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Embrace your buyer’s power position

Posted by Cliff Pollan on 13, Oct, 2014 30861452_m

Cliff Pollan, CEO, Postwire

It’s virtually impossible to disagree—and foolish to disregard—that buyers today are in control. They search the web and connect with their social networks way before they connect with salespeople. So, as you’d expect, many CEO’s and C-suite executives are challenging their teams to develop strategies that reflect this seismic shift from seller to buyer in control.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) breaks from entrenched seller-in-control tactic

I recently read that one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies announced its plans to stop the time-honored practice of paying doctors to give promotional talks. GSK is the first company in its industry to adopt this stance in exchange for what it believes is a more collaborative sales process. The pharmaceutical giant predicts other companies in the industry will follow given buyers and society’s desire for transparency.

Boston Globe’s Robert Weisman interviewed Patrick Vallance, President of Pharmaceuticals R&D at GSK, and reported in a September 19, 2014 article, “The research chief of GlaxoSmithKline PLC said that the British drug giant is becoming a more open organization, moving toward greater collaboration in developing medicines and building confidence with the public by halting payments to doctors for giving promotional talks about the company’s products.” Instead, the company plans to share information about its drugs online and through the company’s scientists.

Is your company embracing your buyer’s clout?
What time-honored industry practice is your company clinging to that fails to recognize your customer’s power position? Rather than hold on to outdated sales practices, think about what your organization’s sales and marketing teams can do instead to help buyers make informed decisions.

You’ve likely seen the research from The Rain Group, International Data Corporation, and Sales Executive Council/Corporate Executive Board Company that helps organizations recognize the importance of assuming the buyer’s perspective and break down institutional barriers that thwart change.

Many sales consultants, including Jill Konrath, Andy Paul, John Jantsch, Kevin Davis, Keith Eades, and Timothy Sullivan have recently published books to share strategies and techniques for how to let customer needs and processes drive interactions. Many are likely on your shelf.
Please share your story with me so I can share it with others.

Cliff Pollan is the Founder of Postwire, a Cloud-based sales tool for creating private digital spaces to exchange information and ideas with buyers so they can make smart decisions quickly. It takes only minutes to customize a Postwire with critical content for each stage of a customer’s buying cycle. Postwire also encourages post-sales collaboration, giving the client an easy-to-find place to access up-to-date intelligence over the lifetime of the relationship.


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