Two Tall Guys Talking Sales – Mastering the Art of Sales: Strategies to Outshine Your Competitors in 2024 – E68

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales – Mastering the Art of Sales: Strategies to Outshine Your Competitors in 2024 – E68

Welcome to another insightful episode of “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” where hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey delve into the art of salesmanship. In this episode, Sean, author of “Eliminate Your Competition,” shares his expertise on outmaneuvering the competition and achieving sales success in 2024. Join us for a deep dive into the strategies that can transform your sales approach and set you up for a prosperous year.

Key Topics Discussed

  1. Understanding Competition: Sean emphasizes the importance of competition in sales, explaining how it can actually benefit the sales process by reducing the likelihood of a ‘no decision’ outcome.
  2. Five Sales Strategies: Sean outlines the five fundamental sales strategies – Frontal, Flanking, Fragment, Defend, and Develop – and explains how each can be effectively utilized in different sales scenarios.
  3. Strategy in Detail:
    1. Frontal Strategy: Focused on leveraging clear advantages over competitors, requiring excellence in execution and resource intensity.
    2. Flanking Strategy: Involves shifting the customer’s focus to new issues that favor your solution, requiring a deep understanding of the customer’s needs.
    3. Fragment Strategy: Useful for politically weaker positions or less feature-rich products, focusing on a subset of issues.
    4. Defend Strategy: Essential for existing customers, focusing on expanding influence and defending against competitors.
    5. Develop Strategy: Ideal for long-term engagement where immediate purchase isn’t imminent, focusing on building credibility and relationships.
  4. Salesperson Types and Strategies: Sean discusses how different types of salespeople, like Trappers, Hunters, Farmers, and Gatherers, may prefer different strategies based on their strengths and sales approach.

Key Quotes

  • Sean: “Competition is a good thing in sales. It often means you’re more likely to avoid losing a deal to No Decision.”

Additional Resources

  • Book: “Eliminate Your Competition: A Trapper’s Guide to Increasing Your Commission” by Sean O’Shaughnessey, available wherever books are sold – https://amzn.to/2K37ugx.

Summary

In this episode of “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” Sean O’Shaughnessey shares invaluable insights from his book “Eliminate Your Competition,” guiding listeners through various sales strategies to outsmart competitors in 2024. Whether you’re a seasoned sales professional or new to the field, this episode offers a wealth of knowledge on approaching sales challenges creatively and effectively. Tune in to learn how to adapt these strategies to your sales style and set yourself up for a successful year in sales.

Understanding Competitive Landscape: Recognize your client’s relationships with your competitors to better position your offerings – Driving New Sales: Transforming Small Businesses into Sales Powerhouses – Episode 4

Understanding Competitive Landscape: Recognize your client’s relationships with your competitors to better position your offerings – Driving New Sales: Transforming Small Businesses into Sales Powerhouses – Episode 4

Welcome to a new episode of “Driving New Sales: Transforming Small Businesses into Sales Powerhouses.” In this podcast, hosted by sales expert Sean O’Shaughnessey, we delve into the intricacies of competitive analysis in sales, a critical skill for sales professionals, managers, and business owners in mid-sized companies. This episode is brought to you by the podcast “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” a podcast by Sean O’Shaughnessey and Kevin Lawson focusing on boosting sales management and methodologies.

Key Topics Discussed

  1. Analyzing Client’s Vendor Relationships: Understand the importance of examining your clients’ past and current vendor choices to glean their preferences and decision-making processes.
  2. Understanding Client Preferences for Competitors: Dive into why clients prefer specific competitors, considering factors like cost, quality, service, and innovation.
  3. Differentiating from Competitors: Learn to identify gaps in your competitors’ offerings to position your solutions effectively.
  4. Strategic Positioning in Sales and Marketing: Master the craft of aligning your product’s strengths with your client’s needs through strategic messaging.
  5. SWOT Analysis for Clients: Utilize SWOT analysis to understand and effectively help your clients reach their goals more efficiently than your competition.
  6. Integrating Competitive Insights: Explore ways to integrate competitive insights into client conversations, positioning yourself as a knowledgeable partner.

Key Quotes

  • “It’s not just about understanding your competitors; it’s about strategically leveraging this knowledge to enhance your sales approach.”
  • “If you are precisely the same as your competitor, why should the prospect change vendors or select between you and your competitor?”
  • “A great sales organization will customize the standard marketing message to the needs of each potential customer or prospect.”

Additional Resources

Action Items You Can Do Today

  1. Conduct a Vendor History Analysis: Investigate your client’s past vendor choices to understand their evolving needs and preferences.
  2. Undertake Competitor Analysis: Perform a detailed analysis of why clients prefer certain competitors, utilizing customer feedback and industry reports.
  3. Perform Gap Analysis: Identify gaps in competitors’ offerings and compare them to your own, extending this comparison to various aspects like customer service and pricing strategies.
  4. Refine Strategic Positioning: Regularly update your strategic positioning based on market research and client feedback.
  5. Develop Client-Specific SWOT Analyses: Craft a tailored SWOT analysis for each key client, focusing on how your solutions address their unique challenges.
  6. Strategically Use Competitive Insights: Integrate your competitive insights into sales conversations in a consultative manner, focusing on the unique value of your offerings.

Conclusion

Remember that understanding and leveraging your competition knowledge is key to meeting and exceeding your client’s needs. Implement these strategies to transform your sales approach, leading to greater success and client satisfaction. Tune in next time for more invaluable B2B sales insights.

Sponsor

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales,” where Sean O’Shaughnessey and Kevin Lawson discuss a single sales topic.

Kevin and Sean together have about 60 years of experience in professional selling. This podcast helps people in sales, sales leadership, and business leadership or company owners realize the maximum value of their company by improving their revenue generation capability. This podcast is designed to help those people enhance their companies’ sales management practices, methodologies, processes, teams, and messaging.

Sean O’Shaughnessey and Kevin Lawson are Fractional Vice Presidents of Sales. They operate their own companies separately but have partnered for this podcast to advise salespeople and SMB companies on successful strategies and methodologies.

Kevin is the CEO of Lighthouse Sales Advisors. Lighthouse Sales Advisors is a sales leadership solution provider for small businesses. Lighthouse helps business owners navigate the potential pitfalls around sales growth, sales turnaround, or scaling up by leveraging sales acumen and decades of experience to build effective sales teams. https://www.lighthousesalesadvisors.com/

Sean is the CEO of New Sales Expert. He helps company owners realize the maximum value of their company by improving their revenue generation capability. He helps owners enhance their sales management, methodologies, processes, teams, and messaging.

Contact Sean

You can learn more about Sean O’Shaughnessey at www.NewSales.Expert. You can drop him an email at Sean@NewSales.Expert. You can connect with Sean on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/soshaughnessey/


Embark on transforming your sales approach with Sean O’Shaughnessey’s expertise. This episode is a treasure trove of strategies and actionable steps to elevate your understanding of competitive analysis and its application in sales. Tune in to shift your perspective from just another salesperson to a strategic, value-driven partner in your client’s success.

Four of Spades: Understanding your client’s business: Analyzing Customer Goals: Understanding Competitive Landscape: Recognize your client’s relationships with your competitors to better position your offerings.

Four of Spades: Understanding your client’s business: Analyzing Customer Goals: Understanding Competitive Landscape: Recognize your client’s relationships with your competitors to better position your offerings.

Crafting the Perfect Sales Strategy: Understanding the Competitive Landscape

In the world of sales, understanding the competitive landscape is as vital as the seasoned chess player’s ability to predict their opponent’s moves. Think of the business landscape as a grand chessboard. Each company, akin to a player, tactically moves, adjusts to threats, and seeks positions of influence. These moves signify their strategy, and a crucial part of this strategy revolves around their competitive dynamics. For sales leaders and professionals, this knowledge doesn’t just serve to inform—it reshapes the narrative and the very essence of their pitch.

The Significance of the Competitive Environment

Let’s delve into a hypothetical situation to provide depth to our premise. Suppose you’re approaching Company A—a company recently disillusioned by a competitor’s solution. If your pitch mirrors the competitor’s offering, you’re at a disadvantage. The inherent bias against similar solutions is palpable. However, being aware of this dynamic and highlighting how your superior solution pivots your pitch from ordinary to compelling. It’s not just a strategy; it’s foundational to successful selling.

The Ever-changing Nature of Competition

But here’s where the complexity sets in. Competitive relationships are like rivers; they are seldom static. They change, influenced by external market shifts, internal strategic decisions, and evolving company needs. The true challenge is the fluidity of these relationships. Rarely does a company broadcast its grievances or alliances with competitors. Thus, as sales professionals, it’s imperative to recognize and navigate these nuances.

Navigating the Maze of Competition

To truly understand and utilize this knowledge, a multifaceted approach is paramount. Start with a bird’s-eye view. Familiarize yourself with the significant industry players and their affiliations. Who are the allies, competitors, or potential merger interests?

Delving deeper, the gold often lies in direct client interactions. Comments referencing past associations, like “We used to work with…” can provide invaluable insights into their competitive history. Furthermore, creating channels for feedback post-pitch can reveal comparisons they make with competitors—insights that can refine future strategies.

Moreover, staying updated is non-negotiable. Attend industry conferences, join forums, and subscribe to trade journals. In an era of technological advancement, tools like CRM systems and competitive analysis platforms provide real-time insights into a company’s competitive standing and relationships.

My book, Eliminate Your Competition, can be a great window into dealing with competitors. Understanding your major competition, your minor competitors, and your niche competitors can be helpful in how you develop your strategy to entice your prospect to become a customer. There is a benefit in having competition also since without competition, you are unsure if the prospect is truly serious about making a change, in other words, spending their money on your product.

You may purchase my book Eliminate Your Competition from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

Crafting the Masterstroke: Your Sales Pitch

Armed with such rich insights, the pitch transforms. It’s no longer about selling a product or a service. It’s about situating your solution within a broader competitive context, differentiating it, and accentuating its unique value. For example, if a prospective client had scalability concerns with a competitor’s product, spotlighting scalability as a cornerstone of your offering isn’t just strategic—it’s transformative.

The Competitive Chessboard

Navigating the intricate business world, with its fluid relationships and shifting loyalties, is reminiscent of a grand chess game. The board, filled with complex moves and strategies, demands foresight and precision. CEOs, sales managers, and professionals must understand that in the realm of sales, this is more than just about the product.

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – Mastering the Competitive Landscape: Insights and Strategies for Sales Success – Episode 47

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – Mastering the Competitive Landscape: Insights and Strategies for Sales Success – Episode 47

Dive deep into the world of competitive analysis with Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey in this engaging episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales. In the fast-paced world of sales, it’s not just about knowing your product, but about understanding your competition, your customers, and the nuances that drive decisions. Let Kevin and Sean guide you through actionable insights to elevate your sales game.


Key Topics Discussed:

  1. The Power of Competitive Analysis: Unlock the benefits of understanding your competition and how it empowers you as a sales leader.
  2. Understanding ‘No Decision’: Learn why some prospects choose to remain indecisive and how you can navigate this challenge effectively.
  3. The Role of SWOT in Sales: Deciphering how SWOT, PESTEL, and SOAR analyses can help shape your sales strategies.
  4. Unpacking Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Knowing your USP and leveraging it against your competitors is important.
  5. Importance of Feedback in Pricing: Sean emphasizes the need for real-time feedback, especially when your price points are met with resistance.
  6. The Salesperson as a Guide: The role of a salesperson is to guide clients, understand their needs, and sell existing products confidently.

Key Quotes:

  • Kevin: “No decision comes, in my opinion, when you haven’t done a good job qualifying the prospect.”
  • Sean: “Looking at companies that are massively successful… It’s just a good way for a company to get better. Looking at those people and learning from them is really, really important.”
  • Kevin: “If you’ve already thought through how they measure value, you know how to talk to them. You become a better salesperson because you put in the work.”
  • Sean: “Your job is to sell the product that exists today, not the product that you wish they would hurry up and build.”

Additional Resources:


Summary:
In the competitive realm of sales, it’s not just about standing out, but about understanding every piece of the puzzle. Whether it’s diving deep into SWOT analyses, ensuring that your pricing strategy aligns with market expectations, or guiding your client toward a mutually beneficial decision, every step matters. Join Kevin and Sean as they unpack these topics and more, providing you with actionable strategies to ensure your sales pitch stands out. If you’re serious about mastering the art of sales, this is an episode you won’t want to miss. Dive in now!

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – From SWOT to Success: Navigating the Competitive Sales Landscape – Episode 46

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – From SWOT to Success: Navigating the Competitive Sales Landscape – Episode 46

In this invigorating episode of Two Tall Guys Talking Sales, hosts Kevin Lawson and Sean O’Shaughnessey dive deep into the realm of competition in sales. From understanding the various forms competition can take to harnessing the power of artificial intelligence in competitive analysis, this episode is packed with insights and actionable advice for sales professionals at all levels.

Key Topics Discussed:

  1. The Essence of Competition in Sales: Why understanding and overcoming your competition is crucial.
  2. Recognizing Different Types of Competition: Beyond direct competitors, why the ‘no decision’ outcome is the hidden enemy.
  3. Leveraging SWOT Analysis: Sean and Kevin’s take on its relevance and how to use it effectively for competitive advantage.
  4. The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Sales: How tools like Chat GPT can help get a leg up on your competition.
  5. The Importance of Competitive Awareness: Why 57% of companies are at a disadvantage and how not to be one of them.

Key Quotes:

  • Kevin: “Every professional sports team watches game film… we’re sales professionals. We should be watching the game film of sorts.”
  • Sean: “Who is your prospect talking to? That is your competition.”
  • Kevin: “Doing nothing is unacceptable. It’s like prospecting. If you don’t prospect, that is an unacceptable behavior.”
  • Sean: “If you’re in a small company right now, you need to figure out, you need to be one of the 43%, not one of the 57%.”

Additional Resources:

Don’t be a part of the 57% that remains oblivious to their competition. Whether you’re in the early stages of your sales journey or a seasoned professional, Sean and Kevin’s insights from this episode offer invaluable strategies and tools to elevate your game. Tune in to “Two Tall Guys Talking Sales” to get the upper hand, understand your market better, and, ultimately, eliminate your competition.

August Newsletter

August Newsletter

I hope you enjoy my August Newsletter

I hope you enjoy my August Newsletter

Published: Tue, 08/15/23


Sean O’Shaughnessey
CEO and President
New Sales Expert LLC
[email protected]
513.348.8700

6561 Bluegrass Way
Mason OH 45040
US


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Champions & Coaches: Understanding Key Players in Your B2B Sales Strategy

Champions & Coaches: Understanding Key Players in Your B2B Sales Strategy

In the intricate and often unpredictable world of B2B sales, two terms frequently arise: “Champions” and “Coaches.” While somewhat similar, these labels correspond to entirely distinct roles in the sales process. Each plays a vital part, yet misinterpreting or misusing these roles can lead to the loss of your sales opportunity. Many experts believe that believing you have a Champion when you only have a Coach is the biggest problem in long-running sales campaigns.

This article aims to delve deeper into the specific role of the Champion, introduce an innovative strategy known as “Champion Chess,” and illustrate how these elements can transform your B2B sales approach for the better.

Coaches and Champions are both part of the Opportunity Qualification system known as MEDDPICCC. MEDDPICCC stands for

  • M – Metrics
  • E – Economic Buyer
  • D – Decision Criteria
  • D – Decision Process
  • P – Paperwork Process
  • I – Identification of Goal
  • C – Coach
  • C – Champion
  • C – Competition

Deep Dive into the Role of Champions

In the sales universe, a Champion isn’t merely a supporter of your business or service; they actively advocate for your product or service within their organization. Champions usually occupy a strategic position within their company, influencing decision-making processes that can make or break your sales success.

The power of a Champion in the sales process is remarkable. They can effectively expedite sales cycles by persuading their organization of your product’s value, thus overcoming internal objections and resistance. Their advocacy of your solution goes beyond the superficial – they believe in your product’s merit and fight for its adoption and success within their organization. These qualities make Champions an invaluable asset and integral to any successful B2B sales strategy.

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Influence and Advocacy in Sales: The Impact of Coaches and Champions

Influence and Advocacy in Sales: The Impact of Coaches and Champions

Every successful sales process relies on a deep understanding of the many moving parts within the targeted organization. Key among these are the internal influencers who can significantly shape the trajectory of your sales campaign. In the realm of sales, two roles stand out: ‘Coaches’ and ‘Champions.’ Both can impact your process differently, so a firm grasp on who they are, what they do, and how to engage with them can be pivotal for your sales success.

MEDDPICCC is an evolution of the MEDDIC sales qualification methodology that’s proven to be particularly effective for B2B enterprise sales organizations. At its core, the MEDDPICCC methodology aids organizations in ensuring they are working on the right deals and concentrating their efforts effectively to secure wins​.

MEDDPICCC extends the MEDDIC acronym to include an additional ‘P’ for Paper Process, ‘C’ for Competition, and ‘C’ for Coach. The inclusion of the ‘Paper Process’ reflects the increased complexity in technology purchasing compared to the past. Factors such as the shift from perpetual licenses to subscription agreements and enhanced data security and privacy requirements have intensified the contractual obligations between vendor and customer. Consequently, the ‘Paper Process’ has emerged as a significant factor influencing sellers’ forecasts, warranting its inclusion in the methodology​.

The second addition, ‘Competition,’ acknowledges the intensified competitive landscape in the current era. Competition can come from various sources: new companies emerging rapidly with the help of modern technology, other vendors vying for the same budget and resources, potential in-house solutions, or the choice to maintain the status quo. Understanding and navigating these competitive elements are critical to a seller’s forecast accuracy and deal success, thus necessitating the inclusion of ‘Competition’ in MEDDPICC​C​.

The third addition to MEDDPICCC is ‘Coach,’ and it is added to understand that there are frequently those people in an organization that will give you knowledge and advice about the sales opportunity, but they do not rise to the level of a Champion. One of the biggest mistakes a salesperson can make is confusing a Coach with a Champion. They may be your advocate and are pushing your product or service to other influencers in the account, but don’t let that confuse you. Without true power and the ability to sway the final decision with the Economic Buyer, you merely have an influencer. Let’s make no mistake; a Coach is also very important in a deal. They are a “guide” that you typically have more access to and can generate imperative touchpoints that help keep the deal moving forward.

In essence, MEDDPICCC is a comprehensive, strategic framework that equips sales teams with the necessary tools and insights to identify and pursue the most promising opportunities effectively, navigate the intricate contractual landscape, and outperform the competition. By adopting and mastering the MEDDPICCC methodology, less experienced salespeople can enhance their sales performance and contribute significantly to their organization’s success.

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Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – Adapting Sales Strategies in a Changing World – Episode 32

Two Tall Guys Talking Sales Podcast – Adapting Sales Strategies in a Changing World – Episode 32

In this episode of the podcast, Kevin and Sean discuss the necessity for sales leaders to adapt their advice and strategies in today’s ever-changing environment. With the numerous changes and challenges that businesses face daily, sales leaders must constantly evolve and stay ahead of the curve to help their teams succeed.

The discussion touches on how being a trusted advisor to clients is crucial for success regardless of market shifts and economic turmoil. The ability to understand and professionally empathize with clients and their challenges allows salespeople to guide clients and prospects toward solutions effectively. Emphasizing the significance of leading indicators in sales activities and reframing value propositions according to clients’ perspectives is vital.

To achieve enduring success, sales leaders must instill the importance of understanding a prospect’s business, its competitors, and its market value to the sales team. This will ultimately make them trusted advisors to their clients and help them navigate the complex and ever-changing business landscape.

Fractional Executives: The Cost-Effective Solution for Small Businesses in Need of Expertise

Fractional Executives: The Cost-Effective Solution for Small Businesses in Need of Expertise

Fractional executives are experienced professionals who work part-time or on a project basis, providing expertise and guidance to help businesses achieve their goals. Often, small businesses need more resources and expertise, making it difficult for them to achieve growth and success. While hiring a full-time executive may not be feasible due to the costs involved, fractional executives can provide a cost-effective solution to this problem. 

A fractional executive differs from a consultant, but the difference may confuse some. Typically, a consultant will provide advice and guidance, but they are separate from your company. A fractional executive works alongside your team, helps in company operations, and is responsible for the outcomes of those operations. They are an extension of your existing leadership team. In most instances, a fractional executive provides all of the responsibilities to your company as a full-time executive.

Cost-effective Expertise

One of the most significant benefits of using fractional executives is cost savings compared to a full-time employee with a similar amount of experience. Hiring a full-time executive can be expensive. Fractional executives work on a part-time or project basis, meaning companies can save money by only paying for the services they need. Additionally, businesses can avoid the costs of recruiting, hiring, and training a full-time executive.

As explained in the FRACTIONALS UNITED BLOG, it is essential to explore the cost of an FTE (full-time employee) compensation plan compared to fractional monthly retainers. The data is eye-opening!

According to data gathered (March 2023) by Salary.com, the median (50th percentile) core compensation (salary+benefits*) for the following C-Suite leaders is as follows:

  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)- $558,999 ($46,583/mo) + 22% bonus
  • Chief Operating Officer (COO)- $622,672 ($51,889/mo) + 23% bonus
  • Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)- $464,651 ($38,720/mo) + 25% bonus
  • Chief Revenue Officer (CRO)- $408,619 ($34,051/mo) + 12% bonus
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)- $387,001 ($32,250/mo) + 15% bonus
  • Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)- $449,340 ($37,445/mo) + 25% bonus
  • Chief Talent Officer (CTAO)- $337,197 ($28,099/mo) + 20% bonus

Bonus comp and equity cash totals were excluded from this comparison since both are variable compensation, only sometimes guaranteed. The average percentage offered was noted instead.

The average monthly retainer for fractional executives starts at around $5,000 and goes upwards to $15,000 per month. Retainers vary depending on the experience, scope of work, and level of hourly commitment per month (i.e., 25%, 50%, or 75% commitment to the team/company). The retainer may be higher if the professional has more years of experience, is in high demand, or if the organization is in a large metropolitan area.

If we assume that any given fractional executive discipline is $10,000 per month, then:

  • Fractional CFO – 21% of an FTE
  • Fractional COO – 19% of an FTE
  • Fractional CMO – 26% of an FTE
  • Fractional CRO – 29% of an FTE
  • Fractional CTO – 31% of an FTE
  • Fractional CHRO – 27% of an FTE
  • Fractional CTAO – 26% of an FTE
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