Game Theory in Sales

Been a while...

Reflecting on my university days when I studied Political Science, I remember taking an entire course on International Relations, which was predominantly centered around Game Theory. Fast forward to today, and instead of playing political games, Iโ€™m in the SaaS sales arena. Not exactly the UN, but still a battleground.

The further I delve into my sales career, the more I find myself pondering the relevance of Game Theory. In my line of work, characterized by fierce competition, each deal often feels like a game against three or four other similar companies.

We frequently engage in discussions about competitive advantages proactively, attempting to influence the outcome by highlighting weaknesses in our competitors' strengths. However, more often than not, it ultimately boils down to price. When a prospect hangs up the phone, you can bet they're dialing another number, and someone is making concessions. You can build as much value as you want, run the most flawless discovery process, but the stark reality is that trust is a rare commodity in our volatile industry.

I'm curious if anyone else has considered applying game theory to their sales cycles, especially in scenarios reminiscent of the prisoner's dilemma. If so, have you had any successful outcomes or made noteworthy discoveries? Are there any valuable resources or materials you've come across to enhance your analytical and strategic approach in your deals?

๐Ÿ‘‘ Sales Strategy
๐Ÿ“ˆ Closing
โ˜๏ธ Software Tech
7
CuriousFox
WR Officer
6
๐ŸฆŠ
๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ
saaskicker
Tycoon
4
Enterprise AE
If your being shopped for cheapest solution, and theres 4-5 on the market that someone can think of off the top of their head to call - you're selling a commodity and the game is to get someone to sign a contract with you immediately before they shop you.
HVACexpert
Politicker
3
sales engineer
Or you hope you get last look after everyone else has been shopped
saaskicker
Tycoon
2
Enterprise AE
my past managers: "hope is not a sales strategy" *shakes fist*
ThatNewAE
Big Shot
3
Account Executive - Mid enterprise
I am sorry but there's something wrong with Bravado's formatting of posts. It's either that, or you forgot to cut breaks between lines. I spent 5 minutes trying to read that!

Game theory applies everywhere in life, if you want it to.
Sales is just that, tbh. It's you showcasing value, so that they bring you value.
Am i missing something here?
bigfella
Tycoon
-5
AE (Account Executive)
Super general to say it applies everywhere in life. Of course it does. How do you apply it? Lot's of nice paragraphs in my post ;) I'm glad you learned to read!
oldcloser
Arsonist
2
๐Ÿ’€
Donโ€™t you work transactional inbound?
Yes, you do. "highly transactional," according to your post when you said you were tired of taking notes. You're applying game theory in your call center now? Just stop.
jefe
Arsonist
2
๐Ÿ
^^
bigfella
Tycoon
0
AE (Account Executive)
oh gate keeper - how I missed you
HVACexpert
Politicker
0
sales engineer
No I have not used game theory
FoodForSales
Politicker
0
AE
sales is a numbers game. that's the only theory which matters.
lilhunter
Good Citizen
0
independent sales consultant
The last time you bought something... coffee, gasoline, a computer, a phone... was the main factor price? Probably not.
Here are all the things that influenced my decision BEFORE price:

Coffee - taste, location, ambiance
Gas - location, available pumps
Computer - Operating system, size
Phone - Operating system

My point is that no one buys anything because it's cheap. They buy it because it either gives them something they need, or solves a problem. Price only becomes a factor if the alternatives both solve the same problem equally as well.

Your objective as a sales person is to ensure that you're finding problems that your product can solve better than anyone else so that the decision doesn't come down to price.
ApocalyBoom
Politicker
0
Account Executive
If you are looking for the cheapest solution and there are 4-5 solutions on the market that someone can immediately think of - you sell something and the game begins. Get someone to sign a contract to contact you immediately before they buy from you.
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