In today’s conversation, The Collaborator puts forth a challenge around how to work with buyers to truly approach them with a servant-leader mindset.
The ideas being shared are not new, in fact, they are decades old and based upon work created by Sharon-Drew Morgen (inventor Buying Facilitation®). You should read her first post on Trust Enablement about the Buy Side of the Buying Journey after watching this.
Give a listen and remain curious.
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This is john, the collaborator. And I’m so excited to have you here today. Just give me a minute to share the link within the LinkedIn event as well. One second, and here we go. Now, I’m hoping I’m hoping beyond hope that my good friend Gail cherish is out there, and going to keep me honest and prove to me that I’m not actually muted. And keep me honest as we go forward. So anyway, we’re live. And I wanted to take you a little bit on a little bit of a journey with me for a second, if that’s okay. And I hope you’ll bear with me, I’ll get to an interesting point, or at least what I view to be an interesting point, which anybody who knows me knows, may or may not be for you. Now, 30 years ago, my wife and I were married today, 30 years ago, she’s the same. I can’t imagine anybody having the willpower, the endurance and all of that to deal with me for 30 years, but she did. And when I look back at when I first met my wife, I tried to convince her multiple times, that I was the right person for her to marry the right person for to go out with at all, it was a typical sales conversation. Mazel Tov, Gail, Mazel Tov. And I tried to do all of the best things that I could do to make the sale, but convince her that I was wonderful. And it took time. And as I look back on that story, and chuckled to myself a little bit, because we’ve had an amazing 30 years, it reminds me a bit about selling and buying in today’s world. So often, we look at the sales process and the sales cycle and are amazed by how long of thanks, Daphne appreciate that by how difficult it is to make a sale with our typical buyer. And our buyers are setting they’re frustrated to wondering why on earth, we simply won’t listen to their needs. And when I first stepped back and and laid out what I viewed as revenue enablement, doing the best job I could, I looked at revenue enablement as covering the time that a buyer became aware of a problem they needed to solve, through their time where they and eventually and hopefully entered the sales funnel, and move through that sales process, hopefully get sold become a customer and their time with us as a customer. And I looked at that entire thing. And I said that world is covered by revenue enablement. Now, over the last few weeks, I’ve been having some amazing conversations with Sharon drew Morgan, Sharon drew is a fantastic author, thinker. And she and I have been talking a lot about the concept of buying enablement. And and I don’t want to muddy the waters. But I want to at least share these thoughts with you. And I’d love to hear your your thinking on it too. One of the things that Sharon drew has really made me think much more about is the fact that buyers work on their own timetable. And I know this is obvious any of us that have bought anything in the past, this should be obvious to but no matter how much work we do in the sales process until the time that a buyer has gone through all of their decision criteria. During the time which they’re figuring out is this pain, even a pain or a challenge with solving, whether they should solve it using their internal resources or go outside, and all the other things that’s going on within that company, they’re not going to buy from us. We do it I do it all the time. I tell salespeople call me back in a couple of weeks. And what I’m really saying to them is I have no interest or no clue how to determine if this is a need I need to solve.
And I’m putting it off, I’m putting it off because I as a buyer, am sometimes overwhelmed, confused or simply unclear about if I have this pain that the product consult. Now in my conversations with Sharon drew and I shared a post today on the website, from her really starting to uncover the things that she’s researched for the last 30 years and has done a fantastic job of laying out really she’s put a lot of thought and energy into how do buyers actually go through their internal processes to get to the point where they can actually determine that they want to buy a product or solution. And what’s fascinating here is it’s I forget and Sharon drew Don’t yell at me it’s probably 12 or 13 steps of process and steps that they go through before they even determine. Do they want to buy a product from a third party Is it worth investing with? Is it worth going through the change management exercise required to make that purchase in the first place? So why am I sharing all of this with you? I’m sharing this with you, because I’m hoping that we as enablers, we’re really responsible for helping educate and support, not educate, but helping support our sellers can take a moment and step back and think about this a little bit. Because I think we have a unique opportunity. And we’re uniquely positioned to help get our revenue teams, and certainly those of us that are setting in more strategic positions in the organization to think about what really happens internal to the buyer. While they’re saying we’ll call you back in two weeks, and all of these internal conversations are helping. Why do I think this is important, because I do believe that and I’ll continue to have these conversations with Sharon through and I’m going to be sharing some of this, some of her thoughts with you through the trust enablement website, I’m going to have her come on at various points over the next few months. But there is an opportunity for us to help educate
and support and guide the buyer, not on our sales process, not on our products, and not even on how we think they should buy, but to help educate and guide them about the process that they need to walk through. So they can decide if they’re even going to be ready to buy our products. I’m convinced. And I’ve seen the results as a outcome of her work, where companies are seeing higher win rates, because they’re actually talking to the customers that have identified for themselves that they have a need for which they’re ready to buy a solution. We as enablers, we as organizations that go to market organizations have suffered for years with a challenge of the of low win rates, stalled deals that are in the percentages of what 50% of our deals stall, something like that. And every business, we have an opportunity to bring this kind of thinking internal to our business, we have the opportunity to learn alternative approaches that not only help us help our sales teams, and our other customer facing teams, but actually truly transform how business is done. So I know I’m going to be spending time chatting with Sharon Drew. I’m going to be spending time learning as much as I can and really trying to understand how this fits in the world of enablement. And I’ll be sharing my thoughts. But as always, I’m not the smartest guy in the room. Collectively, all of us are though, collectively as an enablement profession, we are a pretty smart group. So I want to share with you some of this thinking as we go along, I would encourage you to consider it, I would encourage you to challenge it. And let’s see if we can learn a few things here together that will not only make our own businesses better, but make us better enablers make our businesses stronger and more competitive by serving the buyers that are really ready to buy, who really have a need for our products, and see if we can just do things a little bit better each and every day. Anyway, really short conversation today. I’m going to go out and celebrate as I said at the very beginning, my 30th wedding anniversary with the fantastic woman who accepted my proposal and actually married me 30 years ago today. I hope you all send out your prayers to her because she is a saint and she deserves all the praise under the sun possible for dealing with me for the last 30 years. And hopefully for the next 30 as well. Anyway, I wish you all well give some thought to buying enablement Sharon drew Morgan and I hope I hope that we can have more enlightened and useful conversations as we go forward. Thanks, everybody. I look forward to talking
Living Enablement as a practitioner and as a leader. I’ve seen the confusion and frustration that many practitioners live. From working in other areas of the business, I’ve also seen the genuine need for the capabilities that enablement provides.