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

Episode · 2 years ago

Aligning with Your Buyer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Uncovering business problems provides you, as a salesperson, the ability to effectively map your solutions to the customer's required capabilities. Senior Partner Paul DeMore shares his best practices for aligning to the buyer in your discovery questions.

Hallo and welcome to the forcemanagement podcast. My name is Rachel Clatmiller and today we are talkingabout a critical component: Tos sales success, building, byer alignment,we're going to talk more about executing discovery and executing greatfollow up, I'm joyed now by Paul Demore, who is our senior partner, hello, PaulRachel? How are you good, I'm so glad to have you on our podcast today, yourfirst inaugural appearance, very excited and the reason we decided on this topic,because it really came out of a conversation that you and I were havingabout research aligined to the buyer. This research came from primaryintelligence, it looked at bt B buyers and in their research they uncoveredone point: five billion dollars in lost run revenue that vendors could have wonand the number one reason why those vendors lost or the one factor thatwould have made a difference is if they understood the buyers. Business needsabsolutely. One of the points we're trying to make here, as we talk aboutprecall planning and executing great discovery, is the more that youcan demonstrate. You understand the buyer, the better like you'll, haveyeah, and I got to tell you right at the beginning, t oelect your topicabout byer alignment rather than product positioning right, wereit's.It's interesting iswe're, specifically talking about the buyer as we preparefor our sales calls, and you know, one of the things that we've talked aboutover the years is something that we got some research ar read about a one pointin time. When we talk about celler deficit disorder right as a seller,you'r walking into a real opportunity and whether you knowit or not, the executives. Look at you with two strikes right number: one isyou don't know my business and number two? Is You don't listen and and inorder to overcome that, we need to better understand their business andcom prepared with a bunch of questions to listen to how they're doing theirbusiness today right you're, starting from behind the ABALB right, theyalready think you're going to you'R Shis Salesperson, but is Gonnawa otabout right, and it reminds me of when...

...you're walking in there and you got newproduct releases. You got new solutions that you want to go to market. You wantto talk about hit, but in reality you need to wait and understand what it isand so, from a sales point of view, the thing that I like to talk about arewhat we call three critical saleskills right, really critical sales scoutsyeah- and these are these- are fundamental in nature. Right when youhear about him the first time like, for example, the first one from a seller isto uncover the customer needs is to truly discern what the customer reallyneeds and it's from their point of view, not your solution so truly understandwhath the with the needs are of the buyer and and specifically, why you'regoing to be in a meeting with them. Number two is provide value anddifferentiation, because in reality, if they could do it without you they'regoing to do it without you right. So there needs to be a way for you toprovide value and also differentiate. Why your solution is better than thecompetition number one, but also against the competition of do nothingand then the third thing is ultimately negotiate value, and if we're able toto do that starting at the beginning of the campaign, everything gets easier isthe further you go on and when I say theyre fundamental saleskills, they are.But my comment to other people is: I will talk and say: Compare I to GolfRight, I'm a Golfer! Are you a golfer? I try I'm really good on the drivingrange. Well, if you think about golf, you get tea off. You hit the ball onthe fairway, and then you put it on the green and you want or two put and ifyou do, that, all the time you're going to be a professional golfer, but we allknow the reality. It's not that easy, and so, when we think of uncoveringcustomer needs, there are people out there that do a much better job wouldsupport the proof. Point that you shared at the beginning about the moreyou know the better chance you have a wonnen right and I these criticalsaleskills. You can run through and...

...you're like you sit there and you sayof course, right of course, it's easy to to get the ball n, the green. Untilany of you have sat on the teabox and try to get it there right, let alone infront of millions of people watching at home right. It's not it's not so easy.So as we think about it, I think those critical sales kills they're, seeminglyeasy, but theyre basic sales fundamentals and no matter how longyou've been doing this. You really have to force yourself to take a step backand say this is not about me and my solution. I need to uncover those needsfirst, because I can't even talk about my solution in a way that mattersunless I know what those needs are, so it really forces you to hole tight tothose fundamentals. If you remember them well and that's it anbecause, youhave a lot O offering right if you're a software high tech firm. That has a lotof solutions. You can do a lot of things, but in reality, unless you're,specifically talking about the things that you do, that align to the problemsthat they have you're talking about things that they're not interested inand you are going to get people to start to phase you out, set again shutyou down, yeah right, so we it's seemingly easy. We know it's not so,let's talk a little bit Paul on how we uncover this challengesin a executing, effective discovery. You've been doing this a while when youjump in on an initial conversation, and you know your goals to uncoverchallenges. How are you approaching it? What are you doing so? It's you knowit's a lot of preparation ahead of time right and you know we talk about. Are you better offpreparing internally and practicing your call internally, or are you betterof doing in front of the customer? Obviously you do it in the backgroundright, and so I always comes down to really defining the roles on who iscoming with you. So, if you're a seller, what is your specific role in the callright, if you're, a presalesperson or a solutions consultant or even yourmanagement right? If it's, the manager...

...with you who is doing what? And what isa great outcome from your point of view right in order to advance the salescycle a lot of times, we used to use this expression back at PTC, back onethousand nine hundred and inety one thousand nine hundred and ninety eightticket, all tae yeah they good old days. But we used to talk about the blackhole where you would go into a sales call have a great discovery and nothingwould happen right and the reason being is you didn't attach to a businessproblem. So how do you avoid that number one is to align the right people?The second thing is around precall planning is to Tart to figure out usingyour background, the web, who, who, with the company, were the latest pressreleases? What are the value drivers that they're focused on and then takeit down a level who are the people that are going to be in the room with you?Who are you connected with on Lingkdon? How are they connected with your othercustomers right and where do they come from and if they are what I always like theASS sellers? If they are new into a senior leadership position and they'rein your meeting, why were they hired right if they're,if theyre, if they're a senior leader and they were hired, they were hired tofix a business problem right? So we need to understand that a little bitmore than the last thing to do is talk about discovery questions. What are thequestions you're going to have already prepared when you walk in that are bothopen, ended and clothes ended, open, ended, using Ted Yeah Right. Tell meexplain to me describe to me Mat having fun with that to facilitated discussion, but thenalso the closed ones that allow you to get specific when you're actually goingto go to a scope, peinor proposal, you have this spacific information m. Howdo you know in the conversation so f? If you know your roles to drive thatdiscovering you open up with your first discovery question? How do you know youhave enough to move to the next topic? Are you taking great notes? Are youiaming the other people on the call like how are you manoeuvering thatconversation to make sure you'r really uncovering what you need to know aboutthat business problem yeah? So the...

...first thing is that really helps withthat, and this is a great tidbit little thing to ask, and I challenge thepeople that are listening to the podcast the next time they ask on acall when they do. The introductions is to specifically ask the buyer. What isa great outcome that they're looking to achieve for this call right by gettingwhat they would define, is a great outcome? Will let you ensure that you're movingin the right direction? Yeah, that's a great point so, and he goes back towhat we were saying earlier: You're trying to align to the buyer and whathe or she wants to get to so on o Pask. What they was a great outcome for themat that at the start of the call, when you finish the call as long as you hitthat outcome you've won, even if you still have to go and do more discoveryand ou Bo ave to do more, and another thing we always like to talk about ishaving is being audible, ready right, having the ability to pivot on the call depending on who is inattendance or what the specific outcome is right and what their desired outcomeis. And then the other thing is, it's always being patient right. You see alot of sellers that want to immediately start talking about whothey are and what the greatest releases are like a dog on a bound right, and sowhat we need to do in a first call discovery. A good outcome for us is asales organization. Is it come out with a business problem, differentiateyourself as a seller, so that you can help them solve their business problemsand then ultimately earn the right to advance right? Okay. So let's talkabout Yo, ow you're, having a great conversation you're in Discovery. Youknow you're pushing to that great outcome. At the end of the call. It'sreally critical. You have to own the next step because you're not going toget it all don. I want to call right. So what are you doing as a salespersonduring that call to ensure you're able to play it back in a way that'smeaningful to that buyer? So that's a great question and in and obviouslytaking notes we're all taken notes, but...

...then it comes back to witter notes thatare actually got to help advance a sale cycle andwhat are notes nice to have right and when I like to think about what are theones that we could do to start build our value message to communicateeverything that we heard, and so when I am going through it, I try to get itinto four buckets. Okay right. The first bucket is truly the background ofthe organization, the company that we're dealing with and and maybe thefuture of, where the company's going or what their growth goals are for thenext so many years. But what is the background about the business and whatthey're trying to achieve? The second thing is it's listening to thechallenges right. What are the things that they're struggling with today?That's really causing them to have the meeting with you right at the end ofthe day, they're having a meeting, because they have a business problemthat they can't solve. It's your job to figure out what that is, and then thethird thing is, if you're able to as a company address those challenges. Whatare the positive business outcomes that they're looking to achieve after theypartner with you and then ultimately, what are the required capabilitiesneeded to achieve those positive business outcomes and and if you coulddo that, you're starting to build out a valuebase? Conversation, that's all about the buyer right because up into thispoint, the backgrounds about the company, their challenges are about thecompany. The PBOS are about their company and the required capabilitieson how that company be successful. We are having a Byer base conversation anoutside and conversation about them, yeah you're by the activities thatyou're doing you're, insuring that that happens right or overcoming sellar,defiges, Sitorner, you're differentaing yourself as a seller and you're alsohelping them get to a place that they can't getwithout yourself. Your help sure so you're taking right notes, right, YOUVgot it together. I think,...

...as Youre definding the roles, probablyin your precall planning, you know the person who's going to be playing back,that the what we heard right. So how do you validate what you heard? What howre you doing that? So that's! So that's a great call! So all sudden you have you have your call and your firstdiscovery call is great right and and your starting to understand this.Typically, what I would do is send up an email, a follow up, email right. Youused to do letters no anymore, but we sent out follow up emails. That wasninety seven nine seven. They were effective, wit, a Tykeno, but you wouldsend out a follow up, email and thanking the people in the room. I always Outli n the outcome that theywanted to achieve and make a sentence or two about that and then say, heybased on what we heard you know based on the call. This is what I heard youknow and I would review maybe not the background, but I would review theirchallenges, their pbos positive business outcomes and the requiredcapabilities and then talk about the next step that we agreed to and and itsemail. So I understand that not everybody reads: Emails Right, Thoy,don't print them out; they don't digest them, but what you do on the next call. The first thing you do is validateeverything you heard right and and the way we do it here in force managementis we do a what we heard section that will show the background and challenges,we'll review that with the audience and then say, is there anything weremissing? Is there anything I didn't get correct the first time then the samething with the PBOS and the required capabilities. Once you get the buy inand what the required capabilities are, that's when you can vivot theconversation to start talk about how you do it and how you do it better thanthe competition right sure for those of you have had commano the Messagea backnine in that value of framework, and I think those emails are so powerfulbecause they help frame the next conversation. I think it also is agreat sign that you are opening this dialogue with the the prospect, thebuyer, that you're kind of in this...

...together, like we're developing thecase for the solution together and one of things email does is helps you helps. You assistthem to make thet case internally, because thos can easily be foritend andit's her same thing with your champion and anything you write anything youwrite. You want to go with the assumption in my little world ofhappiness that I live in, that it will be forwarded on to the right people. SoI truly believe that I make sure that that's the case. The other thing you know that you learn about championsand the people that are going to get the job done. You know the question weused to ask back and new hiwer training was who's on site, more the buyer, theyou or the champion. Well, the chapions there ninety nine percent of the timeright. So you need to start, take your value based message and have it startto be able to be repeated internally by others that are in the buying process?Well, necessarily having to come from you yeah. Do you think I always like to ask where do people gogo wrong with this? Where does it go wrong, and I think you might havetouched hat, I'm I'mgoing to ask if you think this is where people go wrong, itseems to be. If we talk about seller, deficitisorder and you're doing greatdiscovery. You hear the problems that Aligne with your solution and you getexcited right. You're, like Oh, we got a business problem here, we're going tosolve it, so you want to just start talking about the how we do it, butit's really that discipline to hold back. Would you say that's where theland minds, people hit sometimes yeah, and I aaman in one of the comments youhave when you talk to sales leaders. Is You ask a sales vice president? is howhow long into a sales call does it take your sellers to start talking aboutyour company and your products right? Is it ten minutes? Is it fifteenminutes and a lot of times they laugh and they say it's within the first five,whether it's true or not, I don't know, but the idea is, is to truly attach yourself to the BASbiggest problem and to really do effective discovery because it willdifferentiate and it will give you better results. Great Discovery,precall plan. You can't really...

...underestimate preparation, that'sprobably kind of the bottom line here as we're talking about all Thas,absolutely and and and when with like, I said, defining the roles having yourmaterial set up being allready to pivot. If you need to, but also knowing what it takes to besuccessful in the call you'll be in great Shak great awesome, thank you somuch cauled em more than Youre ajor joining us. Thank you to all of you forlistening to our podcast. Don't forget, subscribe, soundpod and itunes.

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