If the title of this blog caught your eye and made you open it, you are probably a part of the cult of Game of Thrones lovers. And why won’t you be ? It’s perhaps the only series that covers all aspects of a human life – love, hatred, ambition, honor, betrayal, retribution, redemption, pursuit of power and wealth, sacrifice and anything else that human life can go through. Although set in the early ages of dynastic politics, the concepts and lessons displayed can very well be applied to modern day life.
One of the key themes that runs through the entire series is the power of negotiations. Tyrion Lannister negotiates life for death by demanding for trial by combat twice. He is a classic example of how an underdog with no physical power can rule with strategy. This and many more situations provide a great deal of learning that can be applied to Enterprise sales – How to convince even the toughest client, how to build strategic partnerships, how to stay ahead of competition, how to manage a crisis, etc. In this blog we draw upon five key references from the HBO hit series Game of Thrones that can be invaluable lessons in the sphere of B2B sales advancement.
“When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die…”, Cersei Lannister
Right from the start of the series, we have seen numerous instances of how politics and strategy have been a key defining factor. Cersei Lannister has been one of the most hated characters in the series (surely after Joffrey Baratheon), but there she serves as a prime example of how strategy can get you what you want. Building strong strategy can help you approach enterprise sales in a streamlined manner than rather going through long B2B sales cycles. Events no longer need to be just brand building platforms. You can target building a better sales pipeline with an effective strategy in place. Create a detailed agenda and execute it to the last detail, make sure your meetings are effective and with the right people.
“I serve the realm…”, Lord Varys
Taking from a prolific character of the show, Lord Varys offers a very vital lesson in strategy. Knowing your buyers in and out is key to selling them a product that they actually need. Your sales strategy should serve the pain points of your target personas. In B2B sales, buyers are mostly aware of their problems and are quite specific about what solution they want. Understand their needs and build a positioning addressing those. Understanding and leveraging customer expectation and behavioural information can go a long way in helping sales reps influence customers to dive into the buyer’s cycle. Profiling customers give event marketers a focused target while working on deals. Furthermore, it is important to understand which stage of the buyer’s journey leads are on to effectively convert them.
“A Lannister always pays his debts”, The Lannisters
The Lannisters have a very well known motto. From this motto, we can draw an important aspect of sales and events – accountability. It is important that marketers and sales professionals alike keep promises that have been made. After meeting with many customers and agreeing on deadlines, it is important that these conditions are adhered to. In the business world, there is no bigger deal-breaker than not living up to your word. If customers have requested a follow-up at a later point in time, make sure that everything is in place for that to happen. Drawing a parallel on accountability, as event marketers, it is crucial to measure and assess the return on investment and its impact on the success of events. Event ROI serves as a quantifiable, tangible measurement on how successful events have been – a fitting task for the Master of Coin!
“ Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.” – Tyrion Lannister
At times, Sales teams aren’t armed with adequate product information. They focus on the value proposition of the product rather than deep diving into the product’s specific features and functionalities. Like Tyrion says, it’s absolutely important for sales teams to know their product in depth. Different customers have different pain points and a standard pitch doesn’t fit all. Enterprise clients tend to be more aware of different products available in the market and would probably know your product’s strengths and weaknesses as well. You need to be well informed to able to answer counter questions.
“After all, we’re friends, aren’t we…?” – Petyr Baelish
Arguably one of the most convincing characters in the show, Littlefinger has proved to us time and time again why building powerful allies can be handy. Closing a deal is more than one man’s efforts. It requires an entire team to work closely. Marketing and sales have equally important roles to play in driving the business forward. Both marketing and sales teams have overlapping functions and their synapse can prove paramount to obtaining qualified leads. Leads that are qualified need to be eased into the sales process and to facilitate this, both these teams need to be completely transparent in their communication.
“Chaos isn’t a pit, chaos is a ladder.” – Petyr Baelish
If there’s one person who can make the most out of any situation, it is Lord Baelish. Similarly, sales is a complex process, filled with uncertainties and negotiations. Getting the word out for your product at an event is even more chaotic. Customers have short attention spans and lots of meetings to run to. It’s important to find your feet amidst this chaos and leave a mark. Sales advancement technologies can enable you to manage all your meetings right from the Sales.
B2B sales is after all about the meetings that can happen anytime, anywhere. Make the most out of your meetings keeping in mind the lesson mentioned above.