May 142012

Sales Coaching: Avoiding the Price-Driven Sale

Sales Coaching: 9 May 12  by  Nick Toman

We’ve all seen this situation play out: one of your average salespeople calls you with great news. “It turns out the Smith account finally called me in! They’re ready to move forward and want us to present next Wednesday!”

We all know what this is. It’s the dreaded bake-off, where three other vendors, including the favorite, will attend, pitch, and essentially help the customer to squeeze more discount from that favorite. (Whether or not the best reps show up is another question I’ll handle in a future blog – turns out they do go, but play by a wildly different set of rules).

But here’s the irony of the situation – while you coach this salesperson to get in earlier while the customer’s needs are being defined and they’re motivated enough to do something, you’re likely setting this rep up for failure. The SEC’s brand new research examines precisely what the best reps are doing to “get in early.”

As it turns out, the idea of “getting in early” has taken a dramatic turn. Today’s customer is so much more informed they’re forcing suppliers to redefine the very meaning of “early.” Not surprisingly, the star reps have evolved most quickly against this informed customer. See the video below to learn what the best reps are doing (make sure you select HD resolution in the viewer if you’re having trouble seeing it).

Teach where customers learn raises a series of implications. Natural questions such as where do customers learn, what do we teach, how do we gain access to customers in those place all come to mind. Over the coming months we look forward to sharing some of the insights from this research .


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Tom McDonald,; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

sales coaching, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC