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Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

The False Choice between Value & Volume in B2B Sales Today

Posted by Amar Sheth on Dec 31, 2018 9:00:00 PM

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Dear reader, allow me the luxury of leading with an obtuse analogy that will articulate the point of my blog.

For my brother’s recent birthday, I gifted a round of golf at a prestigious course here in Toronto. I’m not a huge golfer so I thought the money they charge could be better spent on something more practical, but for golf aficionados I’m sure it’s worth every penny.

My brother was awestruck and loved the gift. He could not wait to play and thought that I’m the best little brother on the planet because he knew what a round with all the bells and whistles costs. But there’s one thing he didn’t realize. I got 80% discount on the price (thanks to those daily deal sites).

So, the amount of value he saw in the transaction was justifiably high.

The B2B Context

Today, I had a chat with one of my students about a concept we battle over in B2B sales between value and volume. He’s making his numbers using a “strategic approach”. But his peers are doing slightly better using “volume” as their approach. So, guess what his leaders want him to do?

You guessed it: they want him to focus on more volume. And while that makes sense, it seems antithetical to focus on a different strategy to scratch out a few extra percentage points on the quota.

But I feel that this is a false choice. I don’t think we need to have a value or volume conversation. We need to empower our reps to focus on value and volume.

Those that advocate for value feel that it can only be delivered when a significant amount of time is spent on research, demonstrating value beyond compare. There’s definitely a play for this if you’re targeting a handful of key accounts.

On the flip side, the advocates for volume feel that research slows us down and that volume is critical to make the Law of Averages work.

Who’s right and who’s wrong? I believe both are right.

Delivering Context at Scale

If you can gather good intelligence quickly to emphasize research when doing outreach, you’ll stand out. But if you can gather that good intelligence in minutes, not hours or days, that’s when you can deliver volume with value. That’s powerful.

In this way, your intended target feels like you’ve taken the time to know them by dedicating the most precious resource you have:  your time. But, they need not know that you’ve obtained the information in rapid ways.

In this case, rapid intelligence gathering does not need to equate to poor intelligence. Lucky for us, there are tools and processes we can use to achieve this and deliver context at scale.

So how does one do this?

Just think about the plethora of tools available to you:

  1. If you have LinkedIn or LinkedIn Sales Navigator, following people or companies or saving leads reveal many insights to you.
  2. Following hashtags on LinkedIn.  Have you tried this yet? You’ll be amazed to see the results.
  3. Creating lists of analysts and thought leaders on Twitter will power you with a continuous stream of knowledge from the top minds in any vertical or market.
  4. Using and creating Google Alerts to mine key information from the entire web and have it delivered to you.

All of these are a few ways for you to quickly learn information, process it and present it cogently back to your intended target with context. That type of outreach was once not available to us in sales. And now these tools are available in abundance online.

I believe we’ve crossed the chasm in sales:  we no longer need to worry about not being able to provide value when doing cold or warm outreach. The imperative to set up these systems must be there, along with a way to quickly mechanize them to obtain information that matters for you.

The Bottom Line

You can now achieve high volume outreach targets (or near it) with value in hand. And if you’re wondering why this matters, remember that 92% of orgs became buyers when they consume content at every stage of the buying journey (Source:  Demand Gen Report).

This means you’ve got the information and therefore the power. It’s now up to you to set up these systems.

If you need help or want to reach out to learn more, you can always connect with me on LinkedIn here.

Amar Sheth

Amar Sheth

About the Author

Amar Sheth has trained thousands of people worldwide on the topic of Social Selling, through a style that’s part storytelling and part motivational.

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