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Moore’s Law Now Applies To B2B Selling: Are You Ready?

Intel recently announced another advance in chip technology that is expected to result in a doubling of computer processing power. Now you may be wondering what computer chip technology has got to do with selling. Well, quite a lot as it turns out.

Moore’s Law – coined by Intel founder Gordon Moore – predicts that computing power (or, more precisely, the number of transistors on any given chip) will double every two years. It is a handy metaphor for a dramatic and relentless pace of change – and one that is ideally suited to describing the world of complex business to business buying and selling at this time.

In Moore’s Law fashion, complex selling and more precisely buying, has been transformed in recent years:

  • The complexity of buying (and therefore of selling) has doubled; in many cases the number of steps involved, information required etc. in the buying process has doubled.
  • The number of people involved in the decision-making process (i.e. the buying team) has doubled, with decisions being taken at much higher and wider levels. As a result, today’s sellers often have to influence twice as many people.
  • The cost of selling (and of buying) has increased dramatically, together with the length of time required to arrive at a decision or to close a sale.
  • The autonomy of mangers who make buying decisions – measured in terms of how much they can spend before getting sign-off – has been halved in many cases.

Some sellers would argue that many other aspects of buying have also changed, e.g.

  • The power of purchasing/procurement
  • The requirement for a business case
  • The level of competition between different projects/departments for spend
  • The use of competitive tendering
  • The level of buyer sensitivity to risk
  • The difficulty of predicting what deals will close, and when

All this has taken place in the space of five  years with the implication being that there is twice as much work for salespeople to do.  For example:

  • Twice as much marketing, or lead generation, is required to get the same result.
  • Twice as much relationship nurturing is required to take leads to the point of being ready to meet.
  • Twice as many sales meetings/appointments are required to find those prospects that are ready to buy.

With the addition of each successive layer of complexity in buying, selling has become a more trying profession.  Working harder is not enough. Sellers must work a lot smarter in all aspects of the complex sales – from lead generation to opportunity management and account management.

Just as the latest advance in computing threatens to make last year’s computers and phones obsolete, the pace of change in buying threatens traditional sales techniques with the same fate.  The result is that sellers must re-invent many aspects of their sales and marketing strategies, processes and techniques.

These changes are inconvenient for us all, but they are inconvenient for buyers too, so there lies the seed of an opportunity for sales teams around the world. Life has become a lot more difficult for the manager looking to buy our solutions.  What was once a straight-forward decision is now a complex and time-consuming affair.  The manager has been straight-jacketed by more rigorous procedures, new processes, spend justifications, paperwork and highly skilled procurement personnel.

Like computing power, the pace of change in buying is relentless, sellers who embrace this change can undoubtedly access key decision makers and help the buyer to navigate the processes they must follow but,  is that really enough?

John O’ Gorman is a Business to Business sales coach who works with sales teams and sales managers across Europe to pinpoint sales performance opportunities and barriers to growth. John has recently co-authored “The B2B Sales Revolution -” and “Quick Win B2B Selling”. The B2B Sales Revolution is the first ever book written on selling in conjunction with buyers from Fortune 1000 organizations.

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  • Good post Greg. Thanks for sharing “43 things”. Just had a look at it, it’s cool.
    When it comes to goals, I always found that after the brainstorming session, when having the goals clear, it’s of great help being “visual” about it: You can draw the process to success, imagine what exactly success looks like, looking for pictures on the internet that reflect our goals and print them so we can see them everyday… I’m a big fan of “The Secret”. I did put in practice things I learnt by watching the film and really worked. The biggest one was “visualising”.
    At Channelship, a big goal this year is to increase our US and UK readership and client base…

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comments Fred.

    Great advice re “Visualising” your goals. Many people use vision boards to make their goals seem tangible and real. I read a good article on this very subject by Lindsay Browning that may be worth reading –

  • Hi Greg,

    One of my goals this year is help build the success of Bloggertone. Another is to do less hands on consulting work and another is to start one new “completely different project” by the end of the year. There! I’ve said it out loud:)

  • Anonymous

    Nice post Greg – just expanding a little of what you refer to ‘writing them in the positive’ there are actually underlying psychological reasons for this i.e. negative emotional attractors tend to increase tension and stress and therefore reduce our ability to complete these tasks, whereas positive emotional attractors encourage feelings of calm, optimism, happiness and hope, obviously a far better mindset to be in if you hope to achieve anything.

    A good example of this is to replace the perennial ‘lose weight’ goal / resolution with something you can get excited about and should achieve the same end i.e. raise money for a good cause by running a half marathon or completing cross border cycle etc..

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comments and expanding on the reasons behind writing your goals in the positive. Loved your example too.

    Have a good weekend.

  • Anonymous

    Follwing up on what Kelvin said, if you can emotionalise your goals you’re far more likely to see them fullfilled. Ask yourself, how will I feel what I reach goal X? Really examine your thoughts on this, imagine you’ve achieved your goal, feel the happiness, rush of excitement, feelings of acomplishment…etc

    btw, best book I ever came across for this type of stuff is, ‘What Self-Made Millionaires Really Think, Know and Do’. Author is Richard Dobbins and Barrie O. Pettman – highly recommended!

    While we’re on the subject I’m looking at putting together a mastermind alliance, a group of 4-5 people, meeting maybe every month to assist/critique each other in the pursuit of their goals.
    Anyone interested let me know.

  • Greg, I just wanted to compliment you on your blogging style. It’s very interesting to see the many way in which you convey your message. I’m learning quite a bit from you so Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Niall. Coming from someone I have a lot of respect for, your comment meas a lot.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comments Peter. The book recommendation is a great one.

    I like your idea of putting together a group of 4-5 people to help each other with business and I am in the process of forming a similar group. Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any thoughts or advice on this. (contact details are in the article)

    Have a great week.


  • Great post John, sellers, salesu00a0departments and sales mangersu00a0can choose to fight oru00a0embrace what’su00a0happening.u00a0nnI agree with Adam below that many selling fundamentals remain but the sales/buying process has changed, with both now less obviously defined as before. For instance, a sales manager may read your blog above and the points willu00a0resonate because he or she is experiencing the difficulties mentioned.u00a0The comments feature of this blog or evenu00a0LinkedInu00a0or Twitter will allow them to start au00a0conversation (buying process) with you here oru00a0elsewhere.u00a0nnWhat sales people have got to remember is that the online and offline worlds are u00a0now merged andu00a0dependentu00a0on each other. Choose to only operate in one and you place a severeu00a0limitationu00a0on yourself. u00a0u00a0

  • Anonymous

    nnHi Adam nnA great comment. nnnu00a0nnnI am sitting in Heathrow and have beennreflecting on your point about a calm, sincere and deliberate approach.nnnu00a0nnnMaybe I can add to that. A calm, sincere,nand deliberate approach accompanied by the ability to show how a solutionnimpacts the buyeru2019s key metrics may in fact be the secret sauce that really deliversnthat breath of fresh air. The buyers we have been speaking (as part of ournongoing research in modern buying) around the world have become obsessed withntheir business case and have tended to accuse us sales people of not demonstratingnthe performance impact that will deliver to their business case. nnnu00a0nnnFood for thought. nnnu00a0nnnAll the best Johnnu00a0nn

  • Anonymous

    nnHi Niall, nnTotally agree, the more sophisticated buying teams out there are using thenonline world to feed early stages of their buying process. This has a knock on affect for when the buyer feels they need to call in a vendor/partner. nnCheersnJohn nu00a0nn

  • Hi John, interesting points, nI find the first point particularly true – and the complexity of the process is putting many off targeting larger organisations, as they do not understand how these processes and politics work within those organisations.nnI have experienced a huge gap between the well heeled sales person of old, and people just starting business or starting in a selling role. In a way the “newbies” are lucky, as they have nothing to compare against, so the selling doesn’t feel twice as long or twice as hard – it is what it is, and they adapt easily.nnI fear that recent years (last 5 as you suggest) have taken their toll on traditional sellers, and so much adaptation and mindset shifting is required to get with the new “program” that they are losing out meanwhile possibly to the “younger guns”.nnHave you experienced this? Would you agree?

  • Anonymous

    nnHi Elaine,nnnnInteresting point re the “newbies”. nnnnThe Sellers we see succeeding have a broad range of expertise/years under theirnbelt. The mindset shift hasn’t taken its toll because their focus has in somenways always been on the buyers process and business case. nnnnu201cNewbiesu201d or more established sellers comfortable with the knowledge the buyingnprocess is a long one have adapted well. nnnnWhere we have seen u201cnewbiesu201d succeed is in places where buyers want to see/meetnexperts in a given field or category to drive out their requirements. The newbies are seen to add a lot ofnvalue to the buyer and they are keen to help the buyer at all times. They arenmore buying process centric than selling process focused which is interesting.nu00a0nn

  • B2B

    Great comments. I like it….

  • Anonymous

    The idea of u200bu200ban objective and even see your goal as a kind of dream fantasy. The thought of actually achieving its objective, that scares them and there is a real fear that their dreams will disappear.u00a0

  • cashformysettlement

    Yes we all need to set goals……….we just need to stick with them!!

  • Jhonwotsan

    Everyone needs goals…..and they need to stick with them………hard to do tho in this challenging world we live in.

  • Jhonwotsan

    A career coach,really now can you afford one?

  • Jhonwotsan

    You should have a short term goal in mind when you start.

  • Sellyourannuity

    Make goals for yourself, make them challenging to keep them interesting and you will be more apt to stay with them.

  • Could’t agree more. Really good post on B2B. Everyone try to increase there edge ow working and increase the sales.

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