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

Episode · 1 month ago

Aligning with Corporate Initiatives

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

When selling a solution, you want to align with wide-ranging corporate initiatives and not just departmental one-offs. Many reps struggle to not only identify, but also align with company-wide initiatives that buyers are navigating with inside of their organization. John Kaplan explains how to recognize a corporate buyer and align your business outcomes with their pain points and other business issues.

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Sit in the customers moment of pain and, if you don't understand the pain, find someone in your own company who can explain it to you. Sit with it for a moment and ask yourself, so what if that happens to the customer? You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. will feature 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 and welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Clup Miller, joined by John Kaplin. Hi John, Hi Rachel. So today we are going to talk about aligning your solution to the right part of the company. We've all been in those situations where we are lined to a departmental initiative and not a corporate one. Yeah, if you're selling...

...a premium solution, you need to be talking to the people who have access to discretionary funds. The people release those discretionary funds, those people that have the power and influence release those discretionary funds when the problem has a large enough business implication right, there's there's the golden ticket. Right, a large enough business implication, and that requires us to you, align with these corporate initiatives, not just departmental one offs. So the first step to do that is to really look at the outcomes you're trying to drive. Yeah, I think you. You always begin by asking yourself, what problem am I trying to solve? What problem is the customer trying to solve? And then you've always got to ask yourself how big is the problem? I find that sellers just don't do that. They don't think about the negative consequences of the problem.

They just look at the surface level of the problems. They okay, that's a problem I relate to and therefore I can switch and talk about my solutions. Go deeper, go deeper. Always ask yourself how big the problem is, like, what are the implications of the problem? Are they technical problems or do they impact the corporate landscape as a whole? And and even if you only know the departmental impact, that doesn't mean it doesn't have higher level implications. You need to go find them. Right, it's looking at the outcomes that that pain to the other piece of this is really getting to the economic fire. Yeah, your economic fire is the person who has the influence as it relates to this business issue. They have power and authority in the organization. They can say yes one others can say no. They can say no when others can say yes. They have direct access to money, discretionary use of funds, profit and loss responsibilities. You know, when whenever I...

...have trouble identifying the economic buyer, it's typically because I'm dealing with a technical buyer or a budget holder who is kind of masquerading as the economic buyer. So when we speak about a corporate initiative, this is who you have to align with. In addition to knowing who the person actually is, you need to understand the strategic priorities that they care about, the corporate initiatives. Right. I love giving some examples of questions when we give those types of tips, John. So let's talk about what questions am I asking that helps me find out about those corporate initiatives that an economic buyer cares about. Yeah, Rachel, I think people make this like much harder than it is, and I want to break the I do. I think it's I think they just give a little bit intimidated by and let me see if we can break down a little bit. So first, as I often talk about, the difference between stress and pressure is preparedness. It is preparedness. And so sit in...

...the customers moment of pain and, if you don't understand the pain, find someone in your own company who can explain it to you. Sit with it for a moment and ask yourself, so what if that happens to the customer? So what? What's the impact of the business? So I think it's about first getting your mind right to before even come up with questions. First understand the problem. The questions become easier. So many times I'll reverse engineer the problem. And let me just give you kind of an example. So I draw a bulls eye on my piece of paper often just to get started in my preface preparation, you know, with outside circles, leaning, leaning into inside circles to a bulls eye. What I mean by reverse engineering is I start with like, okay, what's going on in the industry? Okay, those are industry pressures. Okay, those industry pressures are creating company pressures. So how are those industry pressures creating company pressures and then those company pressures...

...are creating departmental pressures, and then I earn the right to ask about personal pressure and personal impact. And, Rachel, I think one of the fundamental mistakes that I see young sellers do today, or inexperience sellers, what they wind up doing is they reverse that. They try to start with the personal and they haven't earned the right think about industry pressures and the industry pressures creating company pressures, the company pressures creating departmental pressures, and then you earn the right on the personal. So questions like what feedback are you getting from? So if I'm talking, let's say I'm talking to like a technical buyer in software, and let's say that that technical buyer is creating technical solutions that are impacting other departments like sales and finance, and then outside like customers, and...

...so I just ask questions like Hey, what feedback are you getting from the sales organization or from the Finance Organization or from the customers or from your customers? What's the voice of the customers saying? What are they like most about what you're doing? A lot of times I'll start with a positive question and then they'll tell me the negative about so what is your sales organization like most, about the technical solutions that you're providing for them? They kind of tell me something and then they immediately go to the negative and I and I wind up realizing that when I'm asking people to tell me about positive situations, whatever it is about human nature, they wind up telling me the negative things. And so give that a try, but sit with it first and ask yourself, so what if this doesn't work out? So what if there are problems? What are the implications to those around them? The questions are easy. The mindset is first. That's great and I know we've talked about this and...

...other podcast episodes, but I just want to hit it here at at the end. Having the questions is great, right. We need to know what the question is ask, but we can't ask them if we don't have the right access to the person. So how I'm making sure I have the right access. John, just hit that real quick for us. Yeah, I mean best access is from someone inside the company. And what I mean by that a lot of times people are saying, okay, I need to get higher inside an organization and they're looking for ways to like you know, Hopscott jump over people like I don't know if it's frogger or whatever that thing is, when we were kids. You're you're not as old as I am, Rachel, but you know, you leap frog these things and people think about leap frogging people. I got to get over that person. I got to get above that person and and I've always thought that the best way to get people to get somewhere is from somebody who already knows the way and to get them to take me there. So what I like to think about is getting people connected. amostly connected to what they do for a living, matters,...

...for example, on the example I just gave you, getting them connected. I want to talk to the VP of sales, but yet I'm talking to a technical buyer, and it let's say, but I want them to set up the conversation for me, not just set up the conversation for me with a warm intro, but I'd like them to be on the call because I want this new person I'm talking to and sales to know that I am connected to others inside the account and it's this concept of always making it warm, always making it warm, I'm more likely to receive a somebody calls me a force management. You tell me that Rachel suggested that, that you give me a call, and not only that, Rachel's on the call. When we are going to have the conversation of the meeting. I'm more likely to spend more time being prepared. Probably reach out to Rachel and say, Hey, what's this meeting about? Always bring people along your journey. So think about connecting those lower level people to bigger business issues, helping them be seen as...

...a hero to the organization. Give them ownership and empowerment. You don't need the credit, you need the money. Amen. So, John, wrap it up. That's a great way to end it. But I'm sure that you have a final thought for us here. I always you gotta, you have timelimits here, ry, so you know I always have fine, but all right, let's let's just think about a bottom line here. So for me it's always understand the problem you're solving. Ask yourself how big is the problem? Don't hang on the surface of the problem. Go deeper, go deeper, implicate the problem with big business issues. Follow the money. Follow the money of the problem and it will it will not only take you to the business issue, but it will take you to the people with the power and influence and responsibility to solve it. Lastly, prepare in everything you do.

It's not always about can you get a meeting, it's about whether or not you'll be welcome back you get delegated to those that you sound like. That takes preparation to make sure you're messaging to people with the right messages, with the right problems and the right expectations. You do those things and I think you'll have no problem linking yourself to corporate initiatives. That's great. Thank you, John, my pleasure. Go get them go, Gadam. Thank you to all of you for listening to the audible ready sales podcast. 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.

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