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

Episode · 1 week ago

Backing Up Your Deals

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ever advance a deal too quickly, only to find out you need to back up the sales process? John Kaplan joins us to discuss how to step back and work with your customer to ensure you’ve got all of the information you need to reassess and progress your deal. He walks through examples of how to back up your deals and get your customer to demand your help with solving an urgent business problem.

Here are some additional resources on sales planning:

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

The more you tell them speed is afactor, the more they're going to resist you, but the more you ask themquestions about speed being a factor, the more they're going to convincethemselves that they have a problem around speed, you're listening to the audible, ready,podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sell more faster willfeature sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a salesengine that helps you feel repeatable revenue growth presented by the team Fforce management, a leader in PT sales effect of this. Let's get started hello and welcome to the audible, readysales podcast, I'm Rachel Clapier John Kathleen joining me today. Hi John, Hey,Rachel great topic today, looking forward to it. Yes, today we're talkingabout backing up for deals and what we mean by that phrase is let's say:You've advanced the deal too quickly, we're all we've all been guilty of that,and then you discover you have to go...

...back and really redefine key elementsof the opportunity. You've got some gaps there yeah. So I like to call this.I like to just say a phrase. I say it to myself all the time wherever you arethere you go, and today's podcast is about being honest with yourself andbeing present in your deals. So we're going to talk about uncovering thatbusiness pain and defining your customer requirements, and sometimesthat means that you have to back up the opportunity so we're talking aboutinstances where you've moved forward through discussions with decisionmakers and you've realized that you haven't really defined things like thepositive business out comes the required capabilities and the metricsthat critical part of that mantra. You always hear US talking about yeah, Imean it can be a harsh reality to realize that you don't have enough andyou really need to reverse the sales process and you may feel, like youmessed up, and you have to go back to...

...the customer and sort of confess whenyou're approaching your customer with the idea of stepping back stepping theconversation back, it's important to frame it as with anything in yourselves process with how it's beneficial for them to have another conversation,I think that's a critical point and you know you have to be empathetic. Theonly way you can do that is, you have to be listening. You have to belistening. You have to be asking great questions that that help the customer understand that youare being apathetic and trying to understand the problems and challenges.So the most important thing for you to realize is that it is in the customersbest interest to define these three areas possible business outcome throughcar capabilities and metrics that you hear us talking about all the time. Soyou can always position this as you're helping the customer, and I use thatlanguage all the time. I'll say. Let's talk a little bit about the positivebusiness out comes here. Let's talk a little bit about what's required, let'stalk about how you're going to measure...

...success, and I just use that commonlanguage throughout my discussion with the customer right. I love it when avenders going to focus a conversation on my outcomes, an Yer gonna, stop thatyeah. Okay, so John, let's say I'm in the middle of the deal. I realizingI've skips and steps. I got some gaps around the areas you just talked about.Let's start with realization that I need a bigger business problem. Whatare my steps there yeah? I was thinking about this and this actually happens alot to me in our business. So you know I'm always aware of cues from mycustomer, so I listen for things like hey. Your solution is kind of expensiveor you know, there's a lack of urgency in the conversation and both of thoseare signs that I've not attached myself to the big biggest business issuefacing the customer, I like to say that the two most critical skills right nowthat I'm seeing actually three but for...

...the purpose of this podcast, the twomost critical skills, are attaching yourself to the biggest business issuesand influencing your decision criteria. The customers decision criteria withyour differentiation and the third one is qualification, which you hear ustalking a lot about. So those are the top three skills, so I have to be readyfor cues and when I get cus like hey, you're, too expensive or or you're, nottoo expensive, that's just more money than I was thinking or whatever. Iimmediately realized that I have not attached myself to the biggest businessissue, so I just back it up and I'll do something like hey miss customer. Butlet's talk a little bit about the impact you know when these outcomesdon't go so well for you and I just dig in, and so you just make it natural,but when I get thoseques I realized...

...that I probably have a problem that Ihaven't attached myself to the biggest business issue and a lot of times I'lljust say that I'll say. Mr Mrs Customer, I want to talk about the impact to thebusiness outcome, especially with technical solutions. We really have tomove and connect technical outcomes to business outcomes, so I just call itand I make it very- very natural yeah there's no need to dance around itright. I got a bit everybody, so ye be direct okay. So thanks for goingthrough that one, let's move now to an instance where I'm taking a little bitdeal and I see a problem with the solution requirements they required toHatibi ies that I've established. I know that I need to get mydifferentiation in there because it's not it in there. What would be yoursteps for doing that backing up the deal to do that. I, like that. I can soeverybody listen. I want you to write that down. You know we're talking abouta couple of things here. You got to wake up in the morning and say I've gotto attach what I do for a living to a...

...critical business outcome facing thecustomer. I've got to do that. The next thing I got to do is when I wake up inthe morning I have to. First of all, I got to understand my differentiation.So if you're a company or a company leader out there, your people have tobe lights out and really skilled on what your specific differentiation isand the so what so? What does it do for the customer? So when you wake up inthe morning, you got to tell yourself it's my job that I have to influencethat decision criteria with my differentiation, so you have toprepared be prepared to ask questions to get that differentiation on thetable and we call those questions trap, setting questions which are nothingmore than discovery with the intent to trap the competition around thedifferentiation. Let me give you an example, so I was working with thetechnology company last week or the other day. I can't exactly rememberwhat happens a lot actually, but, and...

...they have an application that issignificantly faster than their competition, so they need to make speeda part of the required capabilities and the metrics, and they can't just telltheir customer about speed. You know they have to ask questions to get thecustomer to tell themselves that speed is a factor. So please listen to what Ijust said there. The more you tell them. Speed is a factor, the more they'regoing to resist you, but the more you ask them questions about speed being afactor, the more they're going to convince themselves that they have aproblem around speed. Let me continue in this example, so we went all the wayto giving some examples of some questions that we could ask. So in thiscase the speed was related to the criticaldata for reporting, which executives were relying on to make businessdecisions and the competitive way...

...created data in hours versus secondshours versus seconds for them. So that's a huge deal, but it's not a hugedeal. If you don't get that into the conversation and if the customerdoesn't say, that's a big deal so we broke it all the way down to thequestions and we prepared for the questions that we will. We would wantto ask the customer things like Mrs Customer: Let's Talk a little bit aboutthe speed of processing the data, so what's the data use for these are justa series of questions that this person created, which I thought was reallygood. What's the day to use for who cares about it? The most? What feedbackdo you get on the timeliness of the data? Give me an example of the lasttime you got that feedback from an executive and then I kind of now youhave to kind of tie out the example and make sure you tie it back to therequired capabilities. So, listen to...

...what I just said, I asked a seriousdiscovery questions to get the customer to say: Oh, that's a problem for me andnow you have to tie it out to require capabilities and the way this persondid it. They said okay, so it sounds like miss customer that speed ofprocessing the data is a critical capability. The customer says: Yes,it's a critical capability, so remember people rarely argue with their ownconclusions. So what this person just said? What what they just did? Ask aseries of discovery, questions to highlight the difference in speed, makeit part of the critical capabilities and part of the metrics and then gotthe customers posit permission to say so. It sounds like we have to make thispart of the required capabilities. Customer said absolutely that's thetype of mentality that you have to go into your day with. First of all, whatare my differencess? So what does it...

...mean to the customer? What series ofquestions am I going to ask to get the customer to tell me that that's aproblem and then get it into state? It write it down. Make the customeracknowledge that the required capabilities have now changed or improved or whatever you want to saythere, and it includes your differentiation. That is a criticalskill that we have to be great at yeah and and doing so, if you can be greatat that that allows you to back up your deal and and find a way to progress itin a way that's beneficial to you. I mean, I think your example shows John,it's not about speed. It's not about that specific differentiation. It'sabout the outcomes and the business impact that having that speed drives.We write a lot and we say about differentiation. It was adifferentiation is great, but it has to be meaningful to your buyer. So why isit meaningful to your buyer and your example? Kind of goes goes through thatreally well yeah. I like it that you...

...know Rachel. The best thing that youcan do for yourself in the morning is when you say okay, this is mydifferentiation, then ask yourself. So what we have a saying that you know weprepare ourselves with differentiation were say so what so? What does that dofor the customer and says who so we're prepared with proof points around thatdifferentiation you wake up in the morning? That's what you got to do, yeah and the other thing, the otherfactor when we talk about backing up the sales conversation and you advancea sale, and then you realize you know, there's not really urgency here. Ican't get them to move forward and both of these examples that we've gonethrough today, finding the Basic Gor business problem getting urgency aroundthe differentiation that you offer as it relates to the business impact. Allof these tips help to drive urgency in the deal which, which we all know,moves moves it forward quickly. So let's wrap it up. John. Give us yourbottom line when it comes to backing up this sales conversation yeah. This issuch a great podcast today, Rachel. I...

...hope the listeners steal the same way.So the bottom line for me is an now. I just write this down to be audible,ready. I prepare myself and I write down on a piece paper that sayswherever I am there, I go what that means this. I know that I have tobefore I start talking about me. I have to have three things: positive, isnessoutcomes required capabilities and metrics. I have to have those threethings before I can start talking to a customer about how I do that, how I doit differently or better and where I've done it before, and I also know that Ihave to do two critical things, two critical skills that I have to bereally really good at. I have to attach myself to the biggest business issuefacing my customer, so just grab a deal today and ask yourself on a deal.What's the biggest business issue facing the customer business issuefacing the customer hold yourself accountable to that, it's a businessissue most times it's more of a feature...

...issue or a technical issue. No problemwe've got to have that, but you've got to connect it to the negativeconsequences of not having a great business outcome. Please get get greatat that. The next thing that you have to do is you have to wake up themorning. I got to tell yourself it's my job to influence these decisioncriteria, these required capabilities for the customer, and when I look atthe required capabilities of the decision criteria, it has to befavorable for me, so it has to be influenced by my differentiation. Sothe way that I do that is prepare myself with some great discovery,questions around my differentiators to trap my competition around thedifferentiator. I got to look at my differentiation. I got to say so whatwhat is the impact of the customer wow? That could be a negative impact. Let meask some questions about scenarios where that could take place, it's justvery, very natural and the only way...

...that it becomes very natural. As yougot to be a student of the game, you got to work at your craft. So if you'renot there, when I say wherever you are there, you go well if you're not there,where you need to be around positive outcomes with part capabilities toMatrix back it up, no problem back it up back it up, find the business issuethere, not a great bottom line. I should do apodcast Jon, where all I do is edit all the bottom lines and just put themtogether in one. I hope I don't repeat a bunch of bottom is, but I think thatwould be a good one. This is a really good podcast today, Rachel, like I hope,people listen to this one over and over again, because I find myself talkingabout this. So what we do for living at force management with executivestelling them that their people have to be great, that what we just talkedabout- and everybody agrees- yeah absolutely well. Thank you, John, andthank you to all of you for listening...

...to the audible, ready sales podcast atforce management. We're focused on transforming sales organizations intoelite teams, are proven methodologies, deliver programs that build companyalignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability toexecute the gross 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 anepisode subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player until next time.I.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (139)