The Four 'Sales' Demand Types
-Same Old, Same Old
-Better Mouse Trap
-Government Regulation Same Old, Same Old These are all perceived as being commodities by buyers. Research shows that at any point in time 3% of the marketplace is in an active buying cycle for these types of products and services. The name of the game is nurturing existing leads and opportunities until change happens in their company and they enter an active buying cycle. Relationships and trust matter even more here than the other demand types. A good sales strategy is to have a large group of Account Executives who farm existing accounts for up-sell/cross-sell opportunities as well as bring on new business every year. You should also have a smaller group of pure play ‘hunters’ that are adept at navigating the blood filled waters of a highly competitive, commodity marketplace. Differentiation and patience are key for same old, same old.
These solve problems that buyers didn't even know they had. The name of the game here is to educate buyers about the problem and why they need a solution. Buyers will be thinking, ‘Wow. I didn't know that we could do that!’ Salespeople have to be adept at painting a vision of a new world in the mind of the buyer. Selling in an evangelical marketplace is almost like skiing on fresh powder. It's a heck of a lot of fun to make the first tracks and go in any direction you choose, but as any powder skier will tell you, it's also harder than skiing on groomers all day. Having a strong Sales Development team who can separate the tire kickers from the real buyers is critical for this type of sale, and closer's need to ‘ruthlessly qualify’ their pipeline in an evangelical sale.
Better Mouse Trap
These re-tool an existing process/way of doing things. Buyers of better mouse traps are always thinking, ‘My existing solution, though sub optimal, works and has been in place for years. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.’ CEO's of better mouse trap companies frequently turn to disruptive pricing as the mechanism to get buyers to throw out those old mouse traps quicker. Sellers need to find places where buyers have old mouse traps, then determine what change in the organization will cause the buyer to re-think the old mouse trap as inadequate. The key word here is change – changes in leadership, people who operate the old mouse trap leaving, funding, new product launches, strategic direction, expectations of their customers, etc are the reasons that a company would throw out the old mouse trap and bring in a new one. Research shows that 3% of these marketplaces are in an active buying cycle at any given time, but 40% are susceptible to starting an active buying cycle. Sales people need to know how to get the 40% into an active buying process while not wasting time on the 56% who are not poised to begin a buying process. The sales team should consist of sales development, hunters, customer success, and renewals in relatively even numbers.
Government Regulation This is my favorite one because the buyer is required by law to do something. It's the ultimate FUD sale: fear, uncertainty, doubt. ‘How are you handling the ABC Act? What are you doing about the new XYZ Regulation?’ Speed to market here is critical because your competitors are also trying to capitalize on the new act/regulation. In this case sales teams need to be credible on why the new act/regulation impacts the buyer and why they need to take action now. With this demand type sales teams have the ability to move 100% of the marketplace into an active buying cycle. Skew these sales teams toward hunters to land the business and account managers to stay really close to the customers and keep them away from competitors.