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

Episode · 2 months 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.

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The more you tell them speed isa factor, they're more they're going to resist you, but the more youask them questions about speed being a factor, the more they're going to convince themselvesthat 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. Willfeat your sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales enginethat 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 welcometo the audibolready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller. John Kaplan joining metoday. Hi, John, Hey, Rachel. Great topic today. Lookingforward 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 tooquickly. We're all we've all been guilty of that, and then youdiscover 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 thetime wherever you are, there you go. And today's podcast is about being honestwith yourself and being present in your deals. So we're going to talkabout uncovering that business pain and defining your customer requirements. And sometimes that meansthat you have to back up the opportunity. So we're talking about instances where you'vemoved forward through discussions with decisionmakers and you've realized that you haven't really definedthings like the positive business outcomes, the required capabilities in the metrics, thatcritical 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 you messedup 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 theconversation 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 thinkthat's a critical point and you know you have to be empathetic. The onlyway you can do that is you have to be listening. You have tobe listening, you have to be asking great questions that that help the customerunderstand 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 thecustomers best interest to define these three areas possibus its outcomes require capabilities and metricsthat you hear us talking about all the time. So you can always possesshin this as you're helping the customer, and I use that language all thetime. I'll say, let's talk a little bit about the positive business outcomeshere, let's talk a little bit about...

...what's required, let's talk about howyou're going to measure success, and I just use that common language throughout mydiscussion with the customer. Right, I love it when a vendor's going tofocus a conversation on my outcomes. I mean, yeah, going to stopthat? Yes, okay. So, John, let's say I'm in themiddle of the deal. I realizing I've skipped some steps, I got somegaps round. There is you just talked about. Let's start with realization thatI 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 ourbusiness. 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 oryou know, there's a lack of urgency in the conversation, and both ofthose are signs that I've not attached myself to the biggest business issue facing thecustomer. I like to say that the two most critical skills right now thatI'm seeing actually three, but for the...

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

I realized that I probably have aproblem, that I haven't attached myself to the biggest business issue, anda 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 withtechnical 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 andI see a problem with the solution requirements there were required heat the delities thatI'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 everybodylistening, I want you to write that down. You know, we'retalking about a couple of things here. You got to wake up in themorning and say I've got to attach what...

I do for a living to acritical business outcome facing the customer. I've got to do that. The nextthing I got to do is, when I wake up in the morning,I have to first of all, I got to understand my differentiation. Soif you're a company or a company leader out there, your people have tobe lights out and really skilled them what your specific differentiation is and the sowhat? So what does it do for the customer? So when you wakeup in the morning, you got to tell yourself it's my job, thatI have to influence that decision criteria with my differentiation. So you have toprepared. 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 withthe intent to trap the competition around the differentiation. Let me give youan example. So I was working with the technology company last week or theother day. I can't exactly remember what happens a lot actually, but andthey have an application that is significantly faster...

...than their competition. So they needto make speed a part of the required capabilities and the metrics and they can'tjust tell their customer about speed. You know, they have to ask questionsto get the customer to tell themselves that speed as a factor. So pleaselisten to what I just said. They're the more you tell them speed isa factor, they're more they're going to resist you, but the more youask them questions about speed being a factor, the more they're going to convince themselvesthat 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 thatwe could ask. So in this case the speed was related to the criticaldata for reporting which executives were relying on to make business decisions and the competitiveway created data in ours versus seconds,...

...ours versus seconds for them. Sothat's a huge deal, but it's not a huge deal if you don't getthat 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 forthe 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 thedata. So what's the data use for? These are just a series of questionsthat this person created, which I thought was really good. What's thedata use for? Who Cares about it the most? What feedback do youget 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 itback to the required capabilities. So listen...

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

...questions am I going to ask toget the customer to tell me that that's a problem and then get it intostate it, write it down, make the customer acknowledge that the required capabilitieshave now changed or improved or whatever you want to say there. And itincludes your differentiation, that it is a critical skill that we have to begreat at. Yeah, and and doing so. If you can be greatat that, that allows you to back up, you deal and and finda 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 notabout that specific differentiation, it's about the outcomes and the business impact that havingthat speed drives. We write a lot and we say about differentiation and wesay 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 goesthrough that really well. Yeah, I like it that you know,Rachel, the best thing that you can...

...do for yourself in the morning iswhen you say, okay, this is my differentiation, than ask yourself sowhat? 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. Youwake 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 thesales 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 yourbusiness problem, getting urgency around the differentiation that you offer as it relates tothe business impact. All of these tips help to drive urgency in the dealwhich which we all know, moves moves it forward quickly. So let's wrapit up, John. Give us your bottom line when it comes to backingup the sales conversation. Yeah, this is is such a great podcast today, Rachel. I hope the listeners feel...

...the same way. So the bottomline 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 thatsays wherever I am, there I go. What that means is I know thatI have to before I start talking about me, I have to havethree things positiveness, outcomes, required capabilities and metrics. I have to havethose three things before I can start talking to a customer about how I dothat, 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, tocritical skills that I have to be really, really good at. I have toattach myself to the biggest business issue facing my customer. So just graba deal today and ask yourself, on a deal, what's the biggest businessissue facing the customer, business issue facing the customer? Hold yourself accountable tothat. It's a business issue. Most Times it's more of a feature issueor a technical issue. No problem,...

...we've got to have that, butyou've got to connect it to the negative consequences of not having a great businessoutcome. Please get get great at that. The next thing that you have todo is you have to wake up in the morning. You got totell yourself it's my job to influence these decision criteria, these required capabilities forthe 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 bymy 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 bea negative impact. Let me ask some questions about scenarios where that could takeplace. It's just very, very natural, and the only way that it becomesvery natural as you got to be...

...a student of the game. Yougot to work at your craft. So if you're not there, when Isay wherever you are, there you go. Well, if you're not there whereyou 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. Ishould do a podcast, John, where all I do is edit all thebottom lines and just put them together and whine. I hope I don't repeata 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 tothis one over and over again, because I find myself talking about thisfor what we do for living at force management, with executives telling them thatthey're people have to be great at what we just talked about, and everybodyagrees. Yeah, absolutely well. Thank you, John, and thank youto all of you for listening to the audible ready sales podcast. At forcemanagement we're focused on transforming sales organizations into...

...elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliverprograms that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams theability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength isour experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. VisitUS at force MANAGEMENTCOM. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. Tonot miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player.Until next time,.

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