Sales and marketing teams are both responsible for the growth and revenue side of the business — and yet, many of them still tend to operate like two opposing teams.
The goal of “smarketing” is to help bring sales and marketing together as one team, which involves constant, effective communication.
It’s pretty critical that sales and marketing teams learn how to speak each other’s language. But while both teams have some shared vocabulary, there are plenty of terms salespeople throw around that, let’s be honest, may as well be gibberish.
So we’ve put together a glossary of sales terms for marketers you can reference each time you encounter sales speak you’re unfamiliar with. Keep on reading to brush up on your sales knowledge.
Definitions of Common Sales Terms
- ABC: Always Be Closing
- AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action
- BANT: Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline
- Commission: The payment a sales rep gets when they successfully sell something
- Discovery call: The first call a sales rep makes to a prospect
- Quota: A sales goal; a set amount of selling a sales rep is expect to meet over a given time frame, usually a month and/or quarter
- Value proposition: A benefit of a product or company intended to make it more attractive to potential buyers and differentiates it from competitors
62 Definitions of Common Sales Terms
“Always Be Closing.” An antiquated sales strategy that basically says everything a sales rep does throughout the sales process is in pursuit toward the singular goal of closing a deal. The implication is that, if a sales rep doesn’t close the deal, then everything they did regarding that opportunity was a failure. In the inbound methodology, the preferred ABCs of selling are: Always Be Connecting. Even better, “Always Be Helping.”
Another way of saying “the buying process.” The stages a potential buyer goes through, from learning about a new product or service to either becoming a loyal customer or rejecting it. The potential buyer may or may not end up purchasing/adopting that product or service.
An acronym used in Sales that stands for Attention/Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. They are the four steps of the now somewhat-outdated Purchase Funnel (although most agree the funnel is much more complex than what is represented in this traditional model), wherein customers travel from awareness to purchase.
Annual Recurring Revenue. For recurring revenue companies, ARR provides a high-level look at how recurring revenue or subscription business is growing over time. It’s a good metric for models that have longer term subscription durations. It’s also great for long-term planning. See also MRR.
Business 2 Business. B2B is a term that describes the transactional relationship between provider and client where the provider is a business and the client is another business. e.g. “Our B2B marketing strategy targets organizations in the manufacturing niche.” See also: B2C.
Business 2 Consumer. B2C is a term describes the transactional relationship between provider and client where the provider is a business and the client is an individual consumer. e.g. “Our B2C marketing strategy targets new moms.” See also: B2B.
The value of a product or service that a consumer of that product or service experiences. Benefits are distinct from features, and sales reps should sell based on benefits that are supported by features.
Leads that are unlikely to become paying customers — and a sales rep’s worst nightmare, because they are a waste of time. A tough challenge for most marketers is how you separate good, high-quality leads from the people who are just poking around your site. Learn more about lead scoring here.
An acronym used in sales for lead qualification that stands for Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline. It’s a famous tool for sales reps and sales leaders to help them determine whether their prospects have the budget, authority, need, and right timeline to buy what they sell.
- B = Budget: Determines whether your prospect has a budget for what you’re selling.
- A = Authority: Determines whether your prospect has the authority to make a purchasing decision.
- N = Need: Determines whether there’s a business need for what you’re selling.
- T = Timeline: Determines the time frame for implementation.
The BANT formula was originally developed by IBM several decades ago. We don’t think BANT is good enough anymore, though: Learn more here about the better qualifying formula, GPCTBA/C&I.
A “bluebird” is a sale that came seemingly from nowhere or with unexpected ease. A sales rep might say, “Fortunately, a bluebird flew right in at the end of the quarter, helping me reach my goal.”
One thing to keep in mind with inbound sales is that many of these sales may not be true bluebirds since your inbound engine is actively building awareness and helping prospects along a buyer’s journey. With high-performance sales organizations, you’ll want to have some control over your pipeline forecasting and be able to look at lead attribution, so it’s best not to rely on bluebirds.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
A stage of the buying process leads reach when they’re just about to close into new customers. They’ve identified a problem, have shopped around for possible solutions, and are very close to buying.
The ways a consumer identifies, considers, and chooses products and services. Buyer behavior is often influenced by the consumer’s needs, desires, aspirations, inhibitions, role, social and cultural environment.
A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. While it helps inbound marketers like you define their target audience, it can also help sales reps qualify leads. Learn more about developing buyer personas here.
All the information a consumer needs to make a buying decision. It can be written or unwritten, and often answers questions like, “what is it?; “why should I buy it?”; “what is the price?”; “why do I need it?” and so on.
The process potential buyers go through before deciding whether to make a purchase. Although it’s been broken it down into many sub-stages to align with different business models, it can universally be boiled down to these three lifecycle stages:
- Awareness: Leads have either become aware of your product or service, or they have become aware that they have a need that must be fulfilled.
- Evaluation: Leads are aware that your product or service could fulfill their need, and they are trying to determine whether you are the best fit.
- Purchase: Leads are ready to make a purchase.
A communication from a prospect indicating they are ready to make a purchase, either verbal or non-verbal. An example would be them asking the sales rep, “When can it be delivered?”
A metric that measures how many customers you retain and at what value. To calculate churn rate, take the number of customers you lost during a certain time frame, and divide that by the total number of customers you had at the very beginning of that time frame. (Don’t include any new sales from that time frame.)
For example, if a company had 500 customers at the beginning of October and only 450 customers at the end of October (discounting any customers that were closed in October), their customer churn rate would be: (500-450)/500 = 50/500 = 10%.
Churn rate is a significant metric primarily for recurring revenue companies. Regardless of your monthly revenue, if your average customer does not stick around long enough for you to at least break even on your customer acquisition costs, you’re in trouble.
An umbrella term that includes both closed-won and closed-lost opportunities, although some people use it to mean only closed-won opportunities.
When a sales rep closes a deal in which the buyer purchases the product or service.
When a sales rep closes a deal in which the buyer does not purchase the product or service.
The percentage of prospects that a sales rep successfully close-wins. This ratio is usually used to assess individual sales reps on their short-term performance, but it can also be used to evaluate profits, forecast sales, and so on. Improving a closing ratio usually requires efforts to bring better-qualified leads into the funnel.
Making unsolicited calls in an attempt to sell products or services. It’s also a very inefficient way to find potential customers.
The payment a sales rep gets when they successfully sell something; usually a percentage of sales revenue. If you want more info on sales compensation, check out this article.
A person who uses a product or service. They may not be the actual buyer of that product; for example, if I buy my brother a pair of basketball shoes, then my brother is the consumer of those shoes, not me.
The “events” on a company’s website that help companies capture leads. In its most basic form, it’ll consist of a call-to-action (typically a button that describes an offer) that leads to a landing page with a lead capture form, which redirects to a thank-you page where a content offer resides. In exchange for his or her contact information, a website visitor obtains a content offer to better help them through the buying process.
The percentage of people who completed a desired action on a single web page, such as filling out a form. Pages with high conversion rates are performing well, while pages with low conversion rates are performing poorly.
When a sales rep has more than one type of product to offer consumers that could be beneficial, and s/he successfully sells a consumer more than one item either at the time of purchase or later on. An example is when Apple sells you an iPhone and then successfully sells you an Apple iPhone case or a pair of Apple headphones. In this case, a sales rep identifies a need the customer has, and fulfills that need by recommending an additional product. (Cross-selling differs from up-selling; see up-selling.)
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
This is your total Sales and Marketing cost. To calculate, follow these steps for a given time period (month, quarter, or year):
- Add up program or advertising spend + salaries + commissions + bonuses + overhead.
- Divide by the number of new customers in that time period.
For example, if you spend $500,000 on Sales and Marketing in a given month and added 50 customers that same month, then your CAC was $10,000 that month. (Learn more here.)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Software that let companies keep track of everything they do with their existing and potential customers. At the simplest level, CRM software lets you keep track of all the contact information for these customers. But CRM systems can do lots of other things, too, like track email, phone calls, faxes, and deals; send personalized emails; schedule appointments; and log every instance of customer service and support. Some systems also incorporate feeds from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. The goal is to create a system in which sales reps have a lot of information at their fingertips and can quickly pull up everything about a prospect or existing customer.
The process of obtaining, recording, and maintaining information you can retrieve and use later. In Sales, this usually mean inputting potential buyers’ information into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to track activity, correspondence, and progress on open opportunities.
The person who, or role that, makes the final decision of a sale. They are often “guarded” by a gatekeeper.
The first call a sales rep makes to a prospect, with the goal of asking them questions and qualifying them for the next step.
A function of a product that can solve for a potential buyer’s need or pain point; usually a distinguishing characteristic that helps boost appeal.
The flywheel is a new way of conceptualizing the sales process, replacing the funnel where customers are thought of as an output. The flywheel demonstrates that awareness, engagement, and delight can happen at any point during the customer journey and that the best way to achieve growth is to apply force and remove friction in each stage.
Estimating future sales performance for a forecast period based on historical data. Forecasted performance can vary widely from actual sales results, but helps sales reps plan their upcoming days, weeks, and months, and helps high-level employees set standards for expenses, profit, and growth. Learn more about sales forecasting here.
A person who, or role that, enables or prevents information from getting to another person(s) in a company. For example, a receptionist or personal assistant.
Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline, Budget, Authority, Negative Consequences, Positive Implications. The lead qualification criteria sales reps should use to qualify prospects — it’s a better tool than BANT to help sales reps and sales leaders to determine whether their prospects have the goals, plans, challenges, and right timeline to buy what they sell.
- G = Goals: Determines the quantifiable goals your prospect wants or needs to hit. An opportunity for sales reps to establish themselves as an advisor by beginning to help prospects reset or quantify their goals.
- P = Plans: Determines the prospect’s current plans that they’ll implement in order to achieve those goals.
- C = Challenges: Determines whether the sales rep can help a prospect overcome their and their company’s challenges; ones they’re dealing with and ones they (or the sales rep) anticipate.
- T = Timeline: Determines the time frame for implementation of their goals and plans, and when they need to eliminate their challenges.
- B = Budget: Determines how much money a prospect has to spend.
- A = Authority: Determines who in the organization will help champion and/or decide to make a purchase.
- C = Negative Consequences: Discusses the negative things that’ll happen if a prospect doesn’t meet their goal.
- I = Positive Implications: Discusses the positive outcomes that’ll happen if a prospect meets their goal.
A person or company who’s shown interest in a product or service in some way, shape, or form. Perhaps they filled out a form, subscribed to a blog, or shared their contact information in exchange for a coupon.
Generating leads is a critical part of a prospect’s journey to becoming a customer, and it falls in between the second and third stages of the larger inbound marketing methodology, which you can see below.
Landing pages, forms, offers, and calls-to-action are just a few tools to help companies generate leads. Learn more about lead generation here.
The process of determining whether a potential buyer has certain characteristics that qualify him or her as a lead. These characteristics could be budget, authority, timeline, and so on. Popular lead qualification criteria acronyms are GPCTBA/C&I and BANT.
Lifetime Value (LTV)
A prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. To calculate LTV, follow these steps for a given time period:
- Take the revenue the customer paid you in that time period.
- Subtract from that number the gross margin.
- Divide by the estimated churn rate (aka cancellation rate) for that customer.
For example, if a customer pays you $100,000 per year where your gross margin on the revenue is 70%, and that customer type is predicted to cancel at 16% per year, then the customer’s LTV is $437,500. (Learn more here.)
Used in retail to refer to a product sold at a low price (either at break-even or at a loss) for the purpose of attracting customers into the store. The goal is for customers who go into the store to buy other items that are priced to make a profit.
The ratio of lifetime value to customer acquisition cost. Once you have the LTV and the CAC, compute the ratio of the two. If it costs you $100,000 to acquire a customer with an LTV of $437,500, then your LTV:CAC is 4.4 to 1.
The difference between a product or service’s selling price and the cost of production.
The amount added to the cost price of goods to cover overhead and profit.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
The stage that a lead enters after identifying a problem. Now they’re looking to conduct further research to find a solution to the problem. Typical middle of the funnel offers include case studies, product brochures, or anything that brings your business into the equation as a solution to the problem the lead is looking to solve.
Monthly Recurring Revenue. For recurring revenue companies, MRR provides a month-to-month look at how recurring revenue or subscription business is growing. Includes MRR gained by new accounts (net new), MRR gained from up-sells (net positive), MRR lost from down-sells (net negative), and MRR lost from cancellations (net loss). MRR may not be ideal for longer term subscription models since there will be natural fluctuation over shorter time periods, but it can be a better metric for recurring revenue companies that aren’t ideal for long-term subscriptions. It’s also great for short-term planning. See also: ARR.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
A customer satisfaction metric that measures, on a scale of 0-10, the degree to which people would recommend your company to others. The NPS is derived from a simple survey designed to help you determine how loyal your customers are to your business. To calculate NPS, subtract the percentage of customers who would not recommend you (detractors, or 0-6) from the percent of customers who would (promoters, or 9-10).
Regularly determining your company’s NPS allows you to identify ways to improve your products and services so you can increase the loyalty of your customers. Learn more about how to use NPS surveys for marketing here.
A prospect’s challenge to or rejection of a product or service’s benefits, and a natural part of the sales process. Common objections often have to do with budget, authority, need, and timing (see BANT). How sales reps handle objections plays a big role in determining whether a prospect will buy. Learn how to tackle common B2B sales objections here.
Though every company has different processes for defining what criteria make someone an opportunity, it’s basically when a qualified lead is being worked by Sales. See Qualified Lead for more information.
A prospect’s pain point, or need, is the most important thing for a sales rep to identify in the selling process. Without knowing a prospect’s pain points, they can’t possibly offer benefits to help resolve those pain points.
Also “Performance Improvement Plan” or “PIP.” A sales rep is put on a performance plan if s/he doesn’t make a certain percentage of quota over a certain period of time. Performance plans vary from company to company, but it usually starts with a written warning and further disciplinary action, including termination if necessary. The purpose of performance plans is to set clear and specific performance goals, provide a means for feedback, and develop sales skills.
The step-by-step process sales reps go through to convert a prospect into a customer. The sales pipeline is often divided into stages for each step in the sales process, and the sales rep is responsible for moving opportunities through the stages. It can also refer to a visual representation of the sales process, where every open opportunity is arranged based on the sales stage they’re in.
Statements and questions that sales reps use when opening a sales call to engage the prospect in conversation around their pain points. Many sales reps are trained to start off every sales call with these statements. Here’s an example of positioning statements on a sales call from Advanced Marketing Concepts:
- Sales Rep: I help marketing leaders who are frustrated with the inability of the sales team to differentiate their products in a crowded market.
- Buyer: Yes, that’s always been a problem. (If you’ve done your job well and targeted the buyer effectively with that first positioning statement, then you’ll get an engaging signal like this one.)
- Sales Rep: I talk to a lot of marketing leaders, and lately I’m hearing the two biggest problems are weak sales pipeline and an inability to differentiate from competitors. Do these problems sound familiar?
A ratio of profitability that measures how much money a company actually keeps in earnings. It’s calculated either as a) net income divided by revenues, or b) net profits divided by sales.
The process of searching for and finding potential buyers. Sales reps (or “prospectors”) seek out qualified prospects and move them through the sales cycle.
A contact that opted in to receive communication from your company, became educated about your product or service, and is interested in learning more. Marketing and Sales often have two different versions of qualified leads (MQLs for Marketing, and SQLs for Sales), so be sure to have conversations with your sales team to set expectations for the types of leads you plan to hand over.
A sales goal; a set amount of selling a sales rep is expect to meet over a given time frame, usually a month and/or quarter. It’s very, very common for sales reps to have quotas, also the form they take can vary from company to company and from role to role.
“The ‘how’ of selling as a skill set,” according to John Kenney of Sales Benchmark Index. There are many sales methodologies out there, a few of which are particularly popular, and sales leaders often choose one and use it to teach and motivate his or her team. Popular sales methodologies include SPIN selling, Conceptual Selling, SNAP Selling, The Challenger Sale, Sandler Sales, and CustomerCentric Selling. Read more about these sales methodologies here.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
For salespeople, an SLA is an agreement between a company’s sales and marketing teams that defines the expectations Sales has for Marketing and vice versa. The Sales SLA defines the expectations Marketing has for Sales on how deeply and frequently Sales will pursue each qualified lead, while the Marketing SLA defines expectations Sales has for Marketing with regards to lead quantity and lead quality.
SLAs exist to align Sales and Marketing. For companies to achieve growth and become leaders in their industries, it is critical that these two groups be properly integrated. Learn how to create an SLA here.
Used to refer to the practice of aligning Sales and Marketing efforts. In a perfect world, marketing would pass off tons of fully qualified leads to the sales team, who would then subsequently work every one of those leads enough times to close them 100% of the time. But since this isn’t always how the cookie crumbles, it’s important for Marketing and Sales to align efforts to impact the bottom line the best they can through coordinated communication.
When sales reps use social media to interact directly with their prospects. They provide value by answering prospects’ questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.
A series of words or phrases sales reps use to respond to and overcome a customer objection.
Parts of the sales pipeline representing each step in the sales process. It’s the sales rep’s responsibility for moving opportunities from stage to stage. Different companies define their sales stages differently, but each one has behind it a set of requirements that need to be completed in order for an opportunity to move from one stage to the next. Names for sales stages are usually things like “Prospect,” “Qualified Lead,” “Demo,” “Proposal,” “Closed.”
Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
The very first stage of the buying process. Leads at this stage are identifying a problem they have and are looking for more information. At this point, marketers create helpful content that aids leads in identifying this problem and providing next steps toward a solution.
When a sales rep sells an existing customer a higher-end version of the product that customer originally bought. For example, if you bought a cell phone plan and a sales rep successfully persuaded you to upgrade to a plan with more minutes or data, then that’s an up-sell.
“Value prop” for short. A benefit of a product or company intended to make it more attractive to potential buyers and differentiates it from competitors.
A more detailed version of a sales pipeline, in which each opportunity is given a specific value based on which stage they’re in in the sales process. For example, potential buyers in the prospecting stage could be assigned a 10% chance of closing the deal, demo stage buyers 60%, closed-won 100%, and so on. A sales rep could say that, instead of having 10 prospects in her pipeline, she has 10 opportunities at 50% or greater likelihood of closing with a weighted pipeline value of $50,000.
As you get familiar with the common sales terms and how to apply them to your business, you’ll better be able to manage your organization’s sales strategy (or create one).
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
How to Craft the Story for Your Holiday Marketing Strategy
On August 25th, nearly a month before the official first day of the new season, Starbucks declared it fall.
It didn’t matter that it was still reaching record high temperatures; it didn’t matter that leaves wouldn’t start falling for weeks or even months; it didn’t matter that the corn mazes were still only knee high.
All that mattered was that Starbucks fans wanted it to be fall. They desperately wanted an escape from the hellish summer than most of us have been experiencing.
So Starbucks crafted the perfect autumnal alternate universe, where you could wear a scarf and look at the leaves and drink a PSL without sweating through your facemask.
And if you think that campaign was met with a raised eyebrow and a glance at the calendar, then you clearly underestimate the power of telling your customers the story they want to hear.
See, good marketing sells the transformation, rather than the product itself. You frame it as the solution to a problem. Before, things were bad. But now that you have this or have done that, your after state is wayyy better.
But if you want really good marketing—like the marketing that has pumpkin cream cold brew coffees sold out every time I try to buy one—you’ll need to craft that transformation into a story.
Humans connect to emotion and narrative, so if you set up your marketing to tell a story, especially a story that your customers want to see themselves in, you’ll find yourself raking in the pumpkin spice… er… I mean the sales.
This is particularly important around the holiday season, when anyone and everyone is trying to sneak into the wallets of your customers. Your best chance at being one of the lucky few is to strengthen the bond with your customers. Build a connection through storytelling.
If you are still unsure about how to create a story around your product, we’re here to help. We’ve broken this process down into 3 steps and have some examples you can pull inspiration from throughout.
(And if the smell of pumpkin spice in the air is starting to give you the holiday promotion stress sweats, just download our FREE 2020 Holiday Marketing Preparedness Plan.
We’ve mapped out when you should start preparing for the major holidays through the end of 2020, exactly what you will need, when you should have everything ready to go, and even when you should start your promotions.)
Figure Out What Your Customers Want
The first step to creating a great story around your product or service is to know what your customers want. What story do they want to see themselves in?
The best way to figure this out is by turning to your trusty Customer Avatar Worksheet, you know, that thing that defines exactly who your ideal customer is?
If you’ve filled out your CAW, you’ll know exactly what your customers want and are interested in, what they are afraid of and frustrated with, and what kinds of media they consume.
And if you’ve filled out the Before and After grid, shown above alongside the CAW, you know how your customers are feeling before becoming a customer and how they should feel after buying your product or service.
With all of these resources, and a good working knowledge of your ideal customer, you should be able to easily craft a story that shows the transformation.
If we look to Starbucks as an example, they knew just how much their customers wanted it to be Fall. They understood the frustration with the hot weather or the fear of the current social chaos.
So they created a story about falling into the new season (the pun was just a happy coincidence), and targeted their marketing efforts into creating a relaxing, enjoyable fall experience.
And their biggest marketing push (aside from the drinks themselves) was for the fall hotline they created.
Customers could call in and hear the sounds of fall, long before the actual season hit them. Not only did this hit on the exact pain point, but it crafted a narrative around the transformation.
They knew exactly what their customers wanted, and delivered it in their marketing efforts.
Decide How Your Product or Service Fits In
Once you know what your customer wants, your next step is to decide how your product will fit in.
With some holidays, you might be providing a great gift that will charm and impress their loved ones.
Or, if you are like David’s Tea (in a similar way to Starbucks), you might be providing a comforting environment and a joyful experience.
However your product fits in, make sure to keep that action as a central point in your marketing story, and keep it as consistent as possible across all platforms and content.
You can see how David’s Tea used the same language, “this heartwarming blend will give you all the cozy feels” on both their product page and their Facebook ad.
Keeping your story the same on different platforms not only means you are sure to reach all your customers, but it helps solidify the emotional response your customer will have.
For David’s Tea, any potential customers who saw the ad and thought, “ohh I need some coziness in my life,” they don’t get jarred by a different message when they hit the landing page.
Craft a Story Where Your Customer is the Main Character
The central idea of creating a marketing “story” is that your customer is the star. You want the messaging to center around the customer and how they will feel and change rather than your product.
You can see here with this BarkBox copy, they have gone even further with their story than the other examples, going so far as to cast their customers’ dog (arguably the real customer, though maybe not the one with final buying power), into a story about a lovely fall drive.
Anyone with a dog (and a heart) will immediately be drawn into the story and see themselves and their furry best friend in this car ride.
And then when they read through the rest of the product description, they are still within that relaxed, happy emotional state, and are drawn closer to the products by extension.
Plus, who wouldn’t be charmed by a sweater wearing mouse?
No matter what your story is, make sure you are making your customer the main character. Cast them as the star, and they will make a better connection to your brand and the product you are targeting them with.
By crafting an emotionally driven story that hits on the desires of your audience, you’ll be sure to cut through the noise of the season and solidify your customers’ love for you and your brand.
And if you want to feel better prepared to put your holiday marketing story into action, download our 2020 Holiday Marketing Preparedness Plan.
After all, what is a better gift this holiday season than having a handle on your marketing campaign before the season even starts? Well, maybe a PSL… but that could just be me.
The post How to Craft the Story for Your Holiday Marketing Strategy appeared first on DigitalMarketer.
Marketing and Selling Procurement Software Products and Services
Procurement software is the automation of the procurement process across a web-based system which allows buyers and sellers to locate each other quickly and submit relevant bids for products and services.
By implementing reliable procurement software or services, it enables a company to stabilize the process of obtaining necessary materials and services at quite affordable rates. Of course, besides the obvious financial advantages, procurement software/service also helps a company to have sustainable economic growth.
Today, we’re going to talk about the ways you can effectively sell your procurement software/services.
To start it off, let’s look at the key benefits of having good procurement.
Improved Spend Visibility
All transaction details are stored and monitored regularly. It gives complete details about the passage of the money regarding the cost, suppliers, and quality and time of delivery of the products, etc.
A procurement system analyzes the areas where high and low costs are required in acquiring things, which services are purchased regularly, places where the company can save costs, and suppliers who provide the best quality products at lower costs.
Minimizes time and errors
Procurement software works in an automated or semi-automated way thus eliminating the errors and time consumption by manual labor.
Improved Supplier relationships
The suppliers are highly competitive. That puts the company at the liberty of choosing the best suppliers and negotiating the terms based on the company’s demands, concerns, and constraints.
The main reason why we kicked off with the key benefits of procurement software/service is that you need to be able to make your customers understand why it’s important and how it can specifically help their business when you do your sales pitch.
Before you market your software/service, make sure that you know exactly who your key target is going to be. In this case, your key target would be the CFO as his or her imperatives such as margin, risk/controllership, cash flow are directly linked to the CPO and procurement organization of their company.
The typical resistance you will face especially when selling your procurement services is the concern of taking over people’s jobs. So to shed light on this concern, you have to let your customers know that procurement isn’t about eliminating jobs, rather it’s about creating bandwidth for the procurement organization so they can focus on more specific activities all while you, their partner, can focus on driving value on the transactional or fragmented activities.
Another key element of selling this service is to develop a compelling commercial model that shares the risk of the endeavor.
When you finally arrange a meeting with the decision-makers, plan your key points the same way you plan your discussions with marketing directors. Think through the procurement executive’s role and mindset, and make sure that your compensation discussions recognize procurement’s needs and hot buttons.
It may be tricky and it definitely has its hurdles when selling your procurement software/services, but just remember to not over complicate things. Be straightforward but coherent and most importantly, offer solutions rather than just trying to sell your product/service.
This article originally posted at The Savy Marketer.
Dancing with belief
All of us believe things that might be inconsistent, not based on how the real world actually works or not shared by others. That’s what makes us human.
There are some questions we can ask ourselves about our beliefs that might help us create the change we seek:
Is it working?
If your belief is working for you, if it’s helping you navigate a crazy world and find solace, and if it’s not hurting anyone else, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. Often, beliefs are about finding human connection and a way to tell ourselves about our place in the world, not as an accurate predictive insight as to what’s actually happening. And beliefs are almost always about community, about being part of something.
Is it helpful?
Air traffic controllers and meteorologists rarely believe that the earth is flat. It’s a belief that would get in the way of being competent at their work. If your beliefs are getting in the way of your work, of your health or the health of those around you, or of your ability to be a contributing citizen, it might be worth examining why you have them and how they got there. Did you decide to have these beliefs or did someone with an agenda that doesn’t match yours promote them?
Is it true?
True in the sense that it’s falsifiable, verifiable, testable and predictive. Falsifiable means that the belief is specific enough that something contrary to the belief could be discovered (“there are no orange swans” is a falsifiable belief, because all we need to do is find one orange swan). It’s not necessary for a belief to be scientifically true, in fact, it undermines the very nature of belief to require evidence. Once there’s evidence, then whatever is true is true, whether or not you believe it.
Do you need it to be true?
Which means that much of what we do to somehow prove our beliefs are true is wasted time and effort. If a belief is helping you make your way through the world, if it acts as a placebo and a balm and a rubric, then that’s sufficient. The problems occur when some people use our beliefs to manipulate us, when they prevent us from accomplishing our goals or contributing to the well being of those around us.
What would change your mind?
If we decide that our belief is actually true, we owe it to ourselves to be clear about what would have to happen for us to realize that it’s not. One of the frustrating things about conspiracies and modern memes is that as soon as they’re examined or contradicted, they’re simply replaced with a new variation. It’s one thing to change beliefs because the scientific method shows us a more clear view of what’s happening, it’s totally different to retreat to ever more unrelated stories in the face of reality. Sometimes, it’s easier for people to amend their belief with one more layer of insulation than it is to acknowledge how the world is likely to work.
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