Redefining the Sales Conversation with John Smibert, #188
To sell to the new digital consumer, sales leaders must shift the sales conversations from being focused on what they’re selling to understanding the prospect’s unique story.
But, knowing how to make this transition can be challenging for sales organizations.
In this episode of The Modern Selling Podcast, sales strategist, John Smibert and I explore this topic and cover the right strategies to use to drive this new (and more powerful) sales conversation.
Make sure to listen to the full episode to get all of the important ‘storytelling’ recommendations John shares that can help sales organizations get better sales results.
John Smibert is the Founder of Sales Leader Forum, Sales Masterminds APAC, and the author of The Wentworth Prospect, a page-turning sales novel written to help organizations achieve B2B sales mastery. As a global sales leader for almost 40 years, and the creator of the Authentic Selling program and the EDVANCE sales model – John is passionate about enhancing the professionalism of salespeople and sales teams. His peer-to-peer network, Sales Leader Forum, hosts a variety of online events designed to bring together sales leaders to share ideas, collaborate, and to get expert mentorship.
In our conversation, we dive into his book, get John’s insights on the world of complex B2B selling, and learn more about what he believes sales leaders must do to get prospects leaning in and ready to buy.
Download this episode to hear what actionable strategies you can implement today to generate big wins for your sales team.Does your sales team only talk about the product with your prospects? 🤔 It's time to redefine your #sales strategy. 📈 Listen to this ep of @GoModernSelling as @M_3Jr discusses this with @johnsmibert and more. Click To Tweet
What’s Complex B2B Selling?
Getting to the key decision maker is as much about research as it is about crafting the right sales strategy. In our Modern Sales Mastery course, we teach how to do prospecting, the power of video selling, and what modern B2B sales really looks like.
Although B2B sales is a popular sales training topic, the idea of “complex B2B” was a brand new concept that John shared in our conversation.
I was curious to know what makes ‘complex B2B’ different and what specific implications it has on how modern sales teams should be trained.
John’s perspective is quite interesting, “Complex B2B is selling business-to-business, where the buyer has 4+ decision makers and as a result, the seller has to bring together different components to create a multifaceted solution.”
Sounds tricky? It absolutely is!
This is why sales leaders are flocking to John’s book, The Wentworth Prospect, to learn the unique approaches to mastering complex B2B sales.
Make sure to join the conversation to hear how John’s unique approach to sales conversations and what most salespeople accidentally do that often sabotages the sale.Do your #sales leaders know about “complex B2B” selling❓ Tune in as @johnsmibert explains this further with @M_3Jr on this ep of @GoModernSelling 🎙️ #socialselling #salesmanagement #B2Bsales Click To Tweet
How Do You Really Master the B2B Sales Game?
Knowing the ins and outs of sales is what we do here at Vengreso. We offer a wide range of digital sales training programs to help individuals and sales teams have more conversations, increase sales engagement, and get higher conversions.
But, I wanted to get John’s take on what he sees working in B2B sales right now.
“Customers do not want to hear about your product until the time is right. Sales leaders must develop the skills and capability to have the right conversation with prospects. A conversation that doesn’t make their product the focal point.”
Which is why one of the biggest struggles I see is that sales professionals often don’t know how to shape the sales conversations without pitching what they’re selling.
However, if the sales conversation is restructured in a way to lead the prospect toward the solution on their own, the sales outcome can and will be very different. So, I asked John how he suggested the initial conversation be handled.
“Salespeople must take the customer through a discovery process to think through their problem and their issues first. Then lead the customer to consider a new way of thinking that later will spark the miraculous ‘AHA’ moment and make the seller’s product the hero of the story.”
That’s just the beginning of our in-depth conversation on this topic, be sure to tune in to hear the 3 key steps salespeople must take to do discovery the right way.👂Listen to this week's ep of @GoModernSelling to hear from @johnsmibert what is really working to move prospects along the buyer´s journey! 👇 #sales #socialselling #strategicselling Click To Tweet
How do you structure a ‘good’ sales conversation?
In my experience, especially during the pandemic, sales organizations have struggled to implement modern selling techniques that meet their buyers’ demands. Rather than using hyper-personalization strategies, many sales leaders continue to fall back on outdated sales methods that are making it even easier for prospects to say “NO!”
So, to get to the heart of what really works to move prospects along the buyer’s journey, I ask John to share his EDVANCE sales framework.
His sales conversation process has three main ‘phases’:
E – Engage. Sales reps must fully understand the prospects’ problems or challenges. This can be pulled out through open-ended questions designed to get at the core of the prospect’s story.
D – Disrupt. The goal of sales conversations is to weaponize the sales rep with information to help them move the prospect closer to considering a new way of thinking.
VA – Value. Up until this stage of the sales conversation, the product has not been discussed. If the other steps of the sales process have been executed correctly, then the prospect will naturally see the value that the seller’s solution can offer.
This portion of our conversation is a must-listen because John breaks down exactly what modern sales teams need to do to move the needle. [HINT: It’s not talking about their product!]
Pay particular attention to what I share at 27:33 so you can get the inside scoop on Vengreso’s sales conversation questions that get our prospects to lean all the way in.
Make sure to download the full episode and start listening right now.
This episode of The Modern Selling Podcast was brought to you by OrgChartHub, a sales tool that integrates into HubSpot, giving your sales team the ability to be more strategic, map out buyers, reporting structures, and identify the role of each buying influencer within an account.