B2B 1: targets, the monte carlo simulation and sales

b2b stuff 2

 

Note from Bruce:

I was recently asked by an interesting B2B company to write some blog posts and new business direct mail thoughts. They were interesting because <a> they wanted to focus on a smarter, more intelligent, level of thinking in their communication <b> they truly had an ‘edge’ to them in terms of attitude, and <c> they were interested in taking on specific objections they hear day in and day out in a candid fashion. It was fun for me and I generated maybe 20 draft thoughts for them in less than 3 days. The following shares my favorites <in rough draft form and the name of the company removed>.

 

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Far too often B2B sales feels like it resides in some Monte Carlo casino where you are playing a high stakes game gambling on the size of your future wallet.

 

 

It is the Monte Carlo Simulation which suggests that you can only approximate a definitive outcome. Randomness is found in many phenomena that we would like to be able to predict, such as changes in the weather or the movements of share prices as well as sales.

 

The Monte Carlo simulation, inspired by the casino city of Monte Carlo, is a computer simulation method to calculate the what would appear to be apparently incalculable randomness.

 

If you roll a dice, you know that you will roll a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. But you don’t know which of these numbers you will get with a given roll. This is exactly how the Monte Carlo simulation works: by running multiple trials based on random sampling to determine an outcome, using a combination of probability calculation and statistics.

 

Why do we bring up the Monte Carlo model ? Because while it reminds us that models do not represent reality, but are simply an approximation of reality, sales shouldn’t be like gambling.

 

 

Yet.

 

Even looking at the standard communication effectiveness formula – right time, right place, right message, right person – it can feel a lot like playing a slot machine hoping you get 4 apples in a row to be successful.

 

 

And it gets even more complex because in B2B for each one decision and sale there are multiple ‘right persons.’

 

This also increases the complexity of a sale in that each ‘right person’ may need a slightly different message at a different time and at a different place.

 

This can become seemingly so complex the natural instinct is to simplify for consistency. That, in our eyes, is gambling. That is exactly like hoping all 4 apples show up on your sales slot machine.

 

 

Sales does not reside in a casino

 

 

Fortunately, in the business world you don’t have to play by house rules. You can count cards. You can calculate odds. You can stack the deck in your favor so that every time you pull the lever on your sales slot machine you will know the % of times all apples will come up.

 

This takes engineering.

 

The ability to identify appropriate decision makers and engage them in a meaningful business discussion has to be engineered in order to be effective.

 

And, let’s be clear, you can calculate the odds of winning and you can predict how much you will win in sales – consistently.

 

Today lets focus on lining relevant messaging up with the right decision maker <at the right time & place>.

 

 

Now.

 

If you type “finding the right decision makers in business” in Google you will get about 51,700,000 results <in 0.47 seconds>.

 

It is obviously an issue many B2B businesses have to address.

 

 

Unfortunately it appears that about 51,000,000 of those results never discuss what you are supposed to do with a decision maker once you find them. <note: we didn’t really read all 51+ million results>

 

 

Suffice it to say that senior decision makers are paid to make tough decisions.

 

Their decisions are not flippant, rarely are they made emotionally and often a lot rides on the outcome of those decisions.

 

It is impossible to eliminate risk from decision making. But it is certainly possible to limit risk.

 

It is also possible to develop sales pipelines by understanding not only who the decision makers are but what risks they are trying to avoid and what outcomes they would like to improve.

 

 

Doing it ‘right’

 

 

While the “right’ formula is the same in consumer & B2B, consumer sales and marketing tends to be broad initially in creating awareness and educating ultimately focusing in on a specific decision maker.

 

B2B not only cannot afford to manage its sales and marketing that way, it shouldn’t. It is neither effective nor efficient.

 

 

In B2B the targeting should be specific, the messaging based on the discussion and the recognition of where the decision maker is within the buying process, the time & place all focused on assisting the decision maker in further education or to facilitate them through the final phases of the buying process.

 

The following is a description and goal of each individual stage:

 

 

– Account Validation – Our sales consultants will personally verify core demographic information contained in the initial data integration. Our sales consultants will additionally gather and or confirm all information that is required to determine whether or not an account meets the thresholds established by our client for their particular products and services.

 

 

– Contact Verification – Our sales consultants will personally identify and collect all pertinent contact information. This information may include name, title, location, division, phone number, email address and decision making responsibilities.

 

 

– Opening – Our sales consultants seek to make a connection immediately.

 

 

– Needs Assessment – Our sales consultants will explore customer needs thoroughly and capture meaningful business intelligence and inject educational information & tools when appropriate.

 

 

– Solution Dialog – Our sales consultants will leverage your solutions persuasively.

 

 

– Close – Our sales consultants will act when the time is right and ask for the appointment.

 

 

Strategically creating affect

 

 

Gambling belongs in casinos not in sales development.

Strategically developing a robust sales development decision maker target plan takes the precision of engineering. Pardon the gambling analogy but laying down a sales royal flush of right decision maker, right time, right place, right message, delivered in the right way shouldn’t be dependent upon someone else dealing the cards, deal your own.

 

That’s what Company X does. Deal you the royal flush with sales development expertise.

 

<business success factoid here>

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Written by Bruce