Geospatial Salesman falls to earth with a thud

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Geospatial Salesman sells to Users

As the Geospatial Salesperson, Hank, put down the phone, he felt like he’d just been punched in the stomach. How could his life have changed so drastically? Continue reading…

Last year, he was a hero because his enterprise client invested seven figures into a Geospatial Solution: Today he is a zero because they are putting everything on hold.

It didn’t make sense. Hank knew his sector inside and out and this was one of the best solutions he had ever put together. Even his main contact at the customer, the Head of Planning, said he loved the product: It even had won awards! So what went wrong?

Well, I heard the real inside story last night over dinner with a friend from inside the company.

My friend admitted that the product worked, won awards and that the Head of Planning loved the product. However, it’s what the Head of Planning used the product for that was the problem. He used it as a weapon against Marketing in order to show that Marketing didn’t know what they were doing. After a few beatings, Marketing became hostile to this new product.

Because Hank, the Geospatial Salesperson, could only talk about what the product was and not how the product could be used to help the company make/save money, the value of the offering only went as high as the Head of Planning. This was below where the financial decisions were made. So, when it came around to year two, the Sr. Executives had no understanding of the value and only saw how it created division within the company.

Even if Hank had included the Sr. Executives in determining the value of this offering on their terms, got Marketing on board, my friend said Hank still would have needed to also work with Sales. Why? Because Planning may help Marketing map out a go to market strategy that maximizes their assets; however, a pretty map showing how the company will make more money won’t make the Reps change their behavior unless their compensation is aligned with this new strategy.

But what could have been, wasn’t. Hank unfortunately only sold to the technical buyer and a potential long-term client became a bad transaction.

Has this happened to your company?

What do you think the moral of the story is?

To sell high-and-wide?

If so, are your intelligent Geospatial Salespeople able to talk, not about what your product is, but instead about the business problems Sr. Executives have and how in layman terms your offering may help them solve these problems? Can they then help the Buyer quantify the potential value?

Would it help if you could do the following?

  1. Don’t throw things against the wall and hope something sticks. Instead, adjust your approach according to who you are selling to and first talk about where they want to go. To do this, map out the goals/title your Salesperson needs to call on to sell, fund and implement your offering.
  2. Once you know where they want to go, find out what’s holding them back. Sell the problem before the solution. To do this, list the typical constraints per goal that your capabilities can address.
  3. To help the Buyer get past the status quo, help the Buyer determine the problems and costs to their operations without your capabilities. To do this, create stories you may tell to open the Buyer up and questions that you may ask to help the Buyer quantify the cost of staying the same. If they already knew how to do this diagnosis, wouldn’t they have already solved their problem?
  4. Don’t then confuse the Buyer by telling them what your product is and hope they figure out. Instead, create stories and usage scenarios that you may share to help the Buyer visualize how they will solve their problems by using your capabilities. To do this, talk about your capabilities as a verb not a noun.
  5. Wouldn’t you agree that people don’t change until they tell themselves a different story? So help your Buyer to tell themselves a different story: “I now realize that it’s costing me more to stay the same than the cost and risk(s) of change (your solution).” To do this, train your team on using steps 1-4.

If you agree that these capabilities could help, then we can help your company put together these value maps, stories plus questions and then we may help train your salespeople on how to use them so that they hopefully do not go through Hank’s anguish.

Imagine if you go down this road and your customers’ now valued the advice of your salespeople more than paid consultants? That happened with a recent Geospatial Customer (click here to see ESRI 1-minute Testimonial Video) and it could happen for you as well.

If you would like to discuss this further, please call/email.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Michael Harris

416 203 7227

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