B2B Sales, Lead Generation and Marketing Blog

2 Types of Sales People - a B2B sales view

Posted by Sean O'Neil on Tue, Aug 24, 2010 @ 14:08 PM

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We've seen salespeople in all forms - employees, business partners, vendors, etc.  In today’s B2B sales world you have two types of sales people:

  1. those that "sell to sell"
  2. those that "sell to deliver

Let me start by explaining the selling philosophies of each type, then I bet you can decide which you are.  The descriptions might even remind you of some of your sales reps.

Silhouettes of two business menSalesperson that "sells to sell"

  • Focused on closing the opportunity. They are so focused on closing the opportunity that they will sacrifice pricing at the drop of a hat. 
  • First sign of a sell to sell guy is snide or under-the-breath type comments from the delivery team when he walks in the room.
  • They will also sacrifice delivery in a way that often forces those that deliver to work extra hours on projects while not billing them to the project or end customer.
  • They consider their sales as “investments toward the big deal” or “a way of competing with our overpriced competition.” 
  • A sell to sell guy has no concern for the big picture, repeatable processes or value proposition. They are only concerned with cutting price or under-selling delivery to meet the needs of the client.  
  • As a result, margins typically come in below 20%. This isn’t a concern for Mr. Sell-to-Sell guy because his sales manager has agreed to pay them commission regardless of the margins.  They both should be fired.
ADVICE: Mr. Sell-to-Sell guy, you need to understand your organization's value proposition and if they don’t have one, then close the doors and go sell something with value.

happy salesmanSalesperson that "sells to deliver"

  • Focused on selling value to the customer while ensuring a profitable engagement for the organization. Sometimes it is better to lose the opportunity than to sacrifice delivery or profit margins.
  • A true "sell to deliver" individual will handle a prospect who is only concerned with price from the beginning by showcasing quality and value.
  • Mr. Sell-to-Deliver ensures that a project will be completed timely and properly.
  • Selling to deliver provides advantages such as re-usable processes that work, a satisfied customer, potential referral customer and the most important, a profitable engagement that is paid on time.

ANALYSIS: You will find more issues with those that sell to sell. They will undersell quality and oversell on price.  Angry customers sometimes do not like paying until a job is completed correctly. Hence, poor cash flow. Now do I have your attention?

Topics: sales

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