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

Episode · 1 year 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 a factor, they're more they're going to resist you, but the more you ask them questions about speed being a factor, the more they're going to convince themselves that they have a problem around speed. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. Will feat your 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 audibolready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller. John Kaplan joining me today. Hi, John, Hey, Rachel. Great topic today. Looking forward to it. Yes, today we're talking about 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 elements of 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 are, there you go. And today's podcast is about being honest with yourself and being present in your deals. So we're going to talk about uncovering that business pain and defining your customer requirements. And sometimes that means that you have to back up the opportunity. So we're talking about instances where you've moved forward through discussions with decisionmakers and you've realized that you haven't really defined things like the positive business outcomes, the required capabilities in the metrics, that critical part of that mantra you always hear us talking about. Yeah, I mean it can be a harsh reality to realize that you don't have enough and you really need to reverse the sales process and you may feel like you messed up and you have to go back to...

...the customer and sort of confess. But when you're approaching your customer with the idea of stepping back, stepping the conversation back, it's important to frame it, as with anything in your sales 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. The only way you can do that is you have to be listening. You have to be listening, you have to be asking great questions that that help the customer understand that you are being empathetic and trying to understand the problems and challenges. So the most important thing for you to realize this that it is in the customers best interest to define these three areas possibus its outcomes require capabilities and metrics that you hear us talking about all the time. So you can always possessh in this as you're helping the customer, and I use that language all the time. I'll say, let's talk a little bit about the positive business outcomes here, let's talk a little bit about...

...what's required, let's talk about how you're going to measure success, and I just use that common language throughout my discussion with the customer. Right, I love it when a vendor's going to focus a conversation on my outcomes. I mean, yeah, going to stop that? Yes, okay. So, John, let's say I'm in the middle of the deal. I realizing I've skipped some steps, I got some gaps round. There is you just talked about. Let's start with realization that I need a bigger business problem. What are my steps there. Yeah, I was thinking about this and this actually happens a lot to me in our business. So you know, I'm always aware of queues from my customer. So I listen for things like hey, your solution is kind of expensive or you know, there's a lack of urgency in the conversation, and both of those are signs that I've not attached myself to the biggest business issue facing the customer. I like to say that the two most critical skills right now that I'm seeing actually three, but for the...

...purpose of this podcast, the two most critical skills are attaching yourself to the biggest business issues and influencing your decision criteria, the customers decision criteria, with your differentiation, and the third one is qualification, which you hear us talking a lot about. So those are the top three skills. So I have to be ready for ques and when I get cues like hey, you're too expensive, or or you're not too expensive, that's just more money that I was thinking or whatever, I immediately realize that I have not attached myself to the biggest business issue. So I just back it up and I'll do something like hey, Mrs Customer, let's Talk a little bit about the impact. You know when these outcomes don't go so well for you and I just dig in and so you just make it natural. But when I get those cues,...

I realized that I probably have a problem, that I haven't attached myself to the biggest business issue, and a lot of times I'll just say that. I'll say, Mr Mrs Customer, I want to talk about the impact to the business outcomes. Specially with technical solutions, we really have to move and connect technical outcomes to business outcomes. So I just call it and I make it very, very natural. That is you need to dance around it right, going to be everybody. So yeah, be direct. Okay, so thanks for going through that one. Let's move now to an instance where I'm I'm taking a little ideal and I see a problem with the solution requirements there were required heat the delities that I've established. I know that I need to get my differentiation in there, because it's not it in there. What would be your stuffs for doing that? Backing up the deals to do that? I like that. I so everybody listening, I want you to write that down. You know, we're talking about a couple of things here. You got to wake up in the morning and say I've got to attach what...

I do for a living to a critical business outcome facing the customer. I've got to do that. The next thing I got to do is, when I wake up in the 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 to be lights out and really skilled them what your specific differentiation is and the so what? So what does it do for the customer? So when you wake up in the morning, you got to tell yourself it's my job, that I have to influence that decision criteria with my differentiation. So you have to prepared. Be prepared to ask questions to get that differentiation on the table, and we call those questions trap setting questions, which are nothing more than discovery with the intent to trap the competition around the differentiation. Let me give you an example. So I was working with the technology company last week or the other day. I can't exactly remember what happens a lot actually, but and they have an application that is significantly faster...

...than their competition. So they need to make speed a part of the required capabilities and the metrics and they can't just tell their customer about speed. You know, they have to ask questions to get the customer to tell themselves that speed as a factor. So please listen to what I just said. They're the more you tell them speed is a factor, they're more they're going to resist you, but the more you ask them questions about speed being a factor, the more they're going to convince themselves that they have a problem around speed. Let me continue in this example. So we went all the way to giving some examples of some questions that we could ask. So in this case the speed was related to the critical data for reporting which executives were relying on to make business decisions and the competitive way created data in ours versus seconds,...

...ours versus seconds for them. So that's a huge deal, but it's not a huge deal if you don't get that into the conversation and if the customer doesn't say that's a big deal. So we broke it all the way down to the questions and we prepared for the questions that we will. We would want to ask the customer things like, Mrs Customer, let's Talk a little bit about the speed of processing the data. So what's the data use for? These are just a series of questions that this person created, which I thought was really good. What's the data use for? Who Cares about it the most? What feedback do you get on the timeliness of the data? Give me an example of the last time you got that feedback from an executive. And then I kind of now you have to kind of tie out the example and make sure you tie it back to the required capabilities. So listen...

...to it. I just said I asked a series discovery questions to get the customer to say, Oh, that's a problem for me, and now you have to tie it out to require capabilities in the way this person did it. They said, okay, so it sounds like, Mrs Customer, that speed of processing the data is a critical capability. The customer says, yes, it's a critical capability. So remember, people rarely argue with their own conclusions. So, with this person just said what they just did, ask the series of discovery questions to highlight the difference in speed, make it part of the critical capabilities and part of the metrics, and then got the customers posit permission to say. So it sounds like we have to make this part of the required capabilities. Customers said absolutely. That's the type of mentality that you have to go into your day with. First of all, what are my differences? So what does it mean to the customer? What series of...

...questions am I going to ask to get the customer to tell me that that's a problem and then get it into state it, write it down, make the customer acknowledge that the required capabilities have now changed or improved or whatever you want to say there. And it includes your differentiation, that it is a critical skill that we have to be great at. Yeah, and and doing so. If you can be great at that, that allows you to back up, you deal and and find a way to progress it in 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's about the outcomes and the business impact that having that speed drives. We write a lot and we say about differentiation and we say differentiation is great, but it has to be meaningful to your buyers. So why is it meaningful to your buyer? And your example kind of goes goes through that really well. Yeah, I like it that you know, Rachel, the best thing that you can...

...do for yourself in the morning is when you say, okay, this is my differentiation, than ask yourself so what? We have a saying that you know, we prepare ourselves with differentiation. We're say so what? So what does that do for the customer? And says who? So we're prepared with proof points around that differentiation. You wake up in the morning. That's what you got to do. Yeah, and the other is saying the other factor. When we talk about backing up the sales conversation and you advance a sale and then you realize, you know, there's not really urgency here. I can't get them to move forward. And both of these examples that we've gone through today, finding the baby your business problem, getting urgency around the differentiation that you offer as it relates to the business impact. All of 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 your bottom line when it comes to backing up the sales conversation. Yeah, this is is such a great podcast today, Rachel. I hope the listeners feel...

...the same way. So the bottom line for me is, and I just write this down for to be audible. Ready, I prepare myself and I write down on a piece paper that says wherever I am, there I go. What that means is I know that I have to before I start talking about me, I have to have three things positiveness, outcomes, required capabilities and metrics. I have to have those three things before I can start talking to a customer about how I do that, how I do it differently or better and where I've done it before. And I also know that I have to do two critical things, to critical skills that I have to be really, really good at. I have to attach myself to the biggest business issue facing my customer. So just grab a deal today and ask yourself, on a deal, what's the biggest business issue facing the customer, business issue facing the customer? Hold yourself accountable to that. It's a business issue. Most Times it's more of a feature issue or a technical issue. No problem,...

...we've got to have that, but you've got to connect it to the negative consequences of not having a great business outcome. Please get get great at that. The next thing that you have to do is you have to wake up in the morning. You got to tell yourself it's my job to influence these decision criteria, these required capabilities for the customer, and when I look at the required capabilities or the decision criteria, it has to be favorable for me. So it has to be influenced by my differentiation. So the way that I do that is prepare myself. was some great discovery questions around my differentiators to trap my competition around the differentiator. I got to look at my differentiation. I got to say, so what? What is the impact of the customer? Wow, that could be a negative impact. Let me ask some questions about scenarios where that could take place. It's just very, very natural, and the only way that it becomes very natural as you got to be...

...a student of the game. You got to work at your craft. So if you're not there, when I say wherever you are, there you go. Well, if you're not there where you need to be around with positives, outcomes, requir capabilities and metrics, back it up, no problem. Back it up, back it up, find the business issue. They got it. Great bottom line. I should do a podcast, John, where all I do is edit all the bottom lines and just put them together and whine. I hope I don't repeat a bunch of bottom eyes, but I would that would be a good one. This was a really good podcast today, Rachel. I hope people listen to this one over and over again, because I find myself talking about this for what we do for living at force management, with executives telling them that they're people have to be great at what we just talked about, and everybody agrees. Yeah, absolutely well. Thank you, John, and 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. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (192)