North American Association of Sales Engineers

North American Association of Sales Engineers

European Association of Sales Engineers

B2B Sales Strategies Best Practices

B2B sales, or business-to-business sales, refers to the process of selling products or services to other businesses rather than directly to consumers. This type of sales can be more complex than B2C (business-to-consumer) sales because the decision-making process is often longer and involves multiple stakeholders. B2B sales also typically involve larger financial transactions and longer-term contracts.

There are several key strategies that can help B2B sales professionals be successful. One of the most important is building strong relationships with clients. In B2B sales, it is essential to establish trust and credibility with potential clients. This can be achieved by demonstrating a deep understanding of the client’s business and their specific needs, as well as by being responsive and reliable.

Another important strategy is to focus on the value that the product or service provides to the client. In B2B sales, the product or service is often a means to an end – it helps the client achieve their business goals. Therefore, it is important for the salesperson to understand how the product or service will benefit the client and to communicate that value effectively.

Effective B2B sales professionals also have strong negotiation skills. Because the financial stakes are often higher in B2B sales, it is important to be able to negotiate favorable terms for both the client and the company. This may involve finding creative solutions to meet the client’s needs while also maximizing profits.

In addition to these general strategies, there are also a number of best practices that can help B2B sales professionals be more effective. One of these is to create a clear sales process and follow it consistently. This can help ensure that all necessary steps are taken and that nothing is overlooked. Another important best practice is to use data and analytics to inform sales efforts. This can help sales professionals identify trends, optimize their efforts, and make more informed decisions.

Finally, it is important for B2B sales professionals to stay up-to-date on industry developments and trends. This can help them better understand the needs of their clients and how to position their products or services in the market.

Overall, B2B sales can be a challenging but rewarding career. By building strong relationships, focusing on value, and staying informed about industry developments, B2B sales professionals can be successful in helping their clients achieve their business goals.

For further, and more in-depth, discussion about ideal sales processes, please check out:

Water the Crops

The Training meeting had ended. Like so many sessions before, it was billed as sales training when in fact it had been product training. Lots of materials had been shared to show the enhancements to the product. There were several shiny new bells and whistles, none of which me or my colleagues had ever been asked for by a customer. We were assured that these new features were in the best interest of the customer and the best part was we could charge for them. What was even greater was we were being told we could earn lots of commission selling them. The trouble with all of this was there was not a shred of tactical sales strategy given to us, to help us with that process. Sound familiar to you?

As I talk to fellow sales professionals across the country, I hear countless stories like this where their organizations confuse Product training with Sales Training. Where they confuse CRM Training with Sales Training. In Product Training, features and benefits are discussed and we know that features tell, and benefits sell, but not alone and by themselves. They usually require an individual to put their spin on the benefit in a way that brings that to life for the customer or prospect. That successful spin might involve a story or an anecdote and should be delivered with enthusiasm and knowledge. This is where tactical sales training comes in, that is separate and distinct from all other trainings that involve salespeople. Just because you involve a salesperson in a training session does not make it a sales training session unless you are talking about how to sell what you are selling.

Thinking more about my career and the sales training I had received, I thought back as to how many sessions I took that were actually conducted by salespeople themselves. The more I thought, the fewer I could recall. The sessions were normally conducted by someone that was from Sales Enablement or Sales Support or the Sales Training Department. These were usually very nice people but had never worked in the field or sold the product they were speaking about. Sure, they could whip up a fancy 25-page presentation with the latest graphics and information, but their trainings never had an ounce of tactical sales strategy. I began to think if this was like this at my former firm, might it be that way at others? And if it is, how many salespeople are starving for Tactical Sales training, that could actually help them sell their products. And do their organizations even know this is an issue?

In the present environment with so many salespeople working from home and via zoom, the traditional “tell all” signs to gauge sales performance are becoming blurred. With fewer and fewer calls currently being conducted in a face to face environment, interaction between salespeople, their leaders and Senior Leaders can be scarce. The pandemic has led to even more pressure on results as clients and prospects retrench and refocus on their bottom lines and examine every item of cost and process to ensure their own survivability. As that happens, what worked for Salespeople in an up economy becomes a struggle for them in an uncertain economy. To further combat these poor sales results, companies across the country cut budgets for items that are considered not business critical and an unnecessary expense. Unfortunately, one of the items first on the chopping block, becomes training. I liken this to a farmer who grows crops, where the price has gone down for his product. Does he stop watering the crop and risk losing it all, or does he water it intelligently, ensuring he has a harvest and can get what the market will bear?

In such uncertain times, businesses in my opinion should consider this the best time to tactically train their salespeople. Just like the farmer who continues to water their crops, continue to feed your salespeople with the tools to harvest the business that is available in their markets. More importantly it is critical to invest in the right training for your specific needs, from the professional that can best provide it. Do everything you can to help your salespeople grow and prosper as opposed to withering and dying on the vine.  When it comes time for the harvest, they will thank you and you will see the results.

Roger McNamara Bio:

Roger is a 25+-year veteran of the Payments Industry, most recently as the Director of Business Development with American Express in the US. He has worked on the largest Acquisition targets for acceptance across multiple Industries and across the globe that include : Airlines, Communications, Technology, Cruise Lines, Entertainment, Fractional Jet, Freight, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Residential Rent, Restaurants, QSR’s, Retail, Services, Supermarkets, Travel, Vehicle Sales,  B2B and Wholesale. Over that time, he has sold more than $200 Billion worth of Card processing and became an expert in Bankcard Interchange and Discount Rates, how they are calculated and what merchant pay to accept Credit and how this is dramatically different from what they believe they pay. He is an expert in Merchant Statement analysis and payment processing and the rules and regulations associated with payments and the associations. Roger has also developed the insight for Merchant Services Salesforces and salesforces in general to be able to better position their products and gain share particularly in B2B. Let him show you how you can too. He can be reached at

10 Compelling Reasons Why You Need Sales Transformation Strategies To Achieve Business Objectives

Sales Transformation, in its most basic form, is ensuring that your salespeople have the greatest skills, tools, and sales infrastructure to support successful and profitable sales results in line to strategic objectives of the organization.

Sales transformation is a type of change management that involves reorganizing a sales organization by realigning how assets and people are utilized. We build on this with a business plan aimed at reorganizing a sales organization to increase revenue and profitability generation.

There are numerous publications available on how to carry out a sales transformation program, but the recommendations in these guides are frequently excessively broad. Sales transformation strategies must be tailored to each organization rather than relying on a shaky general strategy.

The most pressing need is for a sales force to shift from pushing products to cultivating customer loyalty… Starting with these ten tactics, you can make a nice profit while doing so:

  • Recognize the issues that your prospects and clients face in their businesses: Investigate and comprehend your clients’ most pressing issues, as well as the state of their industry, company, and major stakeholders. Plan how to persuade them that you can assist them by using anecdotes and use cases to demonstrate your worth.
  • Make the customer experience more pleasant: Align your resources with what clients care about the most. Make sure the responsibilities, reporting relationships, and metrics are all in order. Create a “willing to assist” culture. Make it simple for others to do business with you.
  • Train and coach for abilities that fulfill the needs of customers and foster loyalty: From top to bottom, evaluate the talents required. Then work on developing the skills that are lacking and reinforcing the ones that are currently in place. To ensure that these skills are honed, coach at the moment.
  • Changes to your CRM solution should be made: The race is won by going slowly and steadily. The most important issue we have observed with CRM installations is that the demand for input from sales teams is so high that it becomes a liability for the sales team rather than an asset. Reduce the amount of data you need in the system and always ask yourself, “Is what we’re asking for helping or hindering our salespeople’s quest for revenue?” You want them to be engaged and a part of the process, not an afterthought, if you want a solid commitment.
  • Compensation should be designed to encourage behaviours that support your company’s objectives: Everyone in the sales organization must focus on achieving well-defined business goals and growth targets to increase productivity and control costs. People should be paid in a way that encourages them to achieve certain objectives, such as expanding into new markets, gaining new clients, cross-selling to existing customers, or increasing the profitability of each deal through higher pricing.
  • Equip the back office so that salespeople may devote their time to selling: Many solution providers have a secret weapon: the back office, which may handle the majority of lead qualification, proposal generation, pricing approval, contract administration, and billing management, freeing up 20% to 30% of a salespeople’s unproductive time in the field.
  • A transformation strategy’s most important, and often overlooked, the driver is sales skill: Only 16 percent of sales leaders believe they have the talent they need to succeed in the future, indicating that talent is a practically universal concern for sales organizations. Who to hire, how to locate them, and how to develop and support them are all issues that sales companies are grappling with.
  • Bigger deals: Your sales force must have a thorough understanding of your company’s sales process to determine which leads should be nurtured and which should be ignored. This will allow them to focus on leads and possibilities that will increase the company’s worth and revenue. Furthermore, because it equips everyone with the capabilities to manage these high-value agreements, a well-engineered sales process can attract bigger and more important deals.
  • Time is of the essence: Salespeople waste a lot of time trying to close sales that are never going to happen. A good sales process will enable salespeople and management to spot a squandered opportunity early on. One of the most critical duties your sales staff can perform is prospect qualification, which involves determining whether a prospect is a suitable fit as a customer and whether they are worth your time and effort.
  • Increased conversion: Your conversion rate is determined by the design and engineering of your sales process. You can make the process more efficient and add tools to help your salespeople clinch more deals from your prospects and leads by thoroughly knowing it. A well-designed sales process will eliminate sales objections before they are raised by the customer and build trust, making the potential customer feel safe enough to make a transaction with you.


Growing multi-product and solutions businesses over time will not happen by tinkering with the sales model on the margins, but rather by holistically addressing complexity. Sales organizations must design simpler, more disciplined sales models that can be applied to several segments. The ten techniques outlined here will assist executives and sales leaders in achieving this goal, allowing them to produce profitable growth while taking advantage of shifting client expectations.

And if you are looking to establish a solid sales transformation with execution of these techniques in a very scientific way – please connect with ChalkWalk and engage for a customized transformation project that will deliver growth and meet your long term strategic objectives.

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Sales Training – Beyond the Dreaded Role Play

By Roger McNamara

The Difference Between Roleplay Software & Conversation Intelligence
Typical sales training session

Often at the end of a sales training meeting there would be time allocated for role plays with fellow colleagues.  I always dreaded these as I always saw it as a test in artificial conditions to try and test what I was supposed to have learned. I can see folks now breaking off into pairs, spreading out across a conference room in some hotel somewhere. When we started to video tape these and play them back, I would always cringe. The seller would be so staccato in their delivery and the buyer would be unrealistically easy or hard depending on their rank in the organization. If you are in sales no doubt this has a familiar ring to it. In the back of my mind I always felt that this time was more of a time filler for the sales trainer and quite frankly a waste of time for the salespeople. I know there are some who might disagree with this, but nothing substitutes for the live environment, there is nothing like a real sales call to practice and learn.

I have always maintained that sales is an art, not a science. It is more of a personality than anything else. The art of the sale needs to be practiced and the live environment is a fantastic tool for achieving that. If you sell the type of product that is somewhat repetitive, in a short space of time you can hone your skills by making mistakes and learning from them. The repetitive nature of sales and sales calls serves to build confidence, the key ingredient of successful sellers. It stands to reason that the more you do something the better you should get at it. In sales this is particularly true, with reps comes experience and with experience comes higher success rates… for those who chose to learn . For those who do not, it can be a very tough (and very short) career.

Early in my sales career I was accustomed to making 15-20 cold calls a day. 15-20 times a day to practice the pitch, the delivery, the buzz words. I never saw cold calling as painful as it can be a chore. The practice made me better and better every day. Later in my career I might only do 2 sales calls per month and one might think that with less activity would come diminishing skills. During that time, I would seek meetings with internal groups to share sales skills. Unbeknownst to them, they were my practice subjects. It was there in my internal company meetings that I would practice my delivery, pitch, and language. There would always be questions at the end of these sessions that would serve to help me with objection handling and to refine my answers and gain confidence.

Sales training is a very key component of any salesperson’s success. If you are going to take people out of the field and away from their selling time where they earn their living, the training needs to be impactful and meaningful. It needs to be motivational and inspirational, the type that makes salespeople want to run through brick walls to get to their next sale. Too often it is scripted or comprises of the latest fad system when all that is required is a little common sense. Sales training is not product knowledge, but it is often confused with training for salespeople. When a new sales process or rule is put in place or a mandatory field is added to your trusty CRM system, it should not be billed as sales training when the Salesforce gets together. Sales training needs to be tactical, nothing else. 

Professional athletes study video and thus their opposition every day of the season. They learn about the characteristics of their opponent, their tendencies and thus their skill and reactions to make them more successful. Those that embrace this the most and apply their art and talent, cash the biggest checks. Telling these very same athletes that another row of seats has been added to the arena they play in is nice to know but hardly germane to increasing their productivity in play. Sales is the very same.

When was the last time your organization trained and discussed with you your Art? When was the last time you looked at the softer skills that really make your personality more successful? So much can be learned and carried sales call to sales call. What Psychological aspects of the selling process are you missing? What does it mean when your prospects act a certain way? Are you communicating in today’s environment the most effective way with the audience you are trying to reach?  Are you practicing “Salesperson Insanity”? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?

Sales by its very nature should not be complicated. You have a need, I have a product, we meet, form a bond, and discuss the value that can be delivered, a product is sold, and a sale is made. At its simplest this is what happens. A commonsensical approach to selling that takes full advantage of your Art form and personality with an emphasis on as many soft skills as possible is the best recipe for success. So, leave the role plays and video cameras at the door……. only sales professionals in here.

Roger McNamara Bio:

Roger is a 25+-year veteran of the Payments Industry, most recently as the Director of Business Development with American Express in the US. He has worked on the largest Acquisition targets for acceptance across multiple Industries and across the globe that include : Airlines, Communications, Technology, Cruise Lines, Entertainment, Fractional Jet, Freight, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Residential Rent, Restaurants, QSR’s, Retail, Services, Supermarkets, Travel, Vehicle Sales,  B2B and Wholesale. Over that time, he has sold more than $200 Billion worth of Card processing and became an expert in Bankcard Interchange and Discount Rates, how they are calculated and what merchant pay to accept Credit and how this is dramatically different from what they believe they pay. He is an expert in Merchant Statement analysis and payment processing and the rules and regulations associated with payments and the associations. Roger has also developed the insight for Merchant Services Salesforces and salesforces in general to be able to better position their products and gain share particularly in B2B. Let him show you how you can too. He can be reached at or check out his website

Industrial Distribution: Who’s doing the selling?

(by Frank Hurtte) Let’s talk about selling.  More specifically, let’s discuss selling technical products – products that possess unique features differentiating them from the competition.

Further, let us define precisely what we mean by selling.  There are several definitions of types of selling.  This example illustrates the two most radically different types of selling:

Further comparing the two types of selling

Distributors specializing in transactional (only) selling generally carry multiple brands of the same product.   This “one-stop shopping” is advertised as a customer convenience; however, this works similarly to Walmart’s approach to selling colas.  When a customer walks into their local mega-center the company does not care if they buy Coke, Pepsi, RC, or some other brand.  Further, this approach also leads to “house brands” like Wally Worlds Sam’s Choice Cola. 

Amazon is another excellent example of transactional selling.  There is no need to walk into a store when you can open your phone or laptop and be instantly connected to Amazon.  Again, if the customer knows what they want, products can be purchased.  And like Walmart, Amazon doesn’t much care which product is selected as long as the purchase comes from Amazon. 

At both Walmart and Amazon, companies are offered opportunities to grow their sales for a fee.  If you happen to sell a generic product, it might work.   For example, at Walmart soft drink makers pay to have their product “featured” as you walk into the store and sometimes pay to offer deep discounts which are used to drive sales and sometimes to talk consumers into making an extra trip.  Similarly, Amazon offers manufacturers/sellers the ability to upgrade their accounts to designate their products as “featured,” thus giving the seller more visibility.

The same rule applies to “commodity-like” products and distributors.  If a customer wants a common product where the brand is not a consideration, they ask for it, sometimes using industry slang, and the customer service representative provides a price and delivery.

When distributors carry multiple brands of a commodity product, the smartest salespeople sell (using a generic form of the word) the brand/product which creates the greatest gross margin.   It is possible for a manufacturer to temporarily increase unit volume by dropping these margins.  The issue becomes, most manufacturers do not carefully calculate the increase necessary to offset the loss in margin.   Further, in time other credible competitors adjust their price making gains difficult.

Who sells the product? 

To answer this question, let’s further break down distributor selling.  Virtually every selling component is described below.  (If you have other points, send them along and we will add them!)

Mostly transaction activities

Advanced transactional activities

Active selling activities

Sales activities cost money for the distributor

Each of these activities costs money.  If the distributor does not provide the activity, then the onus falls onto the manufacturer.  Somebody pays – it’s just a matter of who ends up with the bill.

Sadly, most distributors have done a poor job of tracking the expenses tied to each of these activities.  Based on observations within the study of distributor association profit benchmarking reports, the “active selling” tasks require a gross margin percentage that is approximately 30-32 percent higher than “transactional selling.” 

Contrasting distributor types to see the need for higher margins

In the industrial sector, distributors operating in Electrical Distribution (members of the National Association of Electrical Distributors – NAED) and Automation Distribution (members of the Association for High Tech Distribution – AHTD) often sell to similar customer sets.  The primary difference comes in the types of products sold, with NAED members selling a higher percentage of “commodity-like” products. 

NAED members generally sell more replacement products to End Users in MRO environments.  Many of the transactions involve replacing a component that arrived in their manufacturing facility on a piece of machinery.  The customer usually knows the part number and description of the replacement part.  Even if the product is not a commodity, the selling effort is still largely transactional.

AHTD distributors, who tend to focus on new OEM applications and more technologically complex end-user needs, engage in more active selling.  While they do sell some replacement parts, the majority of their business is focused on active sales.

Profit Benchmarking Reports tell the story

Both AHTD and NAED participate in profit benchmarking.  Data from these indicate the typical gross
margin for an AHTD member is approximately 26 percent while the typical NAED member reports a gross margin hovering around 20 percent. 

Armed with this data, one could expect the bottom-line profitability of AHTD members to be substantially higher than that of NAED members.  However, the reports indicate the profit margin percentages for the groups to be approximately equal, pointing to an increased cost of sales activities.

What this means for manufacturers

Manufacturers must understand the difference between transactional and active selling.  While many manufacturers have created tiered distribution plans with terms like “market makers,” “market servers,” and other types of categorizations, the strategies appear to have failed. 

In a special report generated after nearly 20 in-depth interviews with highly focused active selling distributors, we arrived at these conclusions:

The problem is many times the situation is not black and white – there are hundreds of shades of gray.  Even the previously mentioned companies have salespeople probing into other types of business.  This creates issues.  Here are some problem points made by the distributors interviewed:

If this type of distributor can get an SPA this opens the doors for them to block out the market making distributor.

This is often influenced by field sales and reps who feel like they gain favor with the distributor by offering up the additional margins associated with being a market making distributor.

Large orders do not necessarily qualify a distributor for this role.

It is the role of a procurement department to drive unit price cost to the minimum level.  Opening up the distributor landscape to other distributors typically drives the prices down. 

Citing another recent report on small to midsized distributors in the market, we found many distributors who have become extremely specialized in specific technologies.  These distributors have created a niche by selling a few very focused product groups, mostly to OEMs serving one or two categories. 

These distributors state they must often switch their “active selling” direction because their manufacturing partners allow other distributors to apply margin pressure against them at their accounts.  This is disturbing because this group of distributors is truly creating market expanding services to the manufacture in at least several categories.

Manufacturers with the broadest product lines often fail to realize the specialized activities of this breed of distributor.  The result is extra energies are required of the manufacturer’s team to supplement the efforts of a more general distributor. 

The time is ripe to better understand who is doing the work

This is complicated.  First, product technologies shift.  For example, years ago, variable frequency drives were considered cutting-edge technology, yet today many classes of this product approach “commodity” status.  Second, some distributors fall into the middle ground – actively selling in some instances while transactionally selling in others. 

Further complicating things, manufacturer field sales teams (rep-based, direct employees, and regional managers) are often asked to judge distributor performance without much objective input.  Many bet on larger plays hoping they will ramp up their active selling activities. 

In the case of manufacturers with multiple distributors in the market, the manufacturer’s team probably knows the transactional distributor better than the active seller.  Why?  The active sellers often know the products better or at least as well as the factory salesperson.  And the nature of the sale precludes lots of day-to-day distributor/manufacturer interactions.


Manufacturers who understand the size and extent of the opportunity to expand market share in new products and technologies find ways to model and mold their channel sales efforts to match their distributor partners.  Strangely, many manufacturers do not fully understand the value of market share on some of their products.  Without this key piece of information, decisions surrounding the cost of sales activities are impossible.  Sad but true…

Frank Hurtte is one of the leading proponents of Knowledge-based distribution. A business should surround the products they sell with their engineering and technical expertise. Even though he is a speaker and consultant, he is first and foremost a Sales Engineer. For more info, please visit:

Ode to Inside Sales

The inside sales representative is often an unsung hero in many companies, and that is a shame. In many ways they are one of the absolute keys to revenue and the whole sales operation. Sometimes referred to as a different title (sales support, etc), here we will look at the value of ISR’s and also the possibility of converting an ISR to a sales engineer.

The first job I had out of college was as an inside sales rep. I had my Bachelor of Science degree, but this was my first “real” job. The truth is that inside sales is often an entry-level position at many companies- and there is nothing wrong with that. Some people remain as ISR’s their entire career, others manage an inside sales team, and others convert into outside sales/ account managers or possibly to sales engineers. More about that later.

Being quick on your feet, and solving problems

What did I learn in inside sales? Plenty, including:

company culture

product/service knowledge – technical

company structure/ who does what

working alongside an outside/field sales person

customer service

solving client problems / answering questions

quoting & proposals

dealing with our service or product providers

The truth is that all of these skills are needed to become a good sales engineer, or to become an account manager or account executive.

I recall many times throughout my career in outside sales or as a project manager- when I needed my supplier or some material, 85% of the time my first call was to “my” inside sales person at that company. They had the answers. They answered the phone (imagine that!). They got things done quickly. They valued me as a customer. In many cases, the times that I did reach out first to my account manager- all they did was hang up the phone and then call that same inside sales person!

For the company at-large, there is great value in simply engaging constantly with your inside sales team; they speak to more of your customers on a daily or weekly basis than any other position. They know the pain points of many of your clients. They know that the new upgraded widget won’t sell because it is too expensive (10 of you customers have told them so in the past month).

In summary, as a former inside sales rep and one who has relied on the ISR for most of my career, let’s give a virtual round of applause to this very needed, yet sometimes underappreciated, role! (And hiring managers- worth taking a look at these people for sales engineer openings….)

Presentation version Conversation

15.3 Billion trees are cut down each year across the globe. I dare say a number of these wind up being used for business presentations that quickly make their way then to the paper shredder. You like me have probably sat through that massive deck or presentation; you know the one, a 60 plus pages where your eyes glossed over at about page 6. And where the presenter is hell bent on getting through it in an hour. I once worked at a firm that was all about the presentation. The bigger the better. At one point we were taught to memorize it complete with specific page transitions. It was kind of a one solution fits all and we were delivering it whether you wanted to hear it or not. As I look back it was probably this that created my disdain for a presentation for all occasions. Let’s face it some people need a presentation as a guide for their thoughts, for them not having a presentation would be like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. For others who have the enviable skill to speak extemporaneously and in detail without the assistance of notes and slides, a presentation is like a straitjacket that needs to be avoided at all costs. For the latter Irish people call it “The Gift of the Gab”, others have a few choice names for it as well.

Having been on thousands of sales calls over the years I was often joined by my key linkages at meetings. A few days before the meeting, I would get that e-mail that would say, “Hey can you share with me the presentation for the call?”  Most of the time I would be responding that there was none. I would have loved to have been in the room when they read the e-mail, as I am sure it was a mixture of disbelief and worry. No presentation, what are we going to do? What will I tell my leader? Where is the proof that we are working on this account? With the product that I sold; it was rarely a one call close. Much had to be done before we got to that point. Usually we needed first to have a conversation, build rapport, learn about the prospects business, and ask lots of questions about how they did things. Who their customers were and what their thoughts and perceptions were about our organization? What were their financials like and how was their business run and finally were there any technical hurdles that needed to be overcome to make a deal work?  After that conversation and with the answers we received, we then could and only then begin the process of putting together what we wanted to present, fitting their needs with our services. On occasion clients would tell us they had no interest in Marketing, right there we could eliminate upwards of twenty pages. Simply put, to present before we asked the right questions would be like slinging you know what on the wall.

Still it never ceased to amaze me how many salespeople within organizations think differently. I am not sure if these salespeople are just uncomfortable or afraid to have a conversation, but they seemed to always have a presentation as a crutch. There is a propensity as we say to show up and throw up. Too often as salespeople we are afraid of the “No”. So, to head that decision off, instead of asking the right questions, we go right into telling, selling, and presenting. Despite good intentions this is a turn off for the prospect. In companies today particularly larger organizations standardization is the normal and it takes a brave individual to stand up if this is the case to buck the need for sales presentations at every turn. A good salesperson following on from asking the right questions will get to the presentation if needed once they know what they need to sell.

Some of the largest deals I sold in my career were sold with a single sheet of paper. In my case I liked to listen to the client to hear what the true objections were, and, in my case, it was usually cost, not price. There is a difference. Once I could establish that cost was somewhat neutral and more about return the conversation shifted to enablement and growth. Without addressing this major issue on calls, no number of pages telling them how great our brand was, would change their mind.

Salespeople need to lead the sales process, do not be led or influenced by what others think should be done. Trust your judgement and instincts with your customer. Be bold and assertive on what needs to happen in your sales process and you just might save a few more trees (and/or “cloud” data space) along the way.

Roger McNamara Bio:

Roger is a 25+-year veteran of the Payments Industry, most recently as the Director of Business Development with American Express in the US. He has worked on the largest Acquisition targets for acceptance across multiple Industries and across the globe that include : Airlines, Communications, Technology, Cruise Lines, Entertainment, Fractional Jet, Freight, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Residential Rent, Restaurants, QSR’s, Retail, Services, Supermarkets, Travel, Vehicle Sales,  B2B and Wholesale. Over that time, he has sold more than $200 Billion worth of Card processing and became an expert in Bankcard Interchange and Discount Rates, how they are calculated and what merchant pay to accept Credit and how this is dramatically different from what they believe they pay. He is an expert in Merchant Statement analysis and payment processing and the rules and regulations associated with payments and the associations. Roger has also developed the insight for Merchant Services Salesforces and salesforces in general to be able to better position their products and gain share particularly in B2B. Let him show you how you can too. He can be reached at