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Where Differentiation Occurs

January 10th, 2013


5000 senior executive B2B decision makers were recently asked: “When faced with a buying decision, what makes the final difference in your purchase selection?”

Paying close attention to the results of this survey can make a enormous impact in your top and bottom lines, so here goes…:

  • 19% of respondents said their purchase decision was based upon Company Brand or Reputation.
  • Another 19% said it was based upon their perception of Product, Service or Quality.
  • Contrary to popular belief (and to the #1 excuse you probably hear from your salespeople and sales manager), only 9% said that Price was the deciding factor.
  • Interestingly, 53% of surveyed senior executives said that the Field Sales Interaction was the #1 factor in their decision.

In other words, the interaction that buyers are having with your salespeople have a greater effect on buying decisions than all other factors combined.

Surveyed buyers also felt that only 14% of conversations with salespeople had any significant or commercial impact.  This means that salespeople are perceived to be flapping their gums in the vast majority of their conversations, creating ZERO value or differentiation 86% of the time.  Burning up valuable time in this way is a huge waste and is no way to win points with busy decision makers.

Additional research indicates that the vast majority of all value and differentiation is not perceived as a result of comparisons, presentations, benefit statements, testimonials and demos, but instead from personal, emotional connections, effective facilitated dialogue, pain discovery and good questioning.

If you own a business or run a sales organization, these statistics and data should inspire many questions, including but not limited to…:

  • Am I spending my money and resources wisely and proportionately?
  • How do MY salespeople really stack up compared to our competitors?
  • How effective are they at messaging, listening, questioning?
  • Can my sales team really take me where I want to go?
  • Am I selecting the right salespeople who are capable of differentiating?
  • Is my sales training, development and management program effective?

Answering these questions and addressing them effectively can be the difference between blowing your competitors out of the water, or being left in their dust.

Best wishes for a spectacular 2013 and beyond!

Copyright © Joe Zente 2012. All Rights Reserved.