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The Sales Evangelist

Kevin Sheehan

In this episode, Donald speaks with Kevin, the Chief Technology Officer of the Americas at Ciena. They discuss the complexities and challenges of B2B enterprise selling. 

Kevin shares insights into the evolving landscape of enterprise deals, emphasizing the importance of understanding the “why” behind a product or service offering. The conversation highlights the need for effective communication and providing memorable examples to decision-making committees, ultimately leading to successful outcomes.

The Increasing Complexity of B2B Enterprise Selling

  • As technology advances, B2B enterprise selling has become more complex and confusing.
  • The integration of tools like AI adds layers of complexity to the selling process.
  • It is crucial to adhere to the basics and understand the fundamentals of enterprise selling.

The Role of Kevin as the Chief Technology Officer of the Americas

  • Kevin leads a technical team of sales engineers and sales specialists at Ciena.
  • The team’s primary objective is to assist business customers in making the right purchasing decisions.

Challenges in Enterprise-level and Complex Deals

  • In the past, individual decision-makers played a key role in the purchasing process.
  • However, in today’s enterprise deals, decision-making power rests with a complex council of decision-makers.
  • Sales professionals must equip their customers with the necessary skills and tools to present the value proposition to the entire decision-making council effectively.

Shifting Focus from the “What” to the “Why”

  • Previously, the sales pitch predominantly focused on describing the technical aspects of the product (the “what”).
  • With the involvement of decision-making committees, it has become crucial to emphasize the “why” behind the product/service offering.
  • Sales teams need to explain the importance of the proposed solution, and its impact on the customer’s business, and provide real-life examples to support their claims.
  • This shift towards the “why” ensures a comprehensive understanding of the value proposition and makes it more memorable.

Enhancing Memorability and Communication

  • It is insufficient to rely solely on PowerPoint presentations or technical demonstrations to convey the value proposition.
  • The sales team should strive to provide the customer with simple, memorable, and repeatable examples.
  • These examples enable the customer to share their enthusiasm and effectively communicate the value proposition to their peers within the decision-making committee.

B2B enterprise selling has become increasingly complex, necessitating a shift in sales strategies. Understanding the “why” behind a product or service offering and effectively communicating this value proposition to decision-making committees is crucial for success. 

Kevin emphasizes the importance of providing memorable examples and enabling customers to become effective ambassadors for the proposed solution. By focusing on the “why,” sales teams can establish a deeper connection with customers and increase the chances of winning complex enterprise deals.



Sponsorship Offers

  • This episode is brought to you in part by Hubspot.

With HubSpot sales hubs, your data tools and teams join a single platform to close deals and turn prospects into pipelines. Try it for yourself at hubspot.com/sales.

  • This episode is brought to you in part by LinkedIn.

Are you tired of prospective clients not responding to your emails? Sign up for a free 60-day trial of LinkedIn Sales Navigator at linkedin.com/tse.

  • This episode is brought to you in part by Calendly.

Calendly is the leading meeting scheduling software that automates your scheduling, speeds up your sales cycle, and closes more deals. Get started for free or learn more at calendly.com.

  • This episode is brought to you in part by the TSE Sales Foundation.

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About the Author The Sales Evangelist

Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth.

Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.

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