How to focus on buyer needs and avoid unwinnable deals
Sellers who offer insights and perspective tailored to their buyer’s needs move deals through the pipeline and close more business.
In the sales industry, few resources are more iconic than the Blue Sheet, powered by Miller Heiman sales methodology. A staple in sales organizations across the world for decades, the Blue Sheet brings structure to the sales process, aligning strategies for winning complex deals with our highly successful Strategic Selling® with Perspective methodology.
The sales industry has changed a lot since Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman launched Strategic Selling® in 1978. But the Blue Sheet has remained a constant, a tool relied upon by generations of sellers because it works no matter how complicated sales gets.
Ever wonder why we call it the Blue Sheet? According to company legend, when Bob Miller assembled the first batch of documents to accompany the Strategic Selling® framework, the printer ran out of 11 x 17 white paper. Rather than wait for new stock to arrive, Bob had to use blue paper which was all that was available at the time. Customers then started referring to it as the “blue sheet” – and an icon was born.
Although we can’t imagine it any other color, Bob’s choice of paper had little to do with the Blue Sheet’s success. When Miller Heiman introduced the Blue Sheet in 1978, it revolutionized the sales industry because it gave sellers a practical and consistent framework for applying the innovative Strategic Selling® methodology.
Before the Blue Sheet, sellers relied on instinct to navigate the sales process, using a series of best guesses to identify influencers, competitors, actions and other details that impacted the outcomes of high-value opportunities. The Blue Sheet gave sellers a formal strategic analysis tool for approaching those opportunities. Better yet, it aligned sellers’ activities with methodology, improving sales organizations’ ability to consistently manage and win complex deals.
As more companies realized the benefits of the Strategic Selling® methodology, adoption of the Blue Sheet skyrocketed, establishing it as a fixture in high-performing sales organizations around the world.
As recently as 2018 we evolved the Blue Sheet to synchronize with our updated core sales methodology, Strategic Selling® with Perspective, with an increased focus on leveraging insight and expertise to benefit both the customer and the seller.
We also updated the Blue Sheet to help address the technology needs of sales organizations, synchronizing it with the release of a cloud-based sales analytics platform, Scout by Miller Heiman Group.
New features and updates to the Blue Sheet at that time included:
To meet the needs of today’s sales organizations, we’ve now integrated the Blue Sheet with Korn Ferry Sell, our new cloud-based sales analytics platform available on the Salesforce AppExchange.
It provides clearer visibility for sales leaders into the sales process, informs sellers where they should spend their time, and identifies the steps needed to accelerate and close deals. Being listed on the AppExchange makes it easy to access Korn Ferry Sell and to start bringing value to their sales teams; our research shows that adding analytics to a formal sales process is linked to win rates 13% higher than just a formal process alone.
Ultimately, Korn Ferry Sell both improves Blue Sheet adoption rates and presents sellers with an opportunity to use sales technology for better sales outcomes – unlike CRM, which is often viewed as an administrative burden rather than a useful selling resource.
Here at Korn Ferry, we wouldn’t want to live in a world without the Blue Sheet. And its integration with technology has made a seismic shift in the way sales teams can access it, creating a wide range of new opportunities. But at the heart of it all, you’ll find the same Blue Sheet that leading sales organizations have loved and relied on for years.
Book a demo of Korn Ferry Sell and explore how your organization can benefit from the Blue Sheet integrated with Salesforce technology.