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

Episode · 3 years ago

Backing Up The Sales Conversation

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

What do you do if you are in the middle of your sales process and you realize you aren't attached to the right business issue? John Kaplan talks through best practices for backing up the sales process.

Hello, I'm Rachel Clip Miller. Thank you for listening to the force management podcast. I am joined today by our managing partner and president, John Kaplan. How you doing, John? I'm doing really good. Rache, how are you? I'm good, I'm good. I am excited about this podcast topic. I tend to get excited about topics when we get back to basics, and today we're set up to talk about really uncovering that business pain and defining customer client requirements, specifically when you've got to kind of back up the APP opportunity. So we're talking here about instances when you've moved forward to decisionmakers and you come to the realization that you haven't really defined those Pedos, required capabilities and metrics. Yeah, I think the way that you set it back in up. I think that we get a lot of questions about it all the time and and you know, I think this is something that sales people deal with all the time and you get get to a point where you're, you know, got a lead and they're really excited about you know, you...

...or they think that it's, you know, really a sure thing and and they don't do their due diligence and they realize that they have to back up the deal, and I'm speaking about the Reps. you know, they realize, hey, maybe this isn't such a linear motion. You know, what do I do with that and how do I put all the pieces in line? So I think it's a really, really good topic. Yeah, I think you mentioned you know they're really excited about it. Maybe your friends with somebody at the company or you you for whatever reason just feel like it's a short thing and you end up skipping steps. It happens a lot and we heard a lot from people who are taking our command of message training because when they take that training they may already be in a deal. They learn our new approach to the sales process and they want to back it up and they they are questioning where they are in some of their current opportunities and they want to go back in the middle of the middle of one. Yeah, I think. I think what happens is is because you know, you have a feeling like hey, maybe something's going well, I've got a good relationship with...

...this person and your stomach is telling you that I don't have all the pieces in place and and I think you just got to just be honest with yourself and just realize that it's in the customers that's interest to find, you know, like these three things that you highlighted earlier, like positive this outcomes require capabilities and metrics like these. Are Incredible, powerful pockets and buckets of information that you have to have from a customer before you turn the corner and try to sell them anything. So it's that kind of outside in approach versus an inside out approach. And when you don't have those things from place and you try to pivot to sell, you got to go back and refill those buckets. So it's a it's it doesn't flow very well at awkward and Rep struggle with it right. And you know, I you often talk about giving you having confidence and conviction around what you're selling and what you do for a living, and I think it's important for everyone listening out there to remember that if you are focusing on the buyer and focusing on the customer, you are not...

...subjecting that buyer or that customer to you are buying produs your selling process right, you are drafting into how they buy and in order to make a good decision, they need to define this Pbo as required capabilities and metrics. So, John, let's say I'm in the middle of the deal. I'm realizing I'm skip some sets. I know that I need a bigger business problem or I need I don't even have any required capabilities with a differentiation in them. I know what I need to do. What do I do? Yeah, good. So I think the first thing that your highlighted is, you know, the biggest business issue, and I think everybody listening can just kind of jot down in your mind or on a piece of paper the phrase that says no business issue, no business. And what I mean by that is if you don't have yourself attached to a big business issue facing a customer, then a lot of bad things are going to happen to you. You know, the lower the business issue you attached to, the smaller the deal. The...

...smaller the deal, the smaller the power and influence of the people that you'll be working with, for those people will not have as much power and influence, and all of those boil into not no critical money available for to solve that problem. So no business issue, no business. And then, you know, I want you to think about and remember, if you've gone through the training before, community the message. You've heard US talk about the mantra and you've heard me and others refer to it as the ultimates nation, and what we meant by that was, you know, the mantra was really so what I hear you saying, Mr Mrs Customer, these are the positivistess outcomes you're trying to achieve. In order to achieve these positiveness outcome, these the minimum required capabilities, and you said that you're going to measure it this way. And then we pivot and we talk about how we do it that Xy the company or at our company, how we do it differently or better and where we've done it before. So we talked about that mantra being the ultimates nation, and the reason why we call the ultimates nation is, when you...

...summarize, we want you to start off with what you heard them say, because it proves that you listen to them, and we want you to start off with a business issue because it proves that you understand their business, which are typically two of the biggest challenges that buyers have with us. So it's this, it's this motion of three things I'm going to take away from the customer positiveusness, outcomes, require capabilities and metrics. Once I build those, I can pivot and make it all about me and my company, and you kind of earn the right to do that. And so that simple kind of mechanism of that, that ultimate summation, three things you're going to take away, three things that you're going to give back to the customers, something and attaching it to the biggest business issue really kind of summarizes the power of highly differentiated value and a customer conversation. Yeah, and that pivot and focusing on that by buyers interest is again something to remember. If you show them value,...

...they're not going to protest. Right. If you're transparent about delivering value to them in just a conversation, they're not going to be upset about it. So for people who are in the middle of that opportunity, maybe just had commit man of the message, they should have the confidence to do the same thing. Be Transparent. Yeah, I think so. And be transparent and keep it simple. I mean, first of all, you have to believe what you're doing matters, and so if you believe what you're doing matters, then you have no problem attaching yourself to the biggest business issue. That's one of the things that I see people really struggle with. The attacks themselves to technical requirements and those are powerful. So the require capabilities are really really powerful and the technical issues are really really powerful. But every company on the planet is trying to improve a customer experience of their customers, and so now more than ever, it's so appropriate to attach yourself to higher business issues,...

...increasing the technology behind, you know, improving a customer portal for a bank or what happened. We're all caught up in the security of that and the flow of bed and day in the cloud and Blah Blah Blah, which is awesome. Those are highly differentiated technical aspects which, you know, we can talk on and on about, but the bottom line is that company that they're calling on is doing that to ultimately improve an outcome for a customer who's using that customer portal. So I just want all the listeners to remember keep it simple, attached to a big business issue and then remember you're building the ultimate to nation. When I fill up the buckets of positiveness, outcomes, require capabilities and metrics, I can turn the table, because that was all about them. I can turn the table and make it all about me. How we do it, how we do it better or differently and where we've done before. Simple, yes, and I you know, as you were talking, it made me think of something that we say when we're talking to sales...

...leaders who are trying to launch change in their sales organization. And we often say, I've done Webinar with you, John, where you talk about you have to tie that sales initiative to a bigger business issue, even internally, right, because if it stays but just a sales team, your reps aren't going to adopt it, it's just going to be in Asyloh, but if you attach it to that bigger bish business issue, it automatically has more meaning to the people who are going through the initiative. And it's very similar with what you're talking about about aligning to that major issue for the company and it allows you to get out of those technical conversations. It does. Then you know that there's that really, really popular saying right now is like begin with the why. So we just gave an example of beginning with the why to tach yourself to the bigger business issue for your customers. So why are they doing those technical things and what's this is going to accomplish for a you know, for an end customer would happen. But I really like what you just highlighted. is even internally. So I said that people have to believe what...

...they do for a living matters. I say this is the sellers all the time, but I found that the most elite sellers in the world also have the ability to get those customers that they're calling on and sometimes those customers, and you know, it's taken the it environment. It's under pressure. Eighty percent of what they're working on either over budget and or late, and they're an environment where there can't see the force from the trees. They're under pressure. However, what they do for a listing absolutely matters, and the most elite sellers in the world also have the ability to get their customers in those technical areas to remember and believe what they do for a living matter. So it's not just a seller believing what they do for living matters, but it's the feller getting the buyer and the users of the technology to remember what they are doing with that technology actually matters, and putting those two together, like you just mentioned, is really really elite selling and I just like everybody to...

...kind of keep that in mind. Not only do you believe what you do for a living matters, because I'm looking at your business issue and what you're attaching yourself to, but I'm also looking at the people you're selling to. Do they believe what they do for living matters and the elite sellers get them to attack to it? Yeah, and that's super powerful. So, John, you had some great gems in our conversation today and I know we always like to close with a bottom bottom line. What would you say for a bottom line around this topic today? Yeah, so a bottom line for me would be kind of just remember the ultimateform nation, which equals the mantra. There's three things. You're taken away. Positive and sell comes require capabilities and that you're you're taking those away from the customers point of view. You're playing back to them. You're relevant how we do it, how we do it better, differently and where we've done it before, and you can't have any missing parts. So all of those six things have to be involved in the conversation. It doesn't mean they all have to be linear, but what they...

...all have to take place. When I say by LINEAR, is you're gathering this information over time, and you might get a required capability. Just put it in the bucket. You might get a post to business outcome while you're talking. Put it in the bucket. It's your job to summarize in a linear fashion to really really help them connect to you have a solution for a business issue. You have a technical solution that highly differentiated, that that you are highly differentiated for the way you do that, the way you do it different your better and where you've done it before. And just always remember, while you're calling. We started this conversation about packing it up and there's an old saying I want to remember. Wherever you are, there you go. You know what buckets you need filled up. It doesn't matter how you get the information, all the buckets have to be filled up. So wherever you are there you go. Find Yourself on a conversation about require capability, still the bucket. You find yourself in a conversation about, you know, metric, still the bucket. If you find that you have not filled the bucket...

...on the positive outcomes, go fill the bucket. So wherever you are there you go. That's great. I love that focus on it doesn't always have to be this linear thing. You're just doing the dance. Fill the bucket and you'll be successful. John, thank you so much for joining me today. You're welcome, my pleasure. Go GET THEM.

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