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The GSA have worked in partnership with Durhamlane to create a trilogy of webinars to highlight the importance of selling, especially in the ever changing, increasingly virtual world we now live in. 


Kerry Hallard


Richard Lane 

CO-Founder & CEO of Durhamlane

Luke Robinson

Sales Performance Consultant at Durhamlane

Durhamlane is a sales performance organisation, operating at the front end of sales for their customers, creating opportunities on their behalf. They recognised quite early on in the pandemic that it is important to continue to sell through changing times, to keep business fit and business value, continue the already established relationships as well as develop new ones.

The Most Destructive Sales Behaviours

Many sales people are still getting it wrong. As sales people, we have a lot of technology available to us and the common misconception is that this technology will sell for us, but selling is primarily a human endeavour. Richard starts by introducing us to some research from McKinsey which unveiled that 35% of buyers believe the most destructive behaviour is too much contact, 20% believe it is lack of knowledge of the product and 9% believe it is lack of industry or business knowledge about the usefulness of the product or service to its customers. The key to being a successful sales person is not getting caught in too much contact, knowing your stuff and understanding your own business world, as well as the world of the customer. To read more on this research and the destructive behaviours in sales, take a look at Richard’s article here.

The Changing World of Buyer Behaviour

Research from Surius Decisions revealed that 67% of a buyer’s journey is now digital and B2B buyers are 57% of the way through a buying decision before they actively engage with any person. According to Gartner, the average buying group has around 10.2 people, up from 5.4 in 2014. Biznology research shows that today’s sales process takes 22% longer than 5 years ago and there are now over 7000 sales and marketing technologies which is a 47x growth since 2011. These statistics were published prior to COVID-19, you can only imagine how the world of virtual sales have increased since the pandemic. 

There may be an increasing amount of technology out there to complete sales for us but it’s important to focus on the human side of sales, using technology as an enabler rather than just driving us to get things done. When sourcing sales prospects, it’s important that value is added to find a good business match, rather than just pitching a product or service that you’re not sure the customer needs. This requires human interaction, to ensure a mutual business agreement is made. Following this, Richard introduces the Durhamlane Belief Equation which combines belief and knowledge to create confidence, which, if multiplied by an understanding of what the customer wants to achieve, then you will become a high performer. It’s of upmost importance to understand how you can help the buyer and have the confidence to ask the right questions. If you believe in your company and your customers, you can use the confidence to help the customer to be successful. Richard stresses the importance of this mindset, giving everyone the power to be as successful as they want to be. 

Richard recommends the book ‘Beyond Selling Value’ by Mark Shonka and Dan Kosch, which outlines the importance of understanding how your client likes to do business, finding ways to address their pressing business issues and to recommend strategic solutions to improve the way the customers do business. Become a trusted advisor to your buyer to create a long-term relationship.

Selling at a Higher Level - The Durhamlane Methodology

  • Durhamlane have created this methodology as a simple and easy to grasp guide to selling. 

  • 1. Find and create – Turning the wheels of business development, helping to create qualified opportunity and lead generation. As a sales person, it’s easy to jump from stage 1 to stage 3 as soon as a potential buyer shows interest, it’s important to make sure stage 2 is implemented as this is key in developing long term trusting relationships with a customer.

  • 2. Define and understand – When a client is interested, take a breath. Understand the customer and their business and ask questions, what are the opportunities for partnership? What are the challenges for their business?

  • 3. Propose, Recommend and Present – Demonstrate that you have listened to the customer and give some advice to solve the challenges that they face. Let them know what they will receive in return for their investment. This leaves both sides with a plan going forward and a reason to check in with the customer, which minimises too much contact.

  • 4. Close out – Ask for the business and move the process forward. 

  • 5. Serve and grow – Make sure the partnership is off to a great start, plan the account with the customer and identify new products to add value and start the process again. 

There are 6 elements that run as constants throughout the 5-step process – core skills, attitude skills, sector knowledge, qualification, win-win negotiation and performance management. All this creates a customer centric approach. 

Developing and Maintaining a Winning Sales Mindset

Richard and Luke introduce the floor to some of the mantas Durhamlane have in place to encourage the right mindset for selling.

Business fit, business value, developing long term relationships – only speak to prospects you genuinely feel are the correct fit. If someone isn’t interested its not a problem, if they don’t want to hear the sale and put the barrier up then its fine, just try again another time. If you understand this, the fear of prospecting will dissipate. 

Be interested to be interesting - the more interested we are in other people, the more interesting we become to them. Understand their needs and ambitions rather than just trying to sell to them. 

Estimate, then validate, never assume – 50% of our time is spent on deals that won’t close. Many sales people waste time chasing imaginary revenue based on an exciting conversation. 

It’s up to you! – implement the learning, make the change and give it a go. Become the sales person you want to become. It’s easy to slip back into old habits but the Achilles heel of sales is that you are never done. You have to learn to manage technology rather than have technology manage you. Ultimately you have the power to make things happen. 

Selling on Value Webinar Take-Aways

  • Remember that to sell is human 
  • Think ‘business fit, business value’ 
  • Always aim to add value before extracting value 
  • Use process to strengthen your practice e.g. selling at a higher level
  • Develop and maintain a value-based mindset – become customer centric.
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