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The JOLT Effect

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Matt Dixon

Author's Spotlight

Matthew Dixon is the author of The Challenger Sale, The Challenger Customer, and now he adds The JOLT Effect to his list of best-selling books for B2B Sales professionals.

During this episode, Matt shares his insights on how B2B Sales professionals can help buyers to avoid the risk of the dreaded "no decision" which represents how 40% - 60% of qualified B2B opportunities end.

Matt considers himself a "sales anthropologist" which highlights his deep research-based approach to understanding why buyers buy, and how the best B2B Sales professionals help their buyers become customers.

The basis of The JOLT Effect was listening to 2.5 Million sales conversations using conversational intelligence to identify common themes in the buying process. Those predictive signals were segmented into which were most predictive of a "Win" versus a "Closed-Lost No Decision". This was made possible as COVID required the majority of B2B Sales conversations to be virtual, and that made it much easier to capture sales calls in a digital format to apply Machine Learning to those 2.5M sales conversations.

The research identified three major reasons that buyers end up in "indecision" which represents 56% of deals that end in "No Decision". Those primary reasons include:

  1. Valuation Problems

  2. Lack of Information

  3. Outcome Uncertainty

Valuation Problems are highlighted by having too many choices and it being hard to determine which solution is best positioned to address the challenges of the current state and have the highest probability of achieving the outcomes that were used as the basis for the purchase decision and investment.

Lack of Information is the buyer continues to think they need more information before they can make a decision that is most likely to end in success versus failure, where failure is the #1 concern of most buyers. This invokes the fear of "omission bias" which is a powerful human need not to experience blame because of a decision they make. "FOMU" which stands for Fear of Messing Up is a much more powerful emotion that Fear of Missing Out which is often the tactic that B2B Sales professionals use to incent a positive purchase decision.

Outcome Uncertainty is when the buyer is concerned that the actual return on investment will be hard to achieve, and they are better served to maintain the "status quo" versus not achieving the ROI they projected to justify the purchase. FOMU

One interesting aspect of "outcome uncertainty", is that sales professionals that effectively "set expectations" that are not overwhelming or hard to believe by the buyer. Using the simple concept of under promise and over deliver, and being able to balance expectations leads to an increased win rate from 20% to 51% when B2B Sales professionals can effectively set expectations that the buyer believes are achievable.

Another learning was how to determine the reason for "buyer indecision". JOLT stands for: 1) Judge the reason for indecision; 2) Offer a recommendation on how to move forward; 3) Limit the exploration and Take Risks off the table.

87% of sales calls have buyers who exhibit some level of moderate to severe indecision. How to judge the reason for indecision first requires "active listening". Then the technique of "ping and echos" by offering potential reasons for indecision (the fear) to the buyer to uncover potential reasons for a sales cycle resulting in no decision.

When it comes to "Offering" a recommendation, the research shows an increase in win rates from 14% to 36% when a B2B Sales professional diagnoses the needs, problems, and/or concerns and then offers a recommendation versus not providing solutions to address the uncovered reasons for purchasing or not purchasing.

If you are a B2B Sales professional or lead a company or function that is responsible for converting prospects into customers, this conversation with Matt Dixon, the author of The JOLT effect is a high-value listen!!!

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