Last week, Engineers without Borders held their 20th anniversary conference in Toronto, the Global xChange 2020, which gave chapter delegates, portfolio businesses, fellows, and partners an opportunity to congregate, learn, and network. Chad Spain was there to deliver a talk on “Developing your sales function; selling in a way that helps clients buy well” to the ventures portfolio, Kumvana fellows, and select partners.
Delegates discussed the challenges they face in their own selling and uncovered what causes these challenges. Slow sales cycles, low prioritization, and difficulty navigating stakeholders were common B2B symptoms while underdeveloped market penetration was problematic on the B2C side.
The group explored a typical cause to these issues, which is that most salespeople don’t sell in a way that helps people make good buying decisions. One insight came from Geoffrey Moore’s book Crossing the Chasm, which outlines that many tech companies fail to evolve how they sell from early adopters to the market majority. Each group buys for different reasons, which means you must sell to them in a different way. Pitching your solution may win early market customers, but it is less effective when you approach the majority of buyers who are more risk averse and often “wait and see” what others do before they act.
Chad unpacked Whitten and Roy Partnership’s DQ methodology to outline how to navigate the market majority through a more intentional buying process. That is:
  • Exploring the problems faced by the prospective customer
  • Illuminating the cost of the problem if left unsolved
  • Presenting the solution that solves the costly problem
  • Illustrating value by presenting the investment required 
It was a riveting discussion and left delegates with next steps to apply learning back to their businesses. EWB is committed to supporting businesses that are solving the world’s toughest problems through financial and technical support, and we are honoured to play a part to facilitate that change.

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