Have you ever polled your partners about reasons why a lead failed to convert or, better yet, implemented a function in your sales-tracking database that allows salespeople to code reasons why a deal fell through? If so, we suspect you would find that the most common reason given for a lead to back out is “We don’t see a need to change at this time.” Ie, they would prefer the status quo to ANY change that’s being proposed.
In most areas of business, the status quo is truly your biggest competitor. Merely convincing a lead to change their ways at all is often a bigger uphill battle than convincing them that your product\service is better than that of your rivals. Most B2B buyers are extremely risk averse, considering their careers could be on the line, and the more radical the changes you propose, the harder it’s going to be to get them to take that risk.
This is something any indirect sale ecosystem should be discussing with their partners, and developing strategies for – particularly those in technological fields. Based on our own consulting experience helping improve vendor\partner communications, we have some tips.
Four Ways Your Partners Can Work To Defeat The Status Quo
1. Create contrast between your solution and the status quo solution.
A lot of arguments for the status quo basically boil down to “We already have something that does (X) and it works fine, so we don’t need a different way of doing (X).” In other words, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
The trick, of course, is convincing them that it is broke after all. This is where those questioning and critical listening skills come into play. Your sales partners shouldn’t be leading with a pitch in these situations. They should be asking questions about how the current solution for (X) works, and looking for demonstrable ways their solutions will do (X) so much better.
2. Ditch the buzzwords.
Anyone who’s spent any time selling tech products, or researching them, has come across innumerable websites that are absolutely covered in buzzwords and empty promises, often to the point of making it hard to discern what the product actually does. Don’t do this. That sort of buzzword-fueled obfuscation is exactly what encourages people to stick with the status quo. If they don’t even understand how the product works, they are not going to risk their jobs over it.
Be able to explain your product simply in day-to-day terms. Be able to walk customers through what implementation and training would look like. Be able to provide concrete demonstrable examples of what your product does – particularly when it does things that their current solution does not.
3. Stand out from the competition.
This dovetails with #2. Be aware of what your competition is doing, and how they’re marketing themselves, and do something else. When fighting the status quo, differentiation is all-important. If there are five different seemingly-identical products on the market, a B2B buyer is going to be discouraged from even bothering to do the research. Sticking with the status quo would be so much easier than spending days researching parity products.
Often, simply ditching buzzwords will differentiate you. Or focus your sales pitches on areas where your solution is genuinely novel.
4. Pitch long-term or cross-departmental benefits.
Finally, your sales partners should be probing for situations where a change in one solution will have positive ripple effects across multiple areas of a buyer’s business. This is especially useful if the buyer who’ll be implementing your solution isn’t the one with actual purchasing power. Be able to show that your solution doesn’t just help with (X), it’ll also improve (Y) and (Z) as well. This is actually one of the most effective ways of overcoming a bias towards the status quo.
Tie Your Ecosystem Together With LogicBay
Speaking of cross-departmental benefits, the LogicBay PRM and methodology can tie together every aspect of your ecosystem, unifying data collection, customer databases, training, incentives, and more. Contact us today to see a demonstration of LogicBay in action!