Want to Grow? Stop Focusing on Selling 'More Stuff.'

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In the last 10 years, as legacy businesses fell out of favor and sales became harder, many organization have moved to “selling more stuff.” “Well, that print campaign we sold didn’t work? Let’s try this digital display campaign. That didn’t work either? Let’s try native advertising or this new lead gen push….” and on and on.

That shift to “selling more stuff” in order to meet growth goals is a trap, according to Byron Matthews, CEO of leading sales development company Miller Heiman and a keynote at the Connectiv CEO Summit next month, who will talk about “Creating a Culture of Growth.” “When my growth targets are based on stuff, I scramble around that and my behaviors are all about positioning products and services as quickly and as efficiently as I can,” Matthews says.

The companies seeing the most sales growth these days are those that are able to have the courage to step away from just filling the product pipeline and get back to serving customer needs, according to Matthews. “You need to have the agility to make changes to keep up with the speed of what’s happening at the macro level in the marketplace but also at the micro level at the buyer level—understanding why buyer habits are changing so fast and how technology is impacting what’s happening on buyer side.”

No matter if your sales model is transactional or consultative, there’s a pressing need to connect with your customer and add value, says Matthews. “The best firms think about that separately from products or service, or just saying, ‘I’m here to sell you something’ versus I’m here to differentiate myself in the way I connect with you. That differentiation is what the best companies in the world drive growth from. That’s hard to do but the companies that have figured that out build operations round that, marketing around that, sales teams around that. It’s a culture and a mindset.”

The Connectiv CEO Summit takes place May 9-May 10 at the NOPSI in New Orleans. Additional sessions include, 

*Get Strategic With Your Pricing:
Regardless of what we’re selling, price is often notional. Pricing expert Frank Luby will address some of the common mistakes the information industry is making when it comes to pricing and help you chart a path for more effective revenue generation.  

*Changing Buyer Behavior: Buyers have been changing their buying behavior, leading to less profitable, less forecast-able sales.  Why?  Digital Transformation has changed their mindset. In this session, you'll learn how to change the conversation and the mindset of your sales team, and your clients, to be able to sell holistic solutions that put you deeper into a client’s organization as a must-have partner.

*Take Control of Your Future - Becoming a Platform Company: The days of being successful by selling one-offs are coming to an end. Tapping into recurring revenue streams and becoming a solution for customers, not just a resource or lead enabler, is the future. Hear what it means to be a platform company today and how leading media and information companies are making the shift.

*Reality Check: What It Takes to Create (and Sell) Data Products: Executives charged with leading the creation of data products at their organizations offer their inside take on what they’ve learned, including what the market potential for data products really looks like, how to leverage existing resources and the realities of selling data products.   

*Solving for Tech Stack and Workflow - Three Ways to Be More Profitable:
Is your sales team saddled with multiple systems because no one platform does everything you need? Hear how other publishers are streamlining their sales process and their workflow to yield more efficient, more profitable selling. 

For the full agenda, click here.

Matt Matt Kinsman is vice president of content + programming at Connectiv, the only association focused on the integrated b-to-b model—including publications, events, digital media, marketing services and business information. Prior to joining Connectiv's predecessor American Business Media in 2011, Kinsman was executive editor of Folio:, the leading information provider for the magazine industry.