience the most important factors that influence a buyer’s choice of vendor?
To shed light on this important topic, we are joined by Andy Paul, Host of The Win Rate Podcast, author of “Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps To Accelerate Every Company’s Sales,” “Amp Up Your Sales,” and his new book, “Sell Without Selling Out: A Guide to Success on Your Own Terms.”
Are You Blending In or Standing Out?
In sales, everyone seeks the silver bullet. But as Andy highlights, there are as many unique approaches to sales as there are salespeople. Instead of copying others, discover your distinctive method. In fact, Jennifer Colosimo of the Franklin Covey organization reveals that 46% of B2B decision-makers see salespeople alike, based on a survey of 10,000 global businesses.
While it’s definitely useful to learn from sales experts, mimicking them can be dangerous because it may lead to losing your individuality. Moreover, with the rise of AI tools, there’s a risk that purchasing experiences will become too similar. However, this change also brings an excellent opportunity to showcase your unique human touch and curiosity, differentiating yourself from the multitude of salespeople out there.
“If there are a million salespeople in the world, there are a million unique ways to sell. And you are necessarily going to be different from everybody else. So find your path”.
Prioritize Win Rates
For Andy, the essence of sales effectiveness is win rates, a metric often overlooked in the tech sector. Over the past two decades, the tech industry has focused on filling the sales funnel, regardless of lead quality, which isn’t sustainable. A study from Strikingly Different Selling revealed an average win rate of just 17% for B2B enterprises on deals over $100,000.
So, it’s quite alarming how few salespeople know or prioritize their win rates. Recent Gartner data highlighted trustworthiness and adaptability as the top influencing factors for B2B buyers, surpassing product and price. As a result, improving the buyer’s experience, rather than just adjusting product features or price, is key to increasing win rates in today’s saturated market.
“If you’re focused on how can I increase my win rates? It’s not going to be about adding a feature to your product. It’s not going to be about lowering your price because everybody can do that. No, it’s how are you helping this buyer who’s interested in making a change in their business. How can you help them make that decision to make that change?”
From Selling to Connecting
Andy believes that curiosity stands at the heart of shifting from just selling products to genuinely understanding and becoming a trusted expert in the business. But so many sales training programs repress natural curiosity by enforcing strict playbooks. While these have their place, their effectiveness, especially in the tech and SaaS sectors, is questionable, given the mediocre win rates of 20% to 30%. In his book, “Sell Without Selling Out”, Andy supports salespeople to be authentic and to embrace their innate curiosity. At the end of the day, sales are about genuine human connection.
Boost Your Sales Win Rates
Organizations looking to enhance their win rates must first prioritize certain key factors.
- Pipeline Criteria: Establish clear criteria for who you want to include in your sales pipeline. Think of it like being a bouncer at an exclusive club. Not everyone should gain entry. Sellers need to be determined about who they sell to rather than simply filling their pipeline.
- Marketing Feedback Loop: If sales teams have low win rates, the feedback they provide to the marketing department could be poor. Marketing teams depend on accurate feedback from sales to understand who to target. Thus, you need to break any cycle of misinformation between these teams.
- Understand Your USP: Often, sales teams might be working on a lead simply because it expressed interest. But the critical question remains: Why should they choose you over competitors? Sellers must harness their curiosity to understand what unique value they bring to the table.
- Evaluative Thinking: Every action a seller takes should follow a clear purpose. Sellers need to continually ask:
- Does this increase the likelihood of sealing the deal?
- Does this provide value to the buyer?
- Does it facilitate the buyer’s decision-making process?
If an action doesn’t align with these criteria, even if it’s part of the playbook, reconsider its importance.
“In my first book, I painted the image for sellers and said, you need to consider yourself like the bouncer at the head of the velvet rope at the missions to a club. Not everybody gets into your club. Your club is who you will sell to. You, as a seller, have to make that choice”.
Now that you have learned about the interplay between sales effectiveness, win rates, and differentiated buying moments, check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience, and instructions on how to rate and review the show are here.