The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

22. 3 Things You Need In Every Deal w/ John Kaplan


Moving opportunities forward and maintaining a healthy pipeline in this environment — are two critical areas sales organizations are struggling with right now.


In this episode John Kaplan talks through the three things you need in every deal, minimizing no decisions, discounts and other risks to their pipelines. He’ll discuss:


- How to determine your PBOS, Required Capabilities and Metrics


- How to change a deal at risk into a high-value opportunity


- What’s needed for salespeople to become more relevant to their buyers right now


Check out this and other episodes of The Audible-Ready Podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.


Here are some additional resources focused on PBOS, required capabilities and metrics: 


- Predicting No Decisions On-Demand Webinar

- How to Ask the Right Questions in Your Sales Conversation

- 6 Questions That Will Help Your Sales Team Produce More Revenue

- Why Sales Reps Struggle with Metrics in the Sales Conversation

Both the buyer and the seller at risk if you are working on things that are not connected to the biggest business issues facing that company. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. Will feat your sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team at force management, a leader in BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello, thank you for joining us for the audible ready podcast. I'm Rachel Clip Miller, joined today by John Kaplan. Hi John, Hi Rachel, great to be here. Yes, John, there are a lot of salespeople listening who are struggling to move opportunities forward, close pipeline, and this this environment wherein means deals are always at risk, even when you do great qualification, and part of the way to mintigate your own risk, of your own pipeline is to make sure you are linked to the issue that's so critical to an organization that a buyer must take action. Yeah, this is such a great topic, Rachel, because I think it stands the test of time. I remember when I was a sales rep long, long ago, my first selling job at a great manager and he used to say to me, Hey, John, what's the biggest business issue facing your customer? And I always get back kind of a technical issue or lower level issue, and he'd say no, what's the biggest business issue? And then he said to me something I'll never forget. No business issue, no business. So what he really meant was if the problem is big enough, it doesn't matter how much your product costs. When your entire sales team has the ability to uncover pressing problems and articulate how your solutions help correct them, they'll be able to move opportunities through the sales process at a faster rate. And so the key is for your sellers to be consistent around uncovering high level business needs, articulating value and...

...differentiation based upon those needs and then positioning value throughout the sales process right. In order to do that, every salesperson on every deal needs to have three things down. We call them positive business outcomes, required capabilities and metrics. Simple concept. We know it's difficult to execute, but if you keep those three things in mind, good things will come. So we're going to talk through those three concepts here today. First, positive business outcomes. John Walk us through that concept. Yeah, so really good. So positive business outcomes are the tangible business benefits that result from a buyer implementing your solutions. So when they're in place and articulated, a buyer understands the clear business value they will receive from implementing the solutions. But too often sales reps aren't specific enough on the positive business outcomes or they identify outcomes that are too low level. So you have to ask yourself, if you're a manager or sales rep listening to this, do the identified positive business style comes address business level goals or are they lower level in nature? And are the positive business outcomes compelling enough for an economic buyer to reallocate discretionary funds? And if they're not? If they're not, you got to go back and ask a fundamental question. What is the customers biggest business issue? If what you are speaking about or working on with a customer is not connected to this big business issue, you are at risk. But guess what, so is the person you're calling on. So keep that in mind. Both of you are at risk, both the buyer and the seller at risk if you are working on things that are not connected to the biggest business issues facing that company. Let me do a little follow up there. John. So, if I if I'm listening right now...

...and I'm working to deal in I and I say, Oh Gosh, he's talking about me. I'm at I'm at Resk. What tips you have for them to go back and expand, do more discovery? What would you do? I you know, I think this is I get this question all the time. People come to me and they say, Hey, we really struggle at getting higher in an organization. We really struggle at you know, we're too low in an organization. Ninety nine percent of the people say that to me. But where the critical intersection is where the technical capabilities of your solution intersect with the business implications of your customer? So I think it's just taking the next leap. So if you if you feel like you're at risk by this very conversation and you look at the technical capabilities, if you think hey, I'm too low, I haven't no. First ask yourself what's the biggest business issue facing their company? A lot of this you can get even before you talk to a customer. You can get it online, you can get it by reading their an your reports if they're not a public company, go to the next competitor who's public and see what they're talking about. With so much access to information, you should be able to understand what the biggest business issue is facing them. Then you've got to bring that into the dialog. Because, Rachel, what I see happening is many technical people inside a companies, the peat, the men and women that we call on, they've lost their own emotional connection to what they do matters. So, for example, if for working on some technical capability at a bank or what have you, so an online portal, customer portal, or would have you. The great news is most of us, all of us, are consumers today and all of us understand what a bad or good customer experience is. Good news is that's in everybody's top three of improving or increasing customer experience. So you could just kind of start there and say, what is it that we're working on and what does it have to do with creating a good or bad customer experience,...

...and then ask questions like Hey, what bad things happen when these things, these technical things, aren't solved? Who Cares about that? Who owns that inside the company? How do they measure that and now all the sudden I'm climbing back up the ladder to people with power and influence and the business issues that really met. Does that make sense? Yes, that's that's some good spirit around that and some good tips or people who listening who might think that they have a deal at risk because it's not high enough in the organization or the business issues aren't big enough. Yeah, so positive business outcomes the first concept. The second concept is required capabilities. Talk talk about what we mean by that concept, John. Yeah, these are the old days of, you know, decision criteria, but let's let's further define them. You know, required capabilities define the specific requirements that are necessary to achieve the positive business outcome. So they're definitely linked together. If your buyers want to achieved let's say x, you know, then they need to make sure that why is in place. So required capabilities, like I said, are the decision criteria and elite sellers develop these with their customers and ensure that executing the required capabilities address the pain points and achieve the business objectives. So they need to be confirmed with every decision maker in the prospects of organization. Elite sellers ensure their differentiation is in those require capabilities. So you're not just taking down required capabilities like you're making a list, you are influencing them. So you got to ask yourself if you're listening to this and you're a manager or your rep it doesn't matter. Do the required capabilities describe the minimum requirements that are necessary to move the customer from the before scenario to the after scenario? Another great question is, are they compelling enough for the buyer to take the next step?...

Remember, no decision is often one of the strongest competitors for us. So the last one, critical one, is have you explained your differentiation in a way that maps back to the required capabilities and has meaning to the customer? So if I just zoom out here real quickly, Rachel, and just look at what we've talked about so far, you know, if you take a moment, the positive business outcomes and the required capabilities are where the technical and business world's come together. You know, as a seller you always need to connect the two. You can't just hang at the positive business outcomes and not nail the technical differentiated, technical require capabilities, and likewise you can't just hang in the technical world and not connect yourself to the business implications. You got to do both. Yeah, and you mentioned no decision and making sure the required capabilities are compelling enough for the buyer to take on next step. And I know in the environment of the pandemic, this idea of no decision is is plaguing a lot of pipelines right now. People are hesitant to move forward. So it's ours job as salespeople is to create the compelling reasons to help the buy or see the compelling reasons to move forward with our solutions. Yeah, Rachel, we're hearing a lot about no decision right now, a lot, and I think that, yes, you know, there are certainly some economic times and there are certainly some things happening in the world, but I think more to do with those no decisions is that we have an attached what we do technically to a business implication that is so critical that without it the customer is in jeopardy or something bad is happening or is going to happen. And what I've seen in pipelines is where you have that connection. People are doing very, very well in this marketplace. Yes, people are focusing on those most critical things that are impacting their business. But we have to...

...ask ourselves, why not us? If we're selling, why aren't we connecting? So you have to that's what elite sellers are doing right now very successfully. You. We actually have a Webinar that we did with our friends over at primary intelligence. Premier Intelligence had done some research on no decisions and they surveyed or a hundred buyers and those buyers said those deals that were lost in our decision were actually winnable but the buyers never saw the value. So backs at that point a link that Webin aren't in this in the show notes. To take a look at that. Awesome. So we've talked about positivistell coomes. We've talked about required capabilities. The third concept is metrics. Yeah, so the very basic definition first, metrics define how the customer will measure success. They established the key performance indicators that define how success will be measured once the solution is implemented. So every one of the required capability should be tied to a metric. That alignment provides a tangible way to demonstrate how any potential solution, yours or any other, will be judged against all others. It ensures that the final solution choice meets the required capability so well that achieving the positive business outcomes is more of a certainty than a lofty goal. Now, Rachel, I have to tell you, out of all the things that we talked about over and over and over again in our value framework, in the value based conversation, over and over again people come up. We've talked about one on, you know, no decisions, but also they come up and they say, Hey, metrics are really, really hard, and I think that people are over complicating it. We don't get involved in anything without measuring success. Customers, if it's critical inside their company and it's tied to business issues, it is definitely measured. But people over complicate the topic. But I know that you have some suggestions and some some further content that we're probably...

...going to provide listeners. I want you to really stay focused on rate what Rachel's about to say. If you're struggling with the concept of metrics and you don't know what the metrics are, first of all your company should help you with that. Secondly, you should also not over complicate it, because people with power and influence are used to being measured. There should be metrics in place when they're tied to business objectives. You just need a little extra rotation on how to ask great discovery questions and how to influence met tricks so your required capabilities are measured more favorably for you. Yes, we have dove into this topic before, so take a look at the show notes. Of linked up some of the content we have around discovery questions, discovery question flow and then also some of the reasons why rep struggle with metrics and what you can do about them. So take a look at the show notes for that. I think that's a must read or listen to. If you would all say that metrics are hard, I'm not going to argue with you, but I think you're making it harder than it needs to be. So listen and pay attention to that added content. Great, so required capabilities positive as cell comes metrics. Once you have those nailed in the sales conversation, you can run through how you do it, what your solution is and your differentiation. If you're a command of the message alum, you know that's what we call the back of the value framework, the how you do it and how we do it better. Any deal that's struggling. If you're looking at it, John, it usually comes back to one of those three, three concepts we talked about today. Yeah, you know, I like to think about these concepts. Is like similar to the concept of a golf swing and it's like a motion. It's like, you know, a sales motion and golf swing motion. So just hang with me. I don't care if it's golfing, tennis, you know, bowling, I don't care. Any type of physical motion where there is a take, a way and some type of a delivery to...

...strike a target is really, really relevant for what I'm about to say. So in the same motion, I want you to think about a sales conversation having three takeaways. Positive Business Outcomes require capabilities and metrics. On every sales conversation you're having out there, you should be thinking of filling up the bucket. I got to make sure I'm getting positive business outcomes. I got to make sure I'm establishing the differentiated required capabilities that are more favorable for me and I'm influencing that. I've got to make sure I understand how things are going to be measured and I'm influencing how things are going to be measured. And then, once I have that takeaway motion. I now can to can execute the delivery. What I'm going to give back to strike the target, to deliver to the customer, and that's all about three things. How we do it and how we do those require capabilities, how we do it better or differently than anybody else out there, including doing nothing, and what our proof is. So if you leave any of those out, if you just think about that motion and you know you leave any of those out, you're going to get a swing that's going to start to have significant problems. So three takeaways, three deliveries. Do you do that in every single sales conversation? You might not have them built out, but you are building them out so you can ultimately playback the three things that you took away from a customer, positive business outcome to quir capabilities and metrics and then deliver back to them very specifically how you do that, the require capabilities, how you do it differently or better and where you've done it before. That's a great golf swing. That's what elite sellers are doing today really, really well, regardless of an economy, regardless of pandemics. It's as old as dirt. Give it a try. It says old as dirt. I think that's a great, great...

...bottom line on you got it all right. Thank you to all of you for listening to the audible ready podcast. Be sure to check out the show notes and we'll see you next time. At force management, we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US at force MANAGEMENTCOM. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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