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#1 Secret of What Sales Winners Do Differently

Posted by Cliff Pollan on 16, May, 2014 Mike Schultz


By Mike Schultz

Everyone knows that the Internet has changed the world of selling. Here’s the big summary: the Internet gives buyers power because they have access to more information, and it also levels the playing field to an extent because buyers can find more sellers. In other words, better informed buyers and increased competition.

You might think this makes selling more difficult. It is for those sellers who don’t do anything about it, but it’s an advantage for those who are willing to capitalize on it. While it certainly seems like it’s harder to separate from the pack, a group of sellers have been doing it, and winning sales consistently.

At RAIN Group, we learned what these sales winners are doing when we studied over 700 B2B purchases made by buyers with $3.1 billion in annual purchasing power. Our research revealed that sellers who win don’t just sell differently, they sell radically differently, than sellers who come in second place.

The #1 takeaway of what sales winners do differently? They harness the power of ideas.



Educate Buyers with New Ideas or Perspectives

We cover the results of our research in depth in our new book, Insight Selling: Surprising Research on What Sales Winners Do Differently. Topping the list of how winners sell differently is that they educate buyers with new ideas and perspectives.

Online tools like Postwire can help you accomplish this in a few ways. First, you can use it to educate directly. You can post videos, presentations, white papers, sales sheets, research, or whatever you think would be relevant to specific buyers.

Many sellers do this through email. The problem is that emails get lost, attachments go to junk, and it’s hard to find what was sent when you need it.

Because I’m listed on RAIN Group’s website as a leader, I get sold to all the time. Some good sellers try to take an educational approach, and some do it well, but as much as I try to stay organized, I can’t remember what they send me. And if it’s any kind of real back-and-forth, things get lost in a sea of saved email.

But if I had a resource page to go to, where everything was posted in a neat and organized format, when it was time for me to dive back in to something—especially if any time had passed—I’d be able to refresh my memory quickly.

If I have to scan my files or my emails to find things, I might miss something important or get distracted and move on to other things.

Now, I’ve never been on the buying end of a seller using Postwire, but I’ve seen it on the selling end, and it certainly helps.


Collaborate with Buyers

The second factor that most separated sales winners from second-place finishers was “collaborated with me.”

In our research, we found that sellers collaborate in a number of ways, including that they are more proactive, more responsive, and easier to buy from than second-place finishers.

Some of the things I like about Postwire are:

  • Buyers can leave comments and you can respond. You can post comments and questions to drive their thinking. If they edit something—or even visit—you’ll know they were there and can send them a communication that moves the process forward. Not only does this help you with the sale, it helps them see you as proactive and responsive at the right times.
  • When it’s time for them to share your information with others, imagine how much more impressive it would be if, instead of getting a bevy of emails and attachments from you forwarded, they see your neat resource page created just for them.
  • If you know what will resonate most—let’s say it’s a great return on investment case—you can make sure it’s featured prominently.


To this last point, imagine the CEO of the buyer’s company finally has five minutes to review and weigh in on your sale (and you aren’t allowed to be there). She meets with your primary contact, and they pull up the Postwire page you created for them. Right there, prominently on the front, is: “Executive Summary – Why Do This.” The CEO says, “Click that, I want to see.” There’s a 90-second animated PowerPoint video of you with two slides: one with a 30-second before-and-after picture, and the other with a compelling return-on-investment case.

Five more minutes go by and the CEO says to your contact. “Ok, go for it.”

To get here, sellers need to orchestrate both education and collaboration. Those who want to do it well would be wise to consider a tool like Postwire.

And if you want to learn more about harnessing the power of ideas and how to become an insight seller, pick up a copy of our new book. If you order by May 10, you’ll receive an exclusive expert interview series on what it takes to succeed in sales today with John Jantsch, Jill Konrath, Charlie Green, Andrew Sobel, and more. You’ll also be invited to join my Insight Selling co-author, John Doerr, for an exclusive webinar on What It Takes to Become an Insight Seller. Plus, we are donating our portion of the book sales during the launch to the American Heart Association to support congenital heart defect research, which is a cause near and dear to my heart (read chapter 3 to find out why).

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