Episode 46 Jan 06, 2022

Your Value Prop is More Than a Tagline

Do you know the true reason “why someone should buy x from you at y price?”

Our first guest of 2022 has made it his business to help B2B companies define, communicate and, ultimately, sell their value proposition for more than 20 years. Jose Palomino, president of Value Prop Interactive, joined host Barrett Thompson for a rollicking conversation about the state of B2B sales.

The two go back and forth on what has changed and what hasn’t, what separates the A players from the B players, and how software can help sellers meet quota while staying true to their stated value-driven mission.

Barrett was also recently a guest on episode #75 of The Revenue Throughput Podcast. Listen to Jose’s show here: The Revenue Throughput Podcast

Jose Palomino

Jose Palomino

I think the critical path in all of this, and this is true of all marketing, all sales ever, is clarity on both the seller's part and the customer's part on the value proposition. And that often gets overused to mean like tagline. And I don't mean it that way. I mean, the true truth of why somebody should buy X from you at Y price.
- Jose Palomino, Value Prop Interactive

Episode Transcript

Jose Palomino: Yeah, I think the critical path in all of this, and this is true of all marketing, all sales ever right. Is clarity on both the seller's part and the customer's part on the value proposition. And that often gets overused to mean like tagline. And I don't mean it that way. I mean, the true truth of why somebody should buy X from you at Y price and sellers go in and say, well, because I need to get paid.

That's not a reason for the customer. Customer doesn’t care about that.

Barrett Thompson: That's not a value prop for them.

Jose Palomino: Not a value prop for them, you know, it tends to orbit in, in most B2B industrial purchases, you know, like how it's going to make them or save them money, how it's gonna save them time. How it's going to reduce their hassle. And how it's going to mitigate their risk.

Those things are true, but that's not all there is in a value prop because there may be other players that can do those same four things. So then the question is how do you do it any differently? And that difference has to be a difference that matters to your buyer.

Barrett Thompson: Hello everyone. My name is Barrett Thompson. I'm the General Manager of Commercial Excellence at Zilliant. And I'll be your host for our podcast. I'm joined today by Jose Palomino, Founder and CEO of Value Prop Interactive. [00:02:00] Jose welcome to B2B Reimagined.

Jose Palomino: Thanks Barrett. Glad to be here.

Barrett Thompson:, Jose. There's a lot we can learn from your LinkedIn profile and I see deep experience there in sales and marketing both front end entrepreneurial experience, instructional educational experience, but tell us something surprising or interesting about yourself that we wouldn't get by looking at your LinkedIn profile

Jose Palomino: and that won't get me in trouble, right?

Barrett Thompson: That's exactly right. Yep.

Jose Palomino: Well, you know, it's interesting sometimes as you go through different stages in your career, you think back to how you got there and something that's not on my LinkedIn profile is that I want it to be a comic book Artist. That was what I started out doing. That's what I went to school for.

I wanted to, uh, that's what I love doing. I love telling stories and I guess that's kind of makes sense as a marketer and as a salesperson, but that's where I kind of started my journey there. I wasn't quite good enough. There was some really talented people in the field, so, but I found that I could do some of the same things, uh, you know, making my, to kill it, [00:03:00] making my clients the hero of their story.

Barrett Thompson: That's fantastic. That's fantastic imagery. I appreciate you coming on to share today. I can see how that theme has carried through. And recently I had the privilege to appear on your show, the revenue throughput podcast, and we talked about hero making in the sense of growing margins and sales through better pricing practices.

Today, as we chat, I would like to take another angle and discuss how to leverage your competitive edge to win more business and better business. And that's a theme that you've built out and branded. So I'm really keen to hear about that. And thank you again for joining. Let me start off by acknowledging, we're going to talk a lot about how things have changed for B2B sellers. I think as you and I have dialogued, we've acknowledged there's a lot of change and I want us to get into that as we converse, but also don't want to lose sight of the fundamentals that have not changed. And you've spent a lot of time in the trenches with sales teams and the belly of [00:04:00] the beast.

So I wanted to get your perspective first. Jose, what do you think are the changing expectations in the last 10 years, maybe 15 years for B2B sellers what's changing and how are they responding to that?

Jose Palomino: Well, the big change and it's been heavily documented. It's interesting. It's been heavily documented and you can't talk to anybody in professional sales management at any size company that won't acknowledge what I'm about to say, but aren't necessarily living in it.

And that's this that the buyer is now, uh, has the hands on the drivers on the driving wheel. The buyer is actually dictating the terms of engagement to a greater degree. And a lot of this has to do with just how information is flowing. Right? So 20 years ago, let's go back 20 years ago. You had a product X 9,000, that does something, something, right.

In matter of fact, you know, so you have this machine and I sold large, I sold mainframe computer system million dollar systems, right. In my career. And the real source of information for that. Yes, you could get a Gartner [00:05:00] report. Maybe it was there in that field, in IT, but to a large degree, you really needed the sales professional to educate your team on what was what.

So a lot of very specialized things. I mean, that's true. If you were starting out in, let's say from ‘99 to 2002, if you were fortunate selling for SAP, Oracle, you were making serious bank selling licenses as everybody was turning over and you were the source of information. So fast forward. Now, here we are in, you know, in ‘20, ‘21, ‘22, that timeframe, and you have the buyer is much more educated. And in fact, they expect to know everything about your product from your web. Or else what good is your website? It's like that stuff. So you're jumping into the game much further down the consideration process.

If you're being asked to come into a meeting or whatever, they're much further down. So some of the discovery and trying to set the terms of engagement through your discovery process is much more limited now because they're more like, okay, Hey, you're here because we're jumping into it. And [00:06:00] here we are, the good news is.

And there is good news in that because on one hand, there's a lack of control, loss of control and salespeople don't like that. And of course they shouldn't like that, but the flip side of that is if you're invited into the process, at the 75% mark, it means they've actually considered a lot of other things.

And I've chosen you to be one of the final considerations or else you wouldn't be in the room, right? Like, there'll be no point because that the early consideration, not, they're not even doing meetings at that point, they're doing just reading research and sifting down to some choices. So if you're there, that means you're there.

Now you could be there as column fodder for the negotiation to whoever they really want to work with us on, you know, that's the risk of selling. That's why we pay commissions and other variable comp. It's not easy. It can still be a bloodsport, but that's the big change is you have to recalibrate. Okay. What do we do when we're engaging much further down the road in the buying cycle? When the buyer has set the terms of engagement, how do I exert influence. Control of any kind. And here's what the, I [00:07:00] think the attitude should be just so that my value can be understood at the end of the day. I don't really want to work with somebody who can't use what I’m selling.

Who can't benefit from it, but that's going to be a short term relationship. I realized at the end of a particular month or quarter, and your job's on the line, maybe you're not as particular, but by and large, I mean, writ large, you really want to be aligned with good customers that make sense for you. So the problem is sometimes when a customer feels too much in control, which happens, they cut right to it and say, look, I just got four questions to ask you, and this, I want you to answer these four questions.

And they’re putting you right on that kind of right on the edge there, and the reality is this maybe a lot more than they need to know, because as informed as the buyer is, they still don't know what you do as well. So there is value to be there. And so, so the question, the challenge that for the seller today, much more than before, before you could bring value, just because you brought the brochures.

Barrett Thompson: Like you were the walking brochure.

Jose Palomino: You were the walking brochure [00:08:00] and you could do, you know, you can explain the thing and then so on.

Now you have to bring value actually, by figuring out where do you bring. That's actually a much higher level of function than just spewing information. You actually have to quickly assess where do we fit? How can we solve a problem? What's the problem we're really solving and how you can create alignment for that quickly, not wasting your prospect's time, not wasting yours because you only have, you know, roughly 220 selling days a year to hit your numbers anyway, in any given year, that's a big change. That's actually a momentous change in selling. And again, everybody knows this. This is not a secret. Anyone listening to this podcast is not going, “Oh, that's what's been happening in the last 20 years.” They've all known it. They've seen it, but they haven't necessarily adapted to that reality.

They're still trying to, to kind of front end it with, let me give you lots of information. I still see that time and again.

Barrett Thompson: Well it sounds like then there must be some obstacles if you will, to getting the sales team talking about this greater value story above feeds and speeds of the [00:09:00] product. And so I want to drill into two of those.

The first you alluded to is. The customer, they may or may not know that they should have this value oriented discussion above just the product specs, which they already learned off the internet. And they don't want you to bore them by reciting a second time. What is your perspective? How often do customers acknowledge that the next thing I need to know is how your solution would add value? You're one of the semi-finalists let's have a value conversation, so I can pick among the products. How often are the customers asking for that? And if not, then what kind of effort is it like for the sales rep to pivot the conversation to that instead of just four questions and now we're going to select on lowest price.

Jose Palomino: Right. You know, a lot has to do with the level of the buyer. Right? So if you, if you're truly doing an executive sale, you're selling a few hundred thousand dollars system or a corporate, you know, national contract or something like that. And you're talking to somebody pretty senior.

It's actually easily. Once you get the meeting, it's harder to [00:10:00] get the meeting

Barrett Thompson: Asymmetries here, right. Harder to get easier to execute.

Jose Palomino: But once you're there, that person, that's all they talk about is value and strategy. So that's their world. I mean, it shouldn't be, if they’re really senior level people.

They're not thinking about speeds and feeds. They assume that people have vetted that stuff. So they're not worried about that. Of course your stuff will fit their machine or their system, or what have you. What they really want to know is how is it going to work? And it's really four dimensions. We do a seven dimension thing and a four dementia then.

But the four dimension things, the simplest in almost any sales situation, B2B, and it's this Barrett. And I found this to be true again and again and again, there are four things, anyone above the level of a simple procurement agent, who's just trying to get that lowest price, right. They've been told these are the four candidates. Think about that. You tell procurement any one of these four worlds. Right. And that's the shortlist. So at that point, the way they're measured and procurement typically to this day is still measured by how they found savings. They have to document savings. So they meet with [00:11:00] you. They meet with me and let's say our original bid was a hundred thousand dollars.

They want to find on average and recently looking into this on average, in a large corporate procurement, they're looking for five to seven points off of any initial bid, that's just standard. That's what they need to show and they have to document, the original offer was a hundred thousand. I got them down to 93, that's it.

They can talk the game of synergies and strategies and all that. But the bottom line, that's how they're measured. That's how their MBO goes. That's at that level. But if you're calling anyone who's a business user who actually will live with your solution is four things. How am I going to save you money or make you money?

Right. So it's a financial question. How am I going to save you time? How am I going to save you hassle and how I'm going to reduce your risk. So anybody selling, I don't care what you sell electronics or selling spaceships. I don't care. You know, it doesn't matter. If it's a B2B sale, those four dimensions are critical. The higher up you go, the more important.

It's really [00:12:00] simple. So if I have a 20 minute meeting with somebody high level, and I've already been vetted to this meeting and here we're having a meeting and I said, look, I might even be very bold and say, there's only four reasons we might be meeting. And I'd like to know which one of them matter most to you: is this about making you money with our solution?

Is it about saving you time? Is it about reducing some hassle, something in the current thing that you're doing today is a pain in the butt to deal with every day, or do you feel you have a risk exposure that our solution might help mitigate that you hoping will mitigate that, which of those four areas are more important to you?

And if you're at that point, having a serious conversation with someone. They will respond to that and say, well, actually the real thing is we'd like all four, that'd be the pat answer you say, yeah, I realize that, but I'm respectful of your time. You told me we had 20 minutes. I want to focus on the thing that matters most to you.

So you can kind of guide me to that and I'll see if I can. And if I can't, then that's the last time we'll have to talk. Pretty simple. It's a binary question at that point. [00:13:00] And I think that focus will help anyone who's, Again, these meetings are shorter. They're fast. They’re harder to get the most out of them.

So I don't know that that's probably way over answering your question originally, the bear, but that's what came to mind.

Barrett Thompson: No, it's a very appropriate answer to your point about well, understood, but not well-addressed. Right. Well known, but just as well ignored in many businesses. I wanted to mention the second obstacle.

The first one that came to mind for me is how might the customer themselves not know or block you from having this kind of value oriented conversation when it's the right next thing. So that's an external obstacle, but I'm have experienced and heard from clients that I talk with in the B2B space. Many of the obstacles they face are internal within their own sales team and a prime one that comes up again and again, is we have these grand visions about how we want our team to engage with customers, how we want them to sell. We want them to represent this value, let's say, but on the [00:14:00] other hand, if you look at our compensation scheme, if you look at our rewards, if you look at who gets glory on the sales team and why, it could be for a different set of reasons altogether.

And so the internal obstacle is the incentives are not aligned with the kind of behavior that we would like to see, and we believe is now required to succeed in the B2B sales. So what have you seen about that? Is it as bad as, as I think it is? And what kind of guidance do you offer to businesses on how to look at their incentives and figure out whether their incentives are helping them achieve success in the new sales reality or whether their incentives are in fact, holding them back?

Jose Palomino: Well, it's interesting because there's two sides to that, right? So incentives are rewards, right? Clearly this is how you make more money. This is how you gain glory, all those things. But there's another side of it, which is, you know, that's the carrot, there's a stick present too. So being on a, on a weekly pipeline round up, where your boss digs into you because you, you haven't [00:15:00] advanced the cell for the last two weeks on the McGillicuddy account or something.

And you have to stand and deliver and explain and so on. And, you know, among your peers, right. Which is not a great best practice right in front of everybody that you otherwise would want to have their respect. And there's this pressure. And the reason it happens is because your manager, after you're off that call has to join their manager’s call.

And they get another version of that. And I've seen very large multi-billion dollar companies all the way up to the CEO doing this kind of weekly cadence. And it does squeeze out productivity. I'm not arguing I'm including that on top of the details, it will, but doesn't really matter how much you want to say the words be strategic, be relational, you know, build deep context within your best prospects so you can grow and expand our portfolio. And so on. If every week is a beat down session, all right. At every level of the organization, you're not going to create that. And I don't care how you comp [00:16:00] the compensation. It doesn't bother me as much. Let somebody make a million dollars, 200,000. But we do respond to both.

Yes. I'm hungry to make the money, but I also don't want to be beat down on a regular basis. So as a result, I'm going to go to the shorter, the shorter, quicker wins. I'm going to gravitate towards that. You know, today's Monday my meetings in an hour, and I want to be able to say something. Right. So there are still some people that say, well, I'm going to stick to what works.

I'm going to build the relationships. I'm going to find out the strategic value. And that's where you get your top 20% performers. The real question you're asking though, Barrett, as I interpret it is why isn't the other 80% is always going to be an 80 20 rule, right? So there's a bell curve and no matter what talent pool you're working with, but why can't I get that curve to tilt more that way?

Why does it seem resistant? And I think one of it is that again, sales culture in almost every organization is still, I think, to informed by urgent need. [00:17:00] And these are like big companies. Now, private companies can sometimes go too far the other direction where there's no sense of urgency at all.

They've never been in that kind of situation. So it's like the complete other end of the spectrum. There's gotta be a middle ground here Barrett somewhere.

Barrett Thompson: You just mentioned on the, the amount of time and in a sense, the indignity and kind of the. The false outcomes that are generated when every week you're going to take a beat down.

So you have to stand and account for what's happened in a hindsight looking way. Where are we on the accounts that you called on last week? Right? What's happened in those accounts and why hasn't some greater motion been gained but I want to ask this open question, how much time is spent looking forward in an account planning way compared to looking backward and what have you done for me lately kind of way.

Do you feel like B2B businesses are proactive in their account planning? Do you feel like they're talking about how to initiate and extend those value [00:18:00] conversations that you mentioned when they think about account planning? Is that on their mind? Let me start with that. And then I want to ask about the 80 20 and the A versus B players.

Jose Palomino: Well, I think what I've seen in working with some of these large companies, where my practice is primarily owner-led businesses so we tend to fall into the small and mid-market, but because of the length of my career, I get brought into these large corporate settings as well. You know, it's kind of like Godfather II, “just when I want to get out, they pull me back in.”

But it's good for our, all my entire practice, because it gives me a perspective of how the game is played when you have all the money to buy all the toys. So in the very largest, most sophisticated organizations, you are seeing things like account-based marketing now. Uh, certainly sales ops sales enablement, it's much more formal to have pretty senior level people doing those things.

And as a result, they are doing a lot more account planning. But it's still account planning. Like you're filling out the account plan while you're on ice skates being [00:19:00] chased by a bear with a machine gun. I mean, that's still, so that's still the environment and I think sales will always have that kind of kinetic energy to it.

It's just what it is. You have to be fast. You do have to be fast. Competitors are trying to take your business, right? Every major industry, every major category, even in software and so on. I'm not saying it's commodity, but there are many competitive alternatives. So every buyer can choose. I was looking for a consultant management platform for my practice, and I tell you, I had to cut the short list just arbitrarily because of the too many options, there's like 50 companies that could possibly do the job. I want. I can't possibly vet 50 companies that I made a short list of like three or four, and I knew I was leaving some out. So that's happening again and again. So speed matters. So I do think some companies are taking advantage of software intelligence.

They're taking advantage of if they have the financial wherewithal to have head count dedicated to some of these [00:20:00] functions. Again, account-based marketing, which is really looking at large accounts as, as really that is your marketing territory. So you think like a marketer that kind of activity where you're supporting the sales rep’s day-to-day activity with over the top messaging and, and social. And you're doing a lot of things online to these large organizations that's happening. But when you come down to where it's still more resource constrained, it’s really hard and it's not about technology. You can, you can get all this technology in the world.

At some point, you do need human capital to drive any of these things. And if you're a small mid market company, you probably don't have a head of sales, enablement, sales, ops, and account based. Yeah, those aren't headcounts. You have, you have Larry Moe and Curly, those are your three sales reps, and you're hoping to do anything.That’s what it is.

Barrett Thompson: We've had some success on Zilliant side, working with customers and bringing one kind of approach to this greater opportunity to do call planning. It's not that everything in call planning is covered by what I'm about to [00:21:00] describe, but we found a particular success in using historic transaction data algorithms, some other things like this to allow us to find examples of places where there's opportunity inside the account.

So this might be a product cross sale opportunity because we figured out who the peer customers are. We see the peers are buying this product, but it seems like these two customers aren't buying it, but should be. So it makes for a fairly relevant kind of thing to introduce into the call plan. Now to connect that back to things that you are saying, I might not know specifically, if I could add that product to the portfolio, will the customer be attracted because it will save them time or reduce risk or take hassle out of the equation. But if I could prompt and coach the sales rep to follow this lead and go have that conversation, that might be better than just sending them out to run the same old script and the same old play that they run on every customer anyway, which might begin with, “Hey, how about your favorite team this weekend? Right? How do they [00:22:00] perform? Let's talk about sports then let's talk about the weather then I'll ask about your kids and then I'll say, is there anything else you want to put on the order while I'm here?” Right. That's probably less effective than going in and saying, I want to talk to you about this product line that we're carrying that I think you might be interested in. Are you guys using any of this in your business?

Jose Palomino: And if your platform is helping me as a sales rep know that when I call John Smith and I say, “Hey, do you use aluminum Sprockets?” I know they use it, but I have to ask the question. He says, “yeah. As a matter of fact, we use a lot of aluminum Sprockets.”

“I looked at our records. You haven't ever bought any of our aluminum Sprockets, but they have these, you know, they're, they're hardened, they're specialized and whatever it is, they are well priced.” I'm jumping into a meaningful, relevant conversation with a prospect from hello. to your point. That's the difference. And so I love that idea and I could see many, I mean, when I, when I first learned about what your platform did, it really, I found that very attractive because one of the things we do when we do sales training for larger teams, is, we have them come [00:23:00] up with a cross sell upsell roadmap for the accounts, because it turns out that they're making a number on a very narrow band of what they could sell that account because that's the stakeholder they know.

But that stakeholder knows the other stakeholder you need to get who isn't buying from you. And that's just like trying to figure it out by logic, let alone having a database that tells you no, we know this is an area that they're, they're buying from somebody just not you.

Barrett Thompson: That's right. And, you know, I think about too, one of the observations I've heard from many of my customers, when they explain what's changed for them over the decades is that the number of accounts that reps are trying to manage inside their portfolio in general has gone up.

It's grown. So they have more accounts and they have less face time with individual accounts and maybe accounts collectively. And so it turns out there's a kind of 80, 20 happening inside each rep's portfolio. They know their top 5, 10, 15 customers, like the back of their hand. They speak to them all the time.

They're [00:24:00] checking those purchase orders. They're very in tune with what that customer does, what they need. And they think of. About how they can take new ideas into that relationship. But what about the other hundred or 150 customers that are in the portfolio, especially as you get into the long tail, they're the small customers, none of them individually is necessarily important enough that you would spend two hours thinking about getting ready for a call with them, but taken collectively they're worth a significant portion of the portfolio.

And so reps don't have the available time to go do a specific workup and do research on the smaller accounts. Like they might on their very largest accounts, but it's completely feasible to let the software do that kind of research for you, if you will, and go look for all the things that you would normally look for.

Hey, how about some product categories they used to buy a lot of, suddenly inexplicably, theyre not buying that anymore. Oh, that might mean something. Maybe I need to ask why what's going on. That could lead to [00:25:00] me recovering some revenue, or maybe that's the first sign of defection. Maybe my competitor was in there last month and they decided to shop out one or two product categories just to see, you know, they're not willing to jump, ship all at once, but they could be dating someone else.

And I'd like to figure that out before I get the Dear John letter a little bit down the road.

Jose Palomino: Well, what you're describing too Barrett is, is kind of like their few sales professionals who sell to large volume B2B, who wouldn't love to have their personal sales research assistant, because they're being told by their managers, you gotta be on LinkedIn. You gotta be checking out what's going on with your customers. You gotta be doing all this, this and that. And that salesperson's thinking, man, I'm already clocking, you know, 65 hours a week. I mean, even if they say, well, I'll be Herculean and I'll go to 80, it's finite. I mean, at some point they can't do more than 168 and that's if a forego sleeping.

Right. So that's just not possible. So you start thinking about that. And so you describe platforms like, like what [00:26:00] Zilliant does he say? Gee, here's something that's actually what that full-time dedicated sales assistant would do if they were really good at doing all the research and knowing how to ask the questions and then teeing up and say, “Hey, Larry, this is somebody you should call.” It's a flag. And I love the idea of just flagging. These are opportunities. Okay. The customer doesn't even know this was an opportunity, but I know because the data is telling me that I love that. I think that that has a lot of application in many contexts.

Barrett Thompson: I love that image of an assistant who's looking through your portfolio, identifying the opportunities, stack ranking them, telling you which ones are most important to go after most valuable, to go after highest probability for accuracy, all of those things. So we've got those sort of qualitative and quantitative factors built in. We've even seen this extended recently too, beyond just the signals that we get from the buyers' own behavior, their own order stream.

Things that may be driven strictly from the seller's side, but for which there is a real [00:27:00] opportunity in specific buyers. One example is the seller finds themselves in possession of excess inventory and they want to get out of it or either trying to reduce their inventory costs, or maybe it's a perishable inventory.

They need to move it out before it expires. So the question is, well, who should I take that to? And category managers who are responsible for this inventory, they may have a great idea of who the ideal target is, but there are 10,000 customers in the customer master and there are 400 sales reps on the front line.

How do I identify the right customers? And how do I communicate out to the right sales reps? We folded in these sorts of actions and insights, right alongside those AI driven data detection algorithms. They show up the same to a sales rep. You're logging on Monday morning. You're saying, where am I going to spend my time this week? What customers will I call on? What products will I talk about. What price will I charge? Hey, if I could have my assistant tee up all of that and tell me where to spend my time, that's going to be the most [00:28:00] effective way for me as a seller. So now back to the incentives we talked about. If it's, you know, end of week, end of month, end of quarter, you need to perform, you're getting compensated. You have variable compensation riding on this. What if you could have those tied together in a virtuous way. Now the systems and the directives coming at you are aligned to take you to the places where you're most likely to make money, you're most likely to deepen the relationship with a customer.

Jose Palomino: And from a management point of view, you candidly, you can actually raise the stakes because now you're saying, dude, I've teed up on Monday morning. I'm giving you 25, you know, at least orange, if not hot red opportunities to call them that you would otherwise not have known about.

Barrett Thompson: Yes. Yes. And so back to our point earlier about incentives and what does the conversation happening about between management and frontline reps? The conversation can be qualitatively different when instead of just asking what's happened on such and such account or all of your accounts over the last week manager can say, [00:29:00] out of the 25 hot leads that were given I see that you have dismissed a small number of those. You're saying those aren't relevant. You know, something about the account. You consider those out. Here's 15 that you've said you're pursuing, what's happening. When you went in and had that conversation with the customer, and you talked about that, what happened? What did they say? Did they say you're right. And I'm going to give you an order on those aluminum Sprockets. I'm going to give you a shot at that. Or did they tell you that their brother-in-law sources that, and you're never going to get it? Whatever the outcome was, that's all an outcome. There will be an outcome.

And it's something that can be recorded and tracked, you know, in the solution that we provide. It's a natural part of what the sales rep is doing when that action is given and delivered. There's a dropdown list box. You say, am I going to pursue that? Did I win that, spoke to the customer and I won it. I spoke to the customer, but I'm not going to get any business there so it's legit, but I'm not going to get the business. That's important information that feeds back in. If you will, to the intelligence loop, the intelligence system itself, it gets smarter as it [00:30:00] learns what reps are doing with those opportunities. And those actions. And then of course sales management can track and see how you're taking advantage of the great opportunities and leads that are being put in front of you.

As far as I can tell Jose, this is a dramatically different way to measure reps. So maybe not instead of, but in addition to, we're always going to measure them on the outcome as judged by revenue, but let's also measure them on the quality and efficacy with which they take the actionable information that's given to them. And actually apply it. Because if you don't take it and apply it, it's just like a diet or exercise program. It sounds great on paper, but if you don't follow it, it's not going to make any difference.

Jose Palomino: I mean, see this it's, it's sorta like, what is it, you know, first down efficiency or something like that in football.

I mean, you're looking at, you know, we're putting you on the, on the 20 yard line. How often do you bring it in, you know, what's happening. If not, is there something wrong in our set of assumptions? So I love that possibility.

Barrett Thompson: I love this conversation that we're having. I just want to give a moment here if there are any ideas that [00:31:00] you think we should put into this conversation that haven't yet, please offer them now.

Jose Palomino: I think the critical path in all of this, and this is true of all marketing, all sales ever, right, is clarity on both the sellers part and the customer's part on the value proposition. And that often gets overused to mean like tagline. And I don't mean it that way. I mean, the true truth of why somebody should buy X from you at Y price and sellers go in and say, well, because I need to get paid. That's not a reason for the customer. Customer doesn’t care about that.

Barrett Thompson: That's not a value prop for them.

Jose Palomino: Not a value prop for them, you know, it tends to orbit in, in most B2B industrial purchases, you know, like how it's going to make them or save them money, how it's gonna save them time. How it's going to reduce their hassle. And how it's going to mitigate their risk.

Those things are true, but that's not all there is in a value prop because there may be other players that can do those same four things. So then the question is how do you do it any differently? And that difference has to be a difference that matters to your buyer.

You know, like what was the Mary Kay, the pink Cadillac, right? So, you know, the [00:32:00] management consultant that comes in a pink Cadillac it's different, but it doesn't really matter that much to most buyers. Right. So it's the same principle, just meeting the mark of value is great. But then how do you do it in a meaningfully different way?

You, as a seller and as strategists, marketers, owners, you know, anyone setting the agenda for your product really have to always give thought to that, not different for different’s sake, but difference for the benefit of the customer. What is your difference that benefits your customer. Know, that sharpen that, have that like deep in your heart. And that just comes out. And that is the stuff that when it comes to crunch time and after they say, boy, you're one of two. And we talk about that with competitive edge. You only need to win the race by a millisecond, but the one who breaks the tape first gets the medal, everyone else, and I know this is harsh, but everyone else's first loser, there is no second place.

So that's [00:33:00] what you have to think.

Barrett Thompson: That's definitely the new success in modern B2B selling Jose. I want to thank you again for taking the time to share your perspective and have this conversation today. I really appreciate all that you've brought to the podcast.

Jose Palomino: Oh my pleasure. My pleasure. Absolutely.

Barrett Thompson: I want to thank each of our podcast listeners for being with us today.

Be sure to check out the link to Jose's Revenue Throughput podcast in the show notes. We are committed to your success. And if you need any assistance, please reach out to us at Zilliant. If you would take a moment and do us a favor today, rate and review the show as it helps us to continue to put out great free content. Until next time, have a great day.

Are you ready to learn how Zilliant can help you overcome your pricing challenges?

Reach out to us today to learn how we can help!