The "they" Edd refers to are, of course, corporate executives. The CEO, CIO or senior VP of whatever, and Solution Selling has this buyer mapped.
Solution Selling was founded by Mike Bosworth, an ex-salesman who based his courses around research into the buying and selling process. (The company was recently acquired by Provant, a Boston-based provider of performance improvement services and products.) According to Bosworth's research, 13 per cent to 20 per cent of the companies that buy software are innovators or early adopters, and sales reps don't need to fight their way into these places; the software sells itself. Sixty-eight per cent are either early majority or late majority buyers. It takes a skilled salesman, an "eagle", to open this person's purse. The rest, 5 per cent to 16 per cent are laggards who aren't worth the bother.
Only 20 per cent of all companies are even looking for software. The other 80 per cent are window-shopping. Boot camp is all about getting that 80 per cent in the store and buying. If the salesperson can get a sponsor inside the company, 70 per cent of the time that sponsor will introduce the salesperson to the "power sponsor" - the one with the money and influence to buy software.
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