Salesspeak Needs A Brushup

According to Corporate Visions, Inc., survey results reflecting the responses of more than 700 business-to-business (B2B) marketers and salespeople from around the world, regarding their level of confidence when it comes to having key customer conversations, showed a disconnect between where salespeople feel pressure and how well their companies prepare them for these critical conversations.

38% of B2B marketers and salespeople around the world identified conversations in which they create opportunities from the status quo as their most valuable in helping them reach quota, followed by effective executive conversations, and conversations in which they achieve successful competitive differentiation. Notably, the conversations in which they must demonstrate financial justification and master purchase negotiations are rated the least valued.

B2B Salespeople’s Most Highly Valued Conversations (Impact on Marketers and Salespeople to Achieve Quota)


Highly Valued by % of Respondents

Creating opportunities from status quo


Effective executive conversation


Achieving successful competitive differentiation


Showcasing compelling product presentations


Demonstrating financial justification


Mastering purchasing negotiations


Source: Corporate Visions, July 2014

Ironically, notes the report, sales people say they feel most adequately prepared for the conversations they value least:

  • Showcasing compelling product presentations… 63% feel prepared/13% value most
  • Achieving successful competitive differentiation… 54% feel prepared/14% value most

In one example, nearly 40% of respondents identified “opportunity creation” conversations as having the highest impact on helping salespeople achieve quota, but only half feel adequately prepared to create new sales opportunities with the content and training provided to them by their organizations.

After the opportunity creation conversation, salespeople ranked having effective executive conversations as the next most integral factor to helping them achieve quota. The entire list of conversations rankings looked like this:

  • Creating opportunities from status quo… 38%
  • Having effective executive conversations… 16%
  • Achieving successful competitive differentiation… 14%
  • Showcasing compelling product presentations… 13%
  • Demonstrating financial justification… 10%
  • Mastering purchasing negotiations… 9%

When asked what causes the greatest amount of pressure for sales reps, respondents indicated that they experienced the most tension during the following conversations:

  • Demonstrating financial justification… 26%
  • Mastering purchasing negotiations… 25%
  • Having effective executive conversations… 24%

Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and marketing officer for Corporate Visions, concludes that “… what is surprising… is how grossly unprepared reps are when it comes to having the three most critical conversations in the customer buying cycle… effective executive-level conversations… financial justification for what they’re selling… and a negotiated price that ensures maximum investment… “For more from Corporate Visions, please visit here.



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