• Ratnesh Mittal

B2B Sales - Relationship vs. Business Value

Sales Relationship

Question have been raised about the effectiveness of relationship in sales transactions. Some experts believe that sales must focus exclusively on creating value, that customer relationships cannot be monetised in the VUCA world!

It’s true that buyer-seller relationships are changing:

  • No Single KDM – Research shows that on an average, 6.8 stakeholders are involved in every buying decision

  • Corporate Governance – Reduced subjectivity in buying

  • Attractive Alternatives – Disruptors are forcing a review of entrenched supplier relationships

  • High Employee Churn – Buyers don’t build relationships with sales people as the average tenure of a sales person is just 1.4 years

Therefore, it is argued that while relationships are a good-to-have, sustained winnability needs value creation.

In our view, this is a flawed starting point. Value and Relationships strengthen each other and creating meaningful value requires the pre-existence of a strong relationship basis.

Relationship refers to the salesperson’s ability to enhance customers’ internal power or influence. When the seller increases a contact’s internal influence, it opens up the possibility of value creation for both organisations.

Such relations require trust built over a period of time. However, value created accelerates trust building. Here is a 4-step template to get into the upward spiral of Value and Relationship creation.

  1. Map the customer stakeholders, their informal dynamics and personal-professional objectives

  2. Understand the customer’s business strategy deeply

  3. Build credible solutions addressing various stakeholder goals

  4. Create a matrix of customer engagements across both organisations

Here value builds relationship which opens further avenues for creating greater order of value. This is an interactive process – starting with small wins and building the stakes up at each stage.

To kick start the Value Creation and Relationship cycles in your organisation, please contact us

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