The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 62

extends well beyond the features and benefit of any particular
product or service. Unlike the days of transactional and tactical
selling, customers are increasingly demanding tailored solutions
anchored in industry and functional expertise. There is also
increasing expectations that vendor/supplier companies will
partner to solve tangible business problems, with overall value
determined by measurable business outcomes, not just by features
and price. That is, unlike the days in which the sales professional
was responsible only for communicating functions, benefits, and
advantages (a situation that often led to significant disconnects
between the sales professionals and economic decision makers),
today's sales professional is expected to provide solutions that
result in relevant business-driven return on investment.
The Ever-Changing
Sales Environment
Advances in the business-to-business (B-to-B) procurement process
during the 1980's and 1990's ushered
in more advanced buying practices,
fostering supplier competition and
reducing the impact of charismatic
sales professionals. The drive to install
greater structure into the buying process in order to 'protect' purchasing
personnel from the ego-driven sales
person, as well as to ensure that purchase decisions address the diverse
needs of the full range of stakeholders impacted by that buying decision,
moved the world of sales from transactional to solution selling. It was
around this time that thought leaders
in the sales profession fostered greater
awareness that aggressiveness manifested by sales professionals often led
to defensiveness in the buyer, while
fostering trust and understanding created an environment of cooperation.
Recent research in the neuroscience
of influence and persuasion confirms
that sales professionals can have a
62

MHEDA | themhedajournal.org

significant impact on how the brains of
buyers process interactions as potentially rewarding or threatening. As
the sales process became increasingly
more complex, techniques emerged
that were designed to promote topdown alignment to the political and
economic power within the buying
organization. This led to the most successful sales professionals focusing on
implications of business problems and
the specific benefits of resolving them
by implementing solutions. However,
the world of sales generally was slow
in adopting the solutions approach and
continued to operate below the level
of real power, as many sales professionals persisted with the features and
benefits approach to conveying value.
Perhaps the most obvious change in
the reality of today's sales professionals, however, is the significant increase
in the amount of product/service and
company information available to the
customer at the earliest stages of the
buying process. Long before the buyer
is introduced to the sales professional,
he/she is likely to be fully aware of the

features and benefits of the product/
service offering, what competitors offer
as alternatives, reviews from other companies that have previously engaged
the vendor/supplier, etc. Therefore,
today's successful sales professional
can no longer expect to show up, fill the
room with personality, and win based
a persuasive presentation of features
and benefits. To be successful, today's
sales professional must exhibit strong
contextual knowledge by showing up
as a business consultant and partner,
clearly conveying deep knowledge of
the needs of the customer organization, competitor activity, trends in
customer's customer base, and how
the product/service being offered will
address strategic issues, provide real
ROI, and help the company hone their
competitive advantage.
While all of this reflects an obvious need to continually evolve the
approach to B-to-B sales, it is also true
that there are many elements of sales
that remain as important as they were
in years gone by. At the core of sales
remains the critical task of building
rapport and then persuading others to
make commitments and to take action.
As such, it remains important that the
sales professional be able to initiate
new relationships, establish credibility
and use personal impact by confidently
expressing ideas and opinions, tailoring communication style to meet the
receptivity needs of the audience, and
eliciting trust by conveying the intention and competence to affect positive outcomes for the customer. These
aspects of effective selling remain necessary, but are woefully insufficient to
establish one's self as a top performer.
The sales professional today must be
willing and able to take on the added
burden of helping customers navigate
the complexities of their consistently
changing realities and business needs.
Caliper's extensive research in sales
performance over the last 15 years
points to the need to greatly expand the
traditional hunter/farmer conception of
sales and to consider a wider range of
sales-related functions that are more
in line with the how customers buy


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017

Chairman’s Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Editor’s Note
Ask A MHEDANET GROUP
Women in Industry Conference
MHEDA MEMBER PROFILE
@WORK
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY
INDUSTRY PULSE
2018 CRITICAL IMPACT FACTORS
DEFINING MHEDA’S 2018 CRITICAL IMPACT FACTORS
SALES SUCCESS STORIES
ESOP ROUND TABLE
FROM CHARASMATIC PERSUADER TO KNOWLEDGE BROKER: THE EVOLVING WORLD OF SALES
49 EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IDEAS
DO UNTO OTHERS AS THEY WANT TO BE DONE UNTO
THE PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER 13789 AND ITS FUTURE EFFECT ON THE TAX CODE
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA Milestones
Index to Advertisers by Product Category
Index to Advertisers by Alphabetical Order
The Last Word
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - intro
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - cover1
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - cover2
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 3
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 4
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 5
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 6
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 7
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 8
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 9
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 10
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - Chairman’s Perspective
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 12
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - From the Desk of Liz Richards
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 14
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - Editor’s Note
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 16
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - Ask A MHEDANET GROUP
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 18
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 19
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - Women in Industry Conference
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 21
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - MHEDA MEMBER PROFILE
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 23
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 24
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 25
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 26
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - @WORK
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 28
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - WOMEN IN INDUSTRY
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - INDUSTRY PULSE
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 31
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 32
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 2018 CRITICAL IMPACT FACTORS
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - DEFINING MHEDA’S 2018 CRITICAL IMPACT FACTORS
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 35
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 36
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 37
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - SALES SUCCESS STORIES
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 39
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 40
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 41
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 42
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 43
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 44
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 45
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 46
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 47
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 48
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 49
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 50
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 51
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 52
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 53
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 54
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 55
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - ESOP ROUND TABLE
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 57
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 58
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 59
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - FROM CHARASMATIC PERSUADER TO KNOWLEDGE BROKER: THE EVOLVING WORLD OF SALES
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 61
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 62
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 63
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 64
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 65
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 49 EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IDEAS
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 67
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 68
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 69
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 70
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 71
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 72
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 73
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 74
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 75
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 76
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 77
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 78
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 79
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 80
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - DO UNTO OTHERS AS THEY WANT TO BE DONE UNTO
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 82
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - THE PRESIDENT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER 13789 AND ITS FUTURE EFFECT ON THE TAX CODE
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 84
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 85
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 86
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - New Members
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - Spotlight on Association News
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 89
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 90
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 91
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - MHEDA Milestones
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 93
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - Index to Advertisers by Product Category
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 95
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - Index to Advertisers by Alphabetical Order
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - 97
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - The Last Word
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - cover3
The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2017 - cover4
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