Inside Rule of 24, executives at 2Win! and authors Robert D. Riefstahl and Daniel J. Conway show you how to not only survive, but thrive and dominate selling software in the new digital landscape. In this interview, you’ll learn how the rules have changed —customers are more educated, resourceful and directive than at any other time in history. Future-proof yourself and your sales team, understand what’s coming next and how to deal with it.
As someone who is an avid believer in ABL – Always Be Learning – you are going to want to get your copy of Rule of 24.
The embedded interview is down below if you prefer to skip ahead rather than reading the post :).
What was the motivation for authoring the book? (help our customers meet the changing market demands)
In working with the best and brightest technology and software firms across the globe from the largest top 10 Enterprises to startups, we are seeing a massive shift. A sea change, if you will, on how organizations are needing to adapt to today’s B2B buyer expectations. Today’s buyer expects immediate access to information, like they do in a B2C interaction. For example, if someone is looking to make a software purchase, they are looking for access to videos that allow them to do their research up front. For the book, we conducted extensive research. For example, we asked buyers to respond to the following statement. “If I’m researching a product and informative demo videos are available, I find they help me gain an understanding of the product and its key features” 86% of respondents agreed! That’s the type of information buyers expect from organizations. Then when the first phone call is made, today’s buyer is looking to go further in the conversation than ever before. Instead of just having an entry level discussion and then setting up a follow up meeting or demonstration, days or weeks later, they are looking for it right now. How those demands are met is the core premise of Rule of 24.
The book is co-authored, how was that collaboration advantageous?
It’s interesting, 2Win! had been providing skills training since 2001 and about five years ago, Dan made the decision to lead 2Win! which, by the way was about the time this shift in the market was beginning. At that time Dan was Executive Vice President at a major software company. His organizational execution of our techniques directly contributed to their success. It is our synergetic perspectives, mine as the skills provider and Dan’s as someone who excels at organizational execution, that enabled us to successfully produce a book that we believe the readers will find engaging and actionable.
So let’s talk about that, how does a seller engage and execute more effectively?
Rule of 24 is defined as “The dramatic time compression driven by B2B stakeholders as they demand accelerated research, content, answers, and alignment to make a buying decision.” Let me illustrate, let’s say you are one of many stakeholders in the search and buying decision of a complex product such as a sales forecasting solution. You’ve already researched all the possible vendors that provide such a solution. You’ve looked at YouTube videos on each product. You’ve seen reviews. You’ve narrowed the list down to two possible solutions. You have a number of questions that your research couldn’t answer so, you reach out to the first vendor on their webpage. Your expectation is that a salesperson will immediately engage or, at a minimum, contact you within the hour. But, you wait, and wait and wait. By the next business day, you move on to vendor #2 and they respond instantly. One of their sales engagement team members initiates a web session that is informative and answers most of your questions. They are even capable of demonstrating parts of the solution in that session. As a stakeholder, you now promote this vendor to the rest of the selection team. Why? Simple. They delivered a better experience.
I am familiar with the Book Demonstrating to Win! that Bob, you authored, that book is extremely tactical with specific techniques, is Rule of 24 similar in that way or is it more conceptual?
2Win! has been, and always will be, about actionable strategies, techniques, and organizational execution. Therefore, this book is all about skills, technology and execution backed by extensive research. Execution that addresses the challenges faced by B2B sellers with modern buying behaviors. Rule of 24 provides the reader with specific techniques in business development, sales, sales engineering and client success that are essential for the future success of just about every B2B sales engagement team across a wide spectrum of industries.
For example, if you’re going to leverage video, you need the ability to make the video authentic, compelling and persuasive. In addition, when you’re engaging with clients you need to have the skills to be effective in presenting, demonstrating and executing in those interactions.
You talked about leveraging video and the necessary sales skills, what about execution?
We refer to that in the book in a Chapter called organizational execution. This starts with an assessment of how an organization today is engaging with their clients and prospects. A Rule of 24 readiness review, looking at all aspects of the sales engagement team and their ability to employ the skills necessary engage effectively with clients. Rule of 24 has impacts for your “client experience” across all functions of your sales engagement teams. For example, can your sales team and business development teams provide quick access to information and engage effectively in conversations and or presentations and demonstrations of your solutions to meet client expectations? Today’s companies are in a battle for creating the best experience a client can have and yet many organizations are not set up to meet clients where they are at, thus frustrating clients in the process. In the book we provide the recipe for companies to determine where improvements need to be made as well as some of the changes that they can implement to address Rule of 24. .
In much the same way that a Solutions Engineer can use the book Demonstrating to Win! to make the necessary changes to better execute in demos, the rest of the sales engagement team can use Rule of 24 to make the changes necessary to better address the demands of the modern buying process.
We are all excited about the book and look forward to reading it, what’s next for 2Win!
We will be providing thought leadership and services for clients interested in being Rule of 24 ready on a global basis. Our professional services teams in the US, Europe and Asia will perform Rule of 24 assessments, consulting, technology and skills training to help our clients meet buyers where they are at.
About the Authors:
Robert (Bob) Riefstahl is the founding Partner of 2Win! Global, international training, consulting and software company specializing in complex product demos, presentations and demo video automation. The first 20 years of his career took place in the technology industry where he succeeded in sales and executive positions. Since then, Bob has brought his demo expertise to over half of the top 400 technology companies in the world including firms like Microsoft, Google, IBM, Siemens, and Dassault (Dasoo). Bob is a keynote speaker, consultant, sales expert, author of the global best-selling book “Demonstrating to Win!”.
Daniel (Dan) Conway is CEO and Partner of 2Win! Global responsible for leading the company’s vision and strategy. Dan has spent over 20 years in the software and technology industry helping companies and agencies grow their business. Before joining 2Win! Dan held the position of Executive Vice President at Sungard, a leading international software enterprise. As a former 2Win! Client, Dan gained a direct appreciation for the value of the 2Win! Portfolio and how it helps companies engage with their clients across all mediums (video, web and in-person demos and presentations) employing 2Win! Techniques to improve company revenue and profit.