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The opportunities in B2B sales. Anthony Iannarino chats with Plan Grow Do.
Rob Taylor engages in a conversation with Anthony Iannarino regarding contemporary sales practices and the challenges that sales professionals face.
The dialogue commences with a focus on the problem of commoditization in the sales industry. Anthony Iannarino highlights the importance of salespeople concentrating on the “how” of selling rather than merely relying on the products or services they offer. The emphasis is placed on creating value for clients by offering expertise, guidance, and a consultative approach to navigate their buying journey. Anthony dismisses the notion that sales itself is inherently challenging, instead arguing that it’s the buyer’s challenge of making informed decisions that should be the primary concern.
The conversation delves into the concept of building trust and credibility within sales. Anthony refers to Charles H. Green’s trusted advisor equation, which underscores the vital role of credibility, reliability, intimacy, and a minimal self-orientation in establishing trust. He emphasizes that building trust centers on understanding the client’s needs, being consultative, and making the client’s interests the top priority.
Rob Taylor raises the question of whether sales cycles are becoming longer or more complex. Anthony provides insights from his own business experiences, highlighting that his companies have relatively short sales cycles due to a strong emphasis on insights, certainty, and expertise. Nonetheless, he acknowledges that sales professionals with a weaker approach tend to face extended sales cycles due to the need for consensus among buying teams.
The conversation then turns to the role of technology in sales. Anthony argues that technology is not a magical solution for improving sales performance; it can serve as a valuable tool but doesn’t replace the significance of the quality of the conversation and the value delivered by the salesperson. He suggests that the industry’s fixation on technology is a result of avoiding the more challenging task of teaching salespeople to conduct meaningful, consultative conversations.
Both speakers concur that relationships are paramount in sales. The concept of trust and its means of development have evolved, but the core elements of trust remain the same. Anthony shares that many sales professionals are deviating from their companies’ expectations and going “rogue” by adopting modern sales approaches. They often seek his guidance when their managers insist on traditional methods during meetings.
The discussion also touches on the role of social media in sales. Anthony underscores that social media should be used with a clear purpose, and it can be a powerful tool for building relationships, sharing value, and receiving recommendations from one’s network.
Anthony reiterates that despite evolving methods, the fundamental principles of trust in sales remain unchanged. The conversation concludes by introducing Anthony’s new work, which aims to bring positivity and valuable insights to the sales industry. It places a strong focus on the importance of trust and authentic relationships in modern sales practices.
In summary, the discussion underscores the need for sales professionals to adapt to contemporary sales practices, use technology as a supplementary tool, and prioritize trust and value creation in their client interactions.