Matt Dixon is a Wall Street Journal award-winning author and renowned researcher in the world of sales and customer success. He co-authored "The Challenger Sale" in 2011 which turned the world of B2B sales on its head, and encouraged salespeople around the world to take control of the customer conversation. He's now back with "The JOLT Effect" which tells us that our biggest problem with closing sales isn't losing to a competitor but losing to no decision at all.
Here are some of the highlights of our discussion:
There was a big gap in data-based, factual research on sales and it needed filling
There are great sales books out there, but many of them are based on opinion and "what worked for me". Matt and his team took an outsiders' data-based approach and uncovered the surprising truth
The Challenger Sale divided the sales community but resonated with founders
Matt is not a salesman. This led some people to doubt his findings, but the data speaks for itself. The Challenger approach specifically resonated with startup founders who are natural challengers!
All our assumptions about what makes good salespeople are wrong
Sales have traditionally been taught to be relationship builders but in today's world of information overload, it's not enough to have a cosy conversation. Buyers need to be challenged, debated & given insight
Up to 60% of Sales are lost not to a competitor, but to "no decision" & traditional approaches make it worse
It's not enough to defeat the status quo. Buyers can be afraid to make a decision whatever the status quo. Traditional sales approaches make the problem worse.
Customers are stuck and we need to JOLT them into action
There's a playbook to defeat customer indecision that helps to take risk off the table & make buyers understand they're making a great decision. Product teams are crucial partners in helping sales teams do this.
Buy "The JOLT Effect"
"In sales, the worst thing you can hear from a customer isn’t “no.” It’s “I need to think about it.” When this happens, deeply entrenched business advice says to double down on your efforts to sell a buyer on all the ways they might win by choosing you and your business. But this approach backfires dramatically. Why? Because it completely gets wrong the primary driver behind purchasing decision-making: once purchase intent is established, customers no longer care about succeeding. What they really care about is not failing."
"The need to understand what top-performing reps are doing that their average performing colleagues are not drove Matthew Dixon, Brent Adamson, and their colleagues at Corporate Executive Board to investigate the skills, behaviors, knowledge, and attitudes that matter most for high performance. And what they discovered may be the biggest shock to conventional sales wisdom in decades."