The Point

One of the interesting things about consistently reading and hearing content from quality sources is that you start to notice trends. It is amazing how often the same topics arise at the same time in different places. We use this blog as a way to help you stay on top of the major themes in procurement and supply chain management.

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If you watched Peter Faulk play the character Lieutenant Columbo in the thirty years ‘Columbo’ was on television, you undoubtedly saw him break a case by turning back at the last moment and asking, “Just one more thing…”, a question which always ended up breaking the case.

Maybe procurement need to stop and ask another question or two as well. In a recent blog post, ‘What Questions Should Your Clients be Asking’, sales blogger S. Anthony Iannarino talked about the challenges sales people face when they are not able to communicate the value of their solution because the buyers they work with are not asking the right questions. His advice provides some techniques for redirecting the conversation or asking the missing questions so that the necessary information gets across.

While we want to have a complete picture of each solution so that we can accurately compare our options, we’ve all made the mistake of asking questions that are so open ended that sales people talk ad nauseam about something we can't compare across the suppliers in contention. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t pieces of information we are missing out on.

Buyers Meeting Point’s long time advisor The Sales Guy has always advocated asking sales people something about their compensation package or their company's business development priorities so those factors can be brought into a thorough evaluation. What else should we ask?

Here are a few questions that The Sales Guy suggests working into your face-to face supplier meetings. Some are relevant for incumbents and some for new companies you are evaluating, but all of them will allow you to put together a better category management strategy and contract.

  1. “If you are selling to my competitors what products and services are they buying more of and what is the value provided?”  “What are they buying less of?”
  2. “We are spending $XXXK dollars with your company on an annual basis.  If I was to spend that same amount differently what changes would you recommend and why?” 
  3. “What can our companies collaborate on that would help your company bring new products to market and provide competitive advantages for my company?”
  4. “What business model changes is your company introducing and how might they be advantageous to my company?”

 

If you have a question for The Sales Guy, click here to submit it and we will get you an answer!

One of my favorite sales blogs is, ‘The Sales Blog’ written by S. Anthony Iannarino. He is a sales executive and coach that believes in the value sales people can add during the buying process.  Since we are mentioning him this week on the Flip Side, I’d also like to extend our congratulations to him on recently hitting a milestone 1,000 posts.

Posted by on in The Flip Side

As a buyer, have you ever noticed how much effort sales teams put into the training, strategy, and education of their people? If you type "sales training" into Google, you get well over FOUR MILLION hits. In order to put that figure into perspective, typing "procurement training" into the same search engine pulls only 235,000 results.

As this week’s guest sound bite in our PI Window on Business Blog Talk Radio update, we heard from S. Anthony Iannarino, author of The Sales Blog, talking about what sales people need to do in order to create recognizable value for their clients.

As part of Buyers Meeting Point's ‘Flip Side’ resource, we often read sales blogs and attend sales webinars to take the trends we see and apply them for the benefit of supply management and procurement professionals. A recent post by S. Anthony Iannarino, author of ‘The Sales Blog’ covered the foundational and secondary skill sets possessed by most successful sales people, then went on to describe the additional competencies that will be required for ‘The New Consultative Salesperson’.

Posted by on in The Flip Side

In our past conversations with The Sales Guy, he reminded us of the important role the calendar plays in a supplier’s sales strategy and execution. So as we start a new calendar year, we caught up with TSG to see what we should expect our sales counterparts to be focused on right now…

“The Flip Side” is a buyers meeting point resource where we take sales training and information, along with direct input form our own undercover sales advisor to bring you a better rounded perspective on your own position.

“The Flip Side” is a buyers meeting point resource where we take sales training and information, along with direct input form our own undercover sales advisor to bring you a better rounded perspective on your own position.

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