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Salespeople looking to succeed must go against the current fashions in B2B sales. For reasons that are difficult to understand, there is an overemphasis on creating opportunities, even false ones that the salesperson won’t ever win.

Creating more opportunities that cannot be converted does nothing to improve a salesperson’s results. These false opportunities cannot help a sales manager reach their goals, either. One reason win rates are so low is that sales teams fail to win many of the so-called “opportunities” they enter into their CRMs.

Salespeople should worry more about winning deals than creating opportunities they are unlikely to win. Sales leaders should worry more about their team’s ability to win deals than increase coverage. Instead of playing the more game, play the better game.

To win more deals, you must increase your effectiveness., which allows you to increase your net new revenue. Sales effectiveness can be increased by creating value for your buyers and decision makers, helping you win more deals.

The Current State of B2B Sales

Technology was supposed to ensure that salespeople would be efficient, but prioritizing efficiency over effectiveness has caused problems. Efficiency is about more, not better. It leads sales managers to believe success is more cold outreach, more pipeline coverage, and more activity, without considering effectiveness.

As all the important sales metrics and KPIs collapse, with no end in sight, win rates and quota attainment are down. It’s no wonder B2B salespeople are stressed out and anxious. They’re driving huge amounts of activity, but they aren’t winning more deals. To improve your KPIs, you’ll need to adopt a modern sales methodology—one that will allow you to create value for your clients in the sales conversation.

Warming Up Cold Outreach

Tech-driven cold outreach leads to strategies that are deranged. Automated prospecting sequences, a brute-force approach, and aggressive tactics make it more difficult to acquire a first meeting.

You can improve your ability to get more meetings by trading value for your client’s time, instead of using a self-oriented approach that results in rejection. When you start the conversation by creating value, you set the tone for the rest of the sales process, encouraging contacts to want to work with you.

How Not to Waste Your First Meeting

Your first meeting is an audition. It’s a tryout that will either have you joining your client’s team or failing the audition, ending your pursuit. If you believe this is true, and you should, you must create value in the first meeting.

Many salespeople waste their first meeting by trying to position their company and their solution instead of trying to create value for the client. In our sales methodology, we create value by providing an executive briefing, proving that the salesperson is an expert and an authority, not just someone who needs something from the client.

The only way to convert a first meeting into a second meeting is to create value. Without giving the client something they value, they have no reason to give you a second meeting, and no reason to introduce you to senior leaders. If you fail to create value, you are wasting your contact’s time.

What Your Buyer Needs From You

Your buyer doesn’t need you to talk about your company, your clients, or your solutions. They need you to help them understand the nature of their poor results and explain what they need to have the confidence and certainty to move forward toward their strategic outcomes.

By being consultative, you can create value for your client around the decisions they need to make. While your competitors talk about their company and their solutions, you outflank them by being more helpful with decision making.

Who You Must Be to Create Value

The most important strategy for a salesperson today is information disparity. You need to know what your client doesn’t know. Your ability to fill in the gaps for your clients is value creation.

Those who know only how to talk about their company and their solution are behind in the evolution of B2B buying and B2B sales. The conversation has been moving away from legacy approaches for some time now. You need to know more than your clients about the decisions they are facing. Otherwise, you have nothing to offer. We call this being One-Up, meaning your knowledge and experience create value for your clients and their stakeholders. You can learn about this approach in Elite Sales Strategies: A Guide to Being One-Up, Creating Value, and Becoming Truly Consultative.

In Every Interaction, Value Creation

Improving your sales effectiveness requires you to create value for your client. Doing so will improve your win rates, as you’re providing what the client needs. In every communication with a client or a prospect, you must create value.

This is B2B sales today. You’re either a value creator or a time waster. There are two reasons win rates are so low. First, is that a great number of false opportunities fill each salesperson’s pipeline. Second, salespeople use a sales approach that creates no value for buyers, who are left feeling that the conversation wasted their time.

The Value of Creating Value

Creating value in the sales conversation increases your sales effectiveness. It’s rare for salespeople to have access to sales strategies and tactics that create value for their clients. By creating value beyond what your competitors offer, you create a preference to buy from you. When your clients recognize the value you create, they will lose interest in salespeople who take up their time without offering anything in return.

Leaving this article, assess your current sales approach to determine how you’re creating value in every meeting or conversation with your clients. Where you find a gap in your approach, determine how you can create what your client will consider valuable. Then start to change your sales behaviors to improve your ability to win deals. If you need help, go here.


Sales 2023
Post by Anthony Iannarino on October 27, 2023

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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