issue getting access to EB

Nicholas Kelcz
Nicholas Kelcz Member [Pro] Posts: 4

Hi Everyone,

My team is selling ERP to SMB clients. A common issue we are facing is getting access to EBs.

We must do a demo to build credibility with our potential champions to get access. Sometimes this is not enough, and we are still stuck. In this situation, I have tried executive alignments, or I have pushed reps to bypass them, but this can be counterproductive.

What are some techniques or tricks you have used to get access to an EB when you don't have a strong champion? Or is the point moot, no champion, no deal?

Best,

Answers

  • James Reach
    James Reach Member [Plus] Posts: 1

    Hi Nicholas - Like you said, willingness to introduce you to the EB and other influencers is a great test of a potential champion. If they aren't open to that, it may be a sign they are more of a coach than a true champion. Either way, it's good for the rep to think about (or even ask) what their hesitation may be, and pressure-test if the opportunity is truly worth pursuing.

    The tactics will vary from opportunity to opportunity but some things to explore:

    Offering to co-build a business case with your POC to present alongside them can be a good way to 'de-risk' the ask for them.

    Instruct reps to get wider first (with or without the help of the POC) by reaching out to other non-EB stakeholders and strengthening your POV (while potentially uncovering a true champion in their conversations).

    Great call out on executive alignment. This can be a great way to work around a non-cooperative champion without the rep feeling like they are directly going over their head and potentially damaging the relationship.

    Hope that helps!

  • Tim Caito
    Tim Caito Guest Posts: 10

    Nicholas - First the easy answer... Yes, you can win without a Champion. You end up making somewhat of a blind shot. But many have won by being in the right place, with just the right fit for the customer's Decision Criteria, at the right time in their Decision Process, against Competitors that were in an even worse position to compete, selling to an EB that figured out the seller's value on their own. Lots has to go right, maybe with a bit of luck and plenty of risk of losing to an unknown breakdown. Not good odds, but possible.

    Now your real question about getting access to the EB. At the risk of a terrible steal of a famous line, way out ot context... "When they go low, you go high". By this I mean, when technical buyers want to proceed at the solution level and only grant EB access once you pass through their "low gate", you go high... to business issues/impact on the problem they are trying to address at the solution level and your expertise solving that "business" problem. Of course we need to be solid at both the business and technical level, but it's not a sequential conversation. When we sell at the technical level, we get relegated to whom we sound like... and rarely get away from them.

    So, resist the call/mandate for a demo until you know more. In a weird way, the TB just gave you some power. Until you actually do the demo they want you can ask for a few more things.

    Here are some practical tips:

    1) Ensure your initial discovery includes several questions about the upstream/downstream business impact of the technical problem the TB is focused on.

    2) Ask "Who besides you is impacted by the problem you are trying to solve?" (Functions or names)

    3) Provide defensible rational on why you need additional business level insight to ensure you demo the right things.

    4) Create business impact/strategic priority questions during pre-call planning that the TB knows are important to answer, but they know they don't have visibility to that answer. Then infer you have several questions like that, which experience has taught you must be considered to successfully address the problem long term.

    5) If all the above fails, try to determine how much internal influence your blocker has. We often credit these folks with far more power and influence than they really have. If they have such power (formal or informal) then they may just be testing you to ensure they can trust you (and their credibility) if they pass you thru to the EB. In this case, ask them what factors beyond the demo will make them comfortable to intro you to the EB.

    Of course if they lack that internal power, you may just consider going directly to the EB focusing almost exclusively on your expertise solving the big problems they have. Not a big fan of end runs when I don't know much about the political landscape. But when all else fails, why not..you're likely about to lose this one anyway without ever taking your best shot!

    Long answer, but hope this gives you some things to consider! Some good courses on accessing the EB here on Ascender! Good luck!

  • Nicholas Kelcz
    Nicholas Kelcz Member [Pro] Posts: 4

    This is great! Thank you very much for the help and feedback.