Friday, April 30, 2021

Sellers from Mars and Buyers from Venus - VII

Excerpt from my upcoming book at amazon.com - "Sellers from Mars and Buyers from Venus - Elements of Nature Meet B2B Sales" 

How to apply the framework of elements on a stakeholder for persona mapping  
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Application 
The first step is to identify the key elements representing their human traits to apply this framework to any individual. Out of the five elements, a primary and a secondary element plays a vital role in shaping our personality and appearance. Let's apply this framework of creation and destruction of five elements and their elemental attributes with few examples to identify primary and secondary elements.

Steve Jobs

Background
Steven Paul Jobs was an American business magnate, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), and co-founder of Apple Inc. Steve is widely recognised as a pioneer of the personal computer and smartphone revolutions.

Appearance

The following characteristics indicate that Space (Metal) element as primary:
  • had a muscular body but in the latter part of life became slim because of illness
  • his face was oval-shaped
  • had lined lower cheeks, and 
  • had wide space between features

The following characteristics suggest that the Fire element is secondary:
  • had a pointy nose, and 
  • had long hair in his youth and later on became partly bald with a receding hairline

Engagement, Communication, Clothing

Space (Metal) attributes are evident in the following behaviours 
  • was self-made and was always keen on the big picture
  • was emotionless (even left his daughter)
  • loved designer clothes and expensive items (he built his own luxury yacht)
  • was meticulously neat and tidy (apple stores, new apple head office, practised the philosophy of minimalism at home and work)
  • was a perfectionist (iPhone and iPad), logical in thinking
  • highly critical (openly criticised Adobes Flash for crashing ios devices and mac), and
  • his email responses were concise and minimal (he used to respond to customer queries from his iPhone with 1-2 lines of text only)

The following supplementary behaviours suggest Fire is the secondary element 
  • he loved new beginnings
  • was fond of public speaking and putting a show (apple events) 
  • driven by action (spent long hours and weekends at work)
  • was inspirational and always promoted the ideas of doing something real, inspiring uni students with his talks
  • brought money with him (he started as a salesman and became one of the best salesmen), and 
  • lacked boundaries and was impulsive (was widely know to shout at staff if they didn't meet his very high standards) 
  • righteousness (lost his cool and criticised Eric Schmidt for copying Apple design by Googles Android)

Summary

By analysing the appearance, engagement, communication and clothing style of Steve Jobs, it is evident that his primary element was Space (Metal), and the second element was Fire. His tertiary element could be attributed to Air.

In terms of his engagement with others, his primary element, Space (Metal), meant that he found it hard to work with people having Air and Fire as their primary element because Air and Fire are in a non-parental child relationship with Space (Metal). People with Earth and Water as their primary element would have worked well with him as these two elements are in a parent-child relationship with Space (Metal). Giving way to harmony prevailing among them.


Image Credit: Wikipedia

Next: Coming up 

  • Cheat Sheet for Sales Planning and Execution using Five Elements   
  • How a Procurement Executive will Engage
  • How B2B Sales are different in Service vs Product 
--
Previous articles can be read here
  • Part 6 on How to apply elements framework on a Legal Service Counsel can be read here 
  • Part 5 on How a Marketing Manager will engage can be read here
  • Part 4 on How a Sponsoring Executive will engage can be read here
  • Part 3 on Negotiation Styles in B2B Sales can be read here 
  • Part 2 on Persona Mapping in B2B Sales can be read here 
  • Part 1 on Marrying Elements of Nature with B2B Sales can be read here 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Sellers from Mars and Buyers from Venus - VI

 Excerpt from my upcoming book at amazon.com - "Sellers from Mars and Buyers from Venus - Elements of Nature Meet B2B Sales" 

How a Legal Service Counsel will engage with others 
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Legal Services
Legal services are a corporate function where a legal counsel provides support in enabling or executing a business operation. In the case of business to business (B2B) sales, a legal counsel works closely with the buyers' legal team, internal sales, product engineering teams and other stakeholders to assist in quantifying, negotiating and closing a deal. The key responsibilities of a legal counsel are following: 

preparing, modifying and negotiating a legal framework for contractually engaging with buyers like the master service agreement (MSA), statement of work (SOW) and purchase order 
do due diligence, provide assessment and guidance on the following risks: 
o business
lock-in commitment and its implications
probability of damages arising and the magnitude of the impact from such damages 
service continuity plans for events arising from insolvency or government actions or regulatory requirement
exit options and handovers 
syncing or adapting the agreement with the current situation, an example in today's world like adapting force majeure to include a pandemic 
o finance
the right balance of warranties offered and excluded
managing cost spillover arising from certain clauses
additional cost or taxes, usage charges like overage charges
insurance expectations to cover the risk
o legal
legal compliances like sanction, privacy, data privacy and anti-bribery
licensing issues, if any
reasonable exclusions and limits on indemnities and liabilities
managing the risk matrix and governance approvals 
ensuring the deal is closed and signed off

So, let us explore how a seller's side legal counsel engages with buyers through the lens of the elemental attributes learned in the previous sections.

Legal Counsel for Earth Element – Calm & Stable

Risk Assessment 
o driven by a minimal risk appetite and fear of failure means these natives are pedantic across exposure to any business, financial and legal risk 
Contractual Agreement 
o slow in drafting and preparing and sharing with stakeholders, semantically strong, their attention to detail is good, and they prefer long term agreements 
o they are driven by relentless effort and status quo; the emphasis is on using the standard terms and conditions, ringfencing the scope with a maximum tolerance
o they are not open to any financial penalties or liabilities in case there is a failure or delay in delivery  
o they are slow and sluggish in following up with the customer for closure   
Negotiation Style
o they have a lot of patience and are good listeners, hide information, 
o they lack transparency and principles, can often be deceptive or employ pressure tactics
o they are accommodative and let others take control and respond only when necessary
Communication
o they speak slowly with a deep voice, sluggish in response and react at their own pace
o they are good listeners and are structured and semantically driven

Next: Coming up 

  • Cheat Sheet for Sales Planning and Execution using Five Elements   
  • How a Procurement Executive will Engage
  • How B2B Sales are different in Service vs Product 
--
Previous articles can be read here
  • Part 5 on How a Marketing Manager will engage can be read here
  • Part 4 on How a Sponsoring Executive will engage can be read here
  • Part 3 on Negotiation Styles in B2B Sales can be read here 
  • Part 2 on Persona Mapping in B2B Sales can be read here 
  • Part 1 on Marrying Elements of Nature with B2B Sales can be read here 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Australian Budget to return to Surplus

From AFR: More economists have backed the federal budget to return to surplus within four years and investment bank UBS suggests it could be done without substantial near-term fiscal repair. The UBS economists suggest that: It’s plausible the budget will project a return to balance in 2024-25 (as occurred in 2018-19 before COVID hit), with a cumulative improvement of about $200 billion across the [forward estimates],’’ the UBS economists wrote in a note to clients. The UBS economists also expect the improvement could push the Reserve Bank of Australia into tapering its massive $200 billion bond-buying program. More can be read here

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Sellers from Mars and Buyers from Venus - V

Excerpt from my upcoming book at amazon.com - "Sellers from Mars and Buyers from Venus - Elements of Nature Meet B2B Sales" 

How a Marketing Manager will engage with others 
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B2B Sales Stakeholders and Their Activities

The sales team or a sales representative, engages various internal and external stakeholders, with the intent of growing the business underpinned by positioning a compelling product or a service. The following list gives a good view of various stakeholders engaged by the sales team or a representative.
the internal marketing and corporate strategy team for research, positioning, and pricing 
internal product engineering or service design team 
internal legal service team for defining contractual agreements, terms, and conditions
procurement at the buyer’s end
sponsoring C-level executives like CEO, CFO, CIO, CDO and their team members at buyer’s end
internal HR, legal, quality, security and sales team  
and others like a third-party product or service partner 

These stakeholders will vary with vertical, geography, type and size of a prospective buyer like SME or a global player. This is not an exhaustive list but highlights the magnitude of complexity and multiplicity involved in executing sales and business development activity. 

With the intent of supporting a sales team or a representative, different activities at each stage of the value chain are executed by various stakeholders, some in parallel and some in sequence. 

Let’s explore how a Marketing Manager will engage in various activities with its stakeholders at the sellers or buyers end by applying the lens of five elemental attributes.  

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Next: Coming up 
  • Cheat Sheet for Sales Planning and Execution using Five Elements   
  • How a Procurement Executive will Engage
  • How B2B Sales are different in Service vs Product 
--
Previous articles can be read here
  • Part 4 on How a Sponsoring Executive will engage can be read here
  • Part 3 on Negotiation Styles in B2B Sales can be read here 
  • Part 2 on Persona Mapping in B2B Sales can be read here 
  • Part 1 on Marrying Elements of Nature with B2B Sales can be read here 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

B2B Sales - Sellers From Mars and Buyers From Venus - IV

Excerpt from the upcoming book at amazon.com   - "Sellers from Mars and Buyers from Venus - Elements of Nature Meet B2B Sales"

How a Sponsoring Executive will engage with others 
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B2B Sales Stakeholders and Their Activities

The sales team or a sales representative, engages various internal and external stakeholders, with the intent of growing the business underpinned by positioning a compelling product or a service. The following list gives a good view of various stakeholders engaged by the sales team or a representative.
the internal marketing and corporate strategy team for research, positioning, and pricing 
internal product engineering or service design team 
internal legal service team for defining contractual agreements, terms, and conditions
procurement at the buyer’s end
sponsoring C-level executives like CEO, CFO, CIO, CDO and their team members at buyer’s end
internal HR, legal, quality, security and sales team  
and others like a third-party product or service partner 

These stakeholders will vary with vertical, geography, type and size of a prospective buyer like SME or a global player. This is not an exhaustive list but highlights the magnitude of complexity and multiplicity involved in executing sales and business development activity. 

With the intent of supporting a sales team or a representative, different activities at each stage of the value chain are executed by various stakeholders, some in parallel and some in sequence. 

Let’s explore how a Sponsoring Executive will engage in various activities with its stakeholders at the sellers or buyers end by applying the lens of five elemental attributes.  

--



Next: Coming up 
  • How a Marketing Executive will Engage
  • How a Procurement Executive will Engage
  • How B2B Sales are different in Service vs Product 
--
Previous articles can be read here
  • Part 3 on Negotiation Styles in B2B Sales can be read here 
  • Part 2 on Persona Mapping in B2B Sales can be read here 
  • Part 1 on Marrying Elements of Nature with B2B Sales can be read here 


Friday, April 16, 2021

B2B Sales - Sellers From Mars and Buyers From Venus - III

Excerpt from the upcoming book at amazon.com  - "Sellers from Mars and Buyers from Venus - Elements of Nature Meet B2B Sales"

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Negotiations - Influence to Win  

The business to business (B2B) sales negotiation is a conversation between a seller and a buyer to reach an agreement that is beneficial to both. To reach a zone of potential agreement (ZOPA), both engage in multiple rounds of discussion. The back and forth nature of these discussions are driven to gain an upper hand over the other side by finding their reservation point (breaking point), or their BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) or any useful information which will assist in bargaining.

To win negotiations in sales a lot of preparation is required. This includes the collection of information about the other side's negotiation style, motivation, risks, BATNA, concession, reservation, and timing. Without preparation and gathering of this information, the chances of winning negotiations are minimal. Having said that, sometimes even after gathering information and preparing, negotiations can still be lost or suspended indefinitely because of change in the political landscape, financial upheaval, change in priority, a pandemic outbreak or any other unseen factors. 

The gathering of information and preparation for negotiations is time-consuming and is often challenging. To overcome this challenging task, elements of nature and their attributes are leveraged in preparing the groundwork to influence and win negotiations. 

Let us explore how a seller or a buyer leverages elemental attributes, learned in previous sections, to position and influence their respective stakeholders with the intent to win.

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Space (Ether, Metal) Natives Negotiation

 


Part 2 on Persona Mapping in B2B Sales can be read here 
Part 1 on Marrying Elements of Nature with B2B Sales can be read here 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

B2B Sales - Sellers From Mars and Buyers From Venus - II

Excerpt from the upcoming book at amazon.com  - Sellers from Mars and Buyers from Venus

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Persona Mapping with Elements - Buyer and Seller 

In the world of business to business (B2B) sales, the buyer and seller relationship plays a significant role in winning or losing a transaction. Creating and nurturing these relationships across multiple stakeholders is a challenging, lengthy and time-consuming process. 

To assist in the relationship-building process, one of the key activities and constituents of a sales plan is to build the buyer's stakeholder persona. Mapping of these stakeholder personas reveals the type of levers that can be used to build and nurture long term relationships, with the intent of winning and expanding the sales pipeline. Without the intelligence of the buyer's persona, the sales execution effort will be challenging and profoundly inefficient and ineffective. 

Besides, it reduces the risk of losing a sales representative, because by capturing and documenting the buyer's persona you can ensure that gathered intelligence and levers applied in building relationships and influencing negotiations are not lost with a change in guard at the seller's end.    

The framework for the creation and destruction of five elements is applied to overcome the challenging task of mapping and building the persona. The inherent attributes of each element are mapped to the personality of the stakeholders at the buyers and sellers end in different scenarios.

Let us explore how these elemental attributes assist in building persona maps. 

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Earth Elements Human Traits

Calm, Stable, Tolerant, Peacemaker, Stubborn (don’t like to be pushed), Hardworking, Strategic, Deceptive, Resentful, Secretive, Lazy, Adaptable, Sing, Fear, Relationship Builder, Nurturing, Predictable, Pleasing, Reliable, Caring, Socialised, Hoards, Focused on Family and Friends, Listen to Friends, Finisher, Workaholic, Sweet Tooth

Appearance - Well Built, Square Face

Body Attributes

well-built body, thick calves, large muscles in men and breasts in women  

natural roundness and plumpness to the features

the face represents, lips, mouth, lower cheeks, upper eyelid, nose bridge

full lips, thick nose bridge 

round or plump lower cheeks next to mouth

less prominent chins, angled jaws, protruding cheekbones so the forehead and chin look comparatively narrow

eyes wide apart, round nose tip

roundness in stomach

deep voice

Organs

o stomach, spleen, pancreas 

Famous Personalities

Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Dolly Patron, Rene Zellweger, Ed Sheeran, Mister Rogers, Princess Diana

Narendra Modi (PM of India)

Earth means Nurture, Calmness, and Stability

Key Traits – calm, strategic, hardworking, speak with gravitas, ready to serve

Role

o Buyer - strategic, long term deals, relentless

o Seller - advisor, bondsman, hardworking

Upside - determined, patience, practical, relationship builder

Downside - lazy, deceptive, fixated, don’t forgive, indecision  

Risk Appetite (Low, Moderate, Considered, High, Extreme) – moderate

Win Desire (Low, Moderate, Considered, High, Extreme) - high

Deal Loss - protect people, worries for future, confusion

Engagement Style (Top-Down, Bottom-up, Hybrid) – bottom-up

Sales Territory Approach (Hunting, Farming, Hybrid) - farming

●.    Communications Style - slow in communication and action, slow response, good listeners, structured, semantically driven, speak with gravitas and purpose, deep voice    

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Earth is the most stable element among the five elements. Like a mother, it is providing resources to all living beings to live and grow since the inception and evolution of humankind. Similarly, earthly natives are like a mother who provides resources to her children to live and grow. They provide unflinching and unconditional support to others like how a mother provides for her children. Their inherent ability to guide and nurture makes them a good mentor and a trusted advisor.

The bond between mother and a child is everlasting, similarly, these natives are regarded as a bondsman for their friends and family members. People can count on them for their support during challenging times. In sales, these people protect their team members when a deal is lost.   

The Earth remains mostly calm, except when rare volcanoes erupt or earthquakes or cyclones occur, causing grief to those affected. Similarly, earthly natives remain calm and stable in their day to day life. They lose their cool and calmness rarely, like earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

A mother raises her children with patience, determination, and works hard to ensure they get a good life. Similarly, earthly natives are determined, hardworking, and patient to achieve better outcomes. They are relentless in their effort.         

Earth represents the late summer season when fruits are ripe, days are longer with higher temperatures, forcing people to stay indoors, take rest, and life appears to move lazily. Furthermore, earth signifies the afternoon, when people tend to be sluggish after having their lunch. Similarly, earthly natives are less active and cherish sitting in one place like a couch or an armrest chair. Besides this, the earth is the heaviest and slowest mover among the five elements. Thus, earthly natives move at turtle's pace, speak slowly with gravitas, and have a deep voice. These natives communicate and respond at their own pace, so if you send an email to them, then don’t expect an immediate response. Their ability to listen calmly like the slow-moving earth makes them good listeners.

Earth represents the stomach, spleen, and pancreas because like a mother these organs nurture and feed other body organs with nutrients and power to perform their respective function. The stomach is responsible for the digestive system of the body, whereby food is digested and absorbed. This signifies that these people are open to new thoughts and ideas. On the contrary, if they binge, then it leads to obesity and laziness. Consequently, they struggle to appreciate and comprehend new ideas and initiatives. Moreover, the earth’s inherent energy movement is gravitational in the downward direction, which is towards the core. Thus, these natives often have protruding belly falling downwards.      

The Spleen's main function is to filter our blood, by removing old, malformed or damaged red blood cells. This means, earthly natives can transform slowly with time, they can discard old habits and adapt to new ways of life. In sales, selling half-hearted ideas or window dressed old ideas to an earthly buyer will be caught and discarded. These buyers keep their ‘crap’ filter active and switched on.  

Like a mother, the earth generally represents relationships, harmony and patience. This allows these natives to be good in building and maintaining relationships with friends and family members. Furthermore, the constant churning underneath the earth is carried out slowly and calmly by the amalgamation of many layers and items. This implies that earthly natives are collaborative and gel with others easily. 

In sales, these sellers prefer bottom-up engagement, underpinned by their ability to build and maintain relationships. In terms of approaching a sales territory, they prefer farming because their risk appetite is low, slow churning, or status quo is their mantra. The rapid and cutthroat environment is overwhelming for them.

Earth represents fear, fixation, and relentless effort because any imbalance in the stomach and spleen causes the mind to be unstable and makes it wander from one thought to another, leading to obsessional thinking and constant worry. Besides that, any imbalance to these organs disrupts their continuous effort in supplying energy and nutrients to other organs. In sales, fear of failing haunts, earthly sellers. So, to overcome that, they put relentless effort to win a deal. Their fixation on not failing at any cost gives them a higher desire to succeed. When a deal is lost after putting enormous effort, they start worrying about the future and drive them to a state where they get overwhelmed by it and become indecisive. Earthly buyers prefer long term instead of short-term contracts because they are sluggish, and the status quo gives them comfort and accomplishment of security. Moreover, they don’t cherish rapid changes in their environment like an airy or a fiery buyer. Positioning a short-term deal to an earthly buyer is futile. 

Earthly natives are deceptive because the earth represents the stomach and that needs a constant supply of food. To gather resources like money or food, often these natives will employ deception and cheating. This trait is primarily prominent in earthly natives and to a lesser extent in metal and airy natives. 

Earthly natives have a well-built body with thick calves and large muscles in men and breasts in women. They have a thick nose bridge, eyes are wide apart, the nose tip is round and the stomach is round. In general, they have roundness and plumpness to their facial features.





Read Part 1 - here and 3 here

Credit: Image Source: Wikipedia, Google, Pinterest

 

Thursday, April 08, 2021

B2B Sales - Sellers From Mars and Buyers From Venus - I

Excerpt from the upcoming book at amazon.com  - Sellers from Mars and Buyers from Venus
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Marrying Elements of Nature with B2B Sales
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Why We Need This

The business to business (B2B) sales is a challenging, complex, and a long-drawn out process spanning across a period of anywhere between six to twenty-four months. The sales cycle varies across the products and services in different industries and geographies for multiple reasons.

To succeed in business to business (B2B) sales, sellers have to gather intelligence, and anticipate prospective buyers’ preferences, thought processes, and modus operandi. Accordingly, the conversation is then initiated for positioning a product or a service. 

Various methodologies like, personality tests developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, Game theory, Behavioural Psychology, etc are used in sales and business to learn about the stakeholder’s behaviour and motivation at the buyers and sellers end. These methodologies provide insights by gathering data or observing individuals over a duration. 

The Five elements-based approach is an ancient methodology, used in Chinese medicine, Feng Shui and Ayurveda for medical treatment, face reading and to understand how humans behave. It relies on the fact that each element found in nature has certain key attributes and each human being behaves under the influence of these elemental attributes. Applying and correlating the significance of these elemental attributes on humans, we can anticipate how an individual will behave. Besides this, every individual will exhibit distinct traits according to their primary and secondary elements, like the energy of Yin and Yang in Chinese medicine. This approach doesn’t require data gathering from each individual, and neither is it required to observe them for a longer duration to build intelligence. This methodology is related to nature through the cycle of creation and destruction.

Applying the five elements-based approach in B2B sales is simple, non-intrusive, and less data-centric. Once the five elements and their attributes are known, applying them to respective stakeholders in the sales value chain is quick, easy, efficient and effective.  


B2B Sales Value Chain
The business to business (B2B) sales value chain model comprises the following stages.   
1. Gather intelligence - build market intelligence by researching and mapping the target market
2. Design and Build - design and build the product or a service to offer 
3. Pricing and Position – price and position to the target segment
4. Engage Prospective Buyer - engage prospective buyers through their journey map
5. Sell – closing the deal by preparing and executing the sales strategy or plan 
6. Deliver - deploy or operationalise the product or service   
7. Service Post Delivery- post delivery service or support  
8. Feedback to Innovate - collect feedback to refine or innovate 



Each stage of the value chain has multiple stakeholders and activities. The sales team or a sales representative follow these value chain activities with the intent of growing the business. During these activities, various internal and external stakeholders are engaged to create a compelling storyline and mindshare among them for positioning and selling a service or a product. 
 
The following list provides a good view of the various stakeholders engaged by the sales team or representative.
Internal marketing and corporate strategy team for research, positioning, and pricing 
Internal product engineering or service design team 
Internal legal services team for defining contractual agreements, terms, and conditions
Procurement at the buyer’s end
Sponsoring C-level executives like CEO, CFO, CIO, CDO and their team members at buyer’s end
Internal sales team, and  
Any others like internal HR 

This is not an exhaustive list but highlights the complexity and multiplicity of potential stakeholders involved in executing these activities.

To initiate engagement with the prospective buyer, the first step is to build a persona map of stakeholders at the buyers and/or sellers end. This will assist in executing the sales strategy efficiently and effectively. 

Next -  Persona Mapping with Elements - Buyer and Seller