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

Episode 68 · 11 months ago

Finding the Business Pain w/ John Kaplan


Attaching to a big business problem gets you access, funding and urgency. How do you find the pain and then how do you attach your solution to it?

John Kaplan covers:

- How salespeople can get credit for helping buyers solve big business problems.

- How to attach decision makers and champions to their company’s big business pains in a way that supports your success.

- How to align your differentiation to solving business pains to improve your ability to beat competition and win.

Here are some additional resources on attaching to business pains:

- Helping Buyers Reach Their Own Conclusions [Podcast]


- Executing Effective Discovery [Podcast]


- How to Enable Reps to Sell Higher [Podcast]


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

It's not just about understanding the pain, it's about getting the customer amostly connected to the negative consequences of the pain to create that urgency of solving it. 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 BB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller, joined by John Kaplan. Hi John, Hey Rachel, how are you? I'm a great and today we are going to talk about pain, identifying pain. It's an important part of medic the qualification methodology, but it's also what we're striving for in our discovery, whether we use medic or not. ...

How do we know when we've got it? What are we doing once we've learned it? John, yeah, this, this topic is Egypt old that the identification of pain is a cornerstone of the qualification process. It's not just about understanding the pain, it's about getting the customer amostly connected to the negative concept clinses of the pain to create that urgency of solving it. So you will often hear US talk about getting the customer to stand in their moment of pain, which is like a critical sales skill, and I often refer to this as the you know, rip my face off kind of pain that's so urgent and real for the buyer that they have to deal with it. Now. Yeah, I know some of US, some force management alumni, are probably putting their fists in air when I hear you say rip your face off. Right, right. But when we are talking about let's say a software sale, for example, there's two sides of that pain. There's that technical pain and then there's the economic or business pain. Talk about the differences...

...between the two and how am I making sure I'm qualifying both? Such a critical, critical question and I love it. So technical criteria is important, but it's likely with, you know, lower levels in an organization, and these people are important. They influence the sale. But your economic criteria is like where the business level issues in the business value come from. So this is where your funding gets bigger for the opportunity and the most elite sellers always position themselves right in the middle of where the technical pain meets the business problem. You have to do both. Yeah, that's that's the point we often talk about. You mentioned, you know, the technical buyer is important. Their often lower level. Higher level is the business paying the economic buyer, and that's the point we often talk about. That you're going to get delicated to whom you sound like, so you need to have both languages. I like that a lot of you. Everybody should write that down. You get...

...delegated to whom you sound like, so you better make sure you know who you're speaking to and what they care about. And this goes that. You know that can be up or down. So how your customers pain points and needs are driven by goals, needs and pains of others within their organization. These are always critical kind of concepts to keep in mind. And there's there's multiple on rap on ramps for any sale. You know, depending on where you are in the sales process, you must be aware of the scope of the problem you are on ramping to and if you understand the way that pain flows through the organization, you can go up or down depending upon where you need to get to that biggest business issue. So no matter where you are in an organization, always attach yourself and those that you're calling on to the biggest business issues facing that company. So talk about that general what do you mean? We say this a lot, attaching to it. What do you...

...mean by attaching to it if I'm not fully solving it? I'd love to have you walk through an example for everyone listening. That's really, really great question. It comes up a lot. So when I was leading sales teams, the first question I would always ask the sellers was what is the biggest business issue facing your customer? And they would always answer with the technical issue that our product or service was solving, and I'd ask them again and again I would get the same kind of response. There was always a connection, however, between the technical problem we were solving to a business problem that the customer was experiencing. And I remember a great example with a rep in and it staffing company who challenged me during a forecast session when I asked what's the biggest business issue facing the customer? I was making a big deal out of it and you know they they challenge me by saying, come on, Kaplan, it's just stabbing and I'll never forget that. It like hung in the air. It's just staffing. And I said, hang on now, without...

...your extremely qualified and embedded candidates for that critical it project, can that customer pull off that merger? So we were talking about one of the largest banks in the world that was going through a merger and they were supplying highly technical, qualified candidates for that to work on some things, on the integration of the merger, and so obviously the answer was no, that they couldn't. So now were they the soul solution to those merger challenges? No, but without them that merger does not happen, and that was a powerful example for that. For everybody in that room. They're like, okay, I understand, he's not saying that we are the soul reason for the success of this merger, but without us that company actually won't be successful. So it's a really, really fine line that most seller struggle with. I'm just asking them... attach to a big business issue and get credit for attaching. Don't get hung up on your the soul solution. You're attaching. That's the difference. Yeah, that's that is a really important point. You are a critical component of the solution and there are many components of the solution, but attaching to it allows you to take credit for helping to solve that business pain. Yeah, attaching to it gets you in the room, get you in the conversation, gets you funding. Not Attaching to it because you don't want to take try to take credit for everything, leaves you out of all of that. So that I want people to really sit with that today. Attached to it. Yeah, that's that's really good. And of course, discoveries such a big part of this and we've talked about it before, John, your concept of hold. I'm sure people have seen the mean that we've shared socially on that. We've linked those resources up in the show notes. So we're not...

...going to go ahead and go through all that today. But when you talk about this Painfo I want to talk briefly about champions and coaches, because they can help you give that information of how that pain flows. So how do you best use them to map it out in your in your organization? Yeah, great, so you good champions will always tell you the truth. They'll the liver bad news that others won't. The'll also assist you and overcoming that news. This is very important when dealing with the shifting dynamics of the competitive and political landscapes. You know, the key is the leverage champions to find the truth, find the red flags and then ultimately eliminate them. Remember, by definition, a champion has a vested interest in your success, which means they need you to be successful. So therefore they will tell you the truth. Right there critical components to us having the right information to to maneuver...

...these sales. But fully identifying the pain it's also important. You know, it's part of medic but fully identifying the pain in terms of also how you can solve it or, attached to it, with your required capabilities, the outcomes you can drive, is also a major component to your being able to differentiate your solution in that sales process. Like everything else we're talking about this morning, it's about attaching your solution to things and you do the same thing with your differentiation. So it's critical to align your differentiation to customer pain because in the end you want to get credit for helping the customer solve that pain better than anybody else, and that better than anybody else is where you attach your differentiation to that customers pain. Yeah, really good point there. So let's let's wrap it up, John, give us our bottom line when it comes to pain. So the bottom line for me today is the first question.

You should always ask yourself, and be honest with yourself, what is the biggest business issue facing your customer? And if you answer in technical issues, those are important, but I am asking you to answer what's the biggest business issue facing your customer? Next, make sure that you're always attaching to this big business issue. You, the most elite sellers, position themselves right smack in the middle of where technical pain meets business outcomes. Today I'd like you to go take your rightful seat at the table. Go do it, ah, go do it. Drop the MIC. Thank you, John Kaplin. You're welcome. Have a great day. Thank you. Thank you to all of you for listening to the audible ready sales podcast. I hope we've given you some value with tips you can use in your sales con conversations today. Also, a shout out to all of you who have gone and rated US five stars on Apple podcast. We really appreciate it, and those of... who left those nice reviews. John and I really appreciate it. Thank 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. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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