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Paring Down Your Work in Sales & Presales: Working Smarter

Paring Down Your Work with the Pareto Challenge: Working Smarter


One of the most interesting principles in economics is the Pareto Principle. Pareto, a 19th-century economist, developed the 80/20 rule, which states that, for many events, 80 percent of the effects are derived from 20 percent of the causes. In the business world, that would mean that 80 percent of a company’s revenue would come from 20 percent of that company’s products, and 80 percent of profits from 20 percent of items. In addition, 80 percent of revenue would be generated by 20 percent of the salespeople.


This principle can be applied to the B2B industry quite easily. Even better is that you may need to only focus on building assets for 20 percent of your solution. For instance, whatever it is you’re offering, 20 percent of it (as well as 20 percent of the features related to it) will impact 80 percent of your stakeholder’s decisions. Simply put, most of your attention needs to be directed at building the content for those specific features, as this is where your payoff happens.

The question then becomes, “how do we know what makes up that incredibly impactful 20 percent?” The best way to discover the answer is to spend time with your pre-sales team, as they are generally the ones who are demoing regularly. Talk to the subject matter experts, as well as your salespeople to discover what people are usually interested in when it comes to your products. These analytics can also let you know your key products in terms of potential revenue. Once these have been identified, you can focus on addressing the resonance, the bias, and the Value Pyramid.


When you and your team are able to determine the 20 percent of products, solutions, and services that will be most impactful with individual stakeholders, you are sure to outshine your competitors without breaking a sweat!

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