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

Episode 191 · 2 months ago

Broadening Your Sales Conversations

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Sellers often find themselves trapped in conversation with one member of the buying company, typically someone involved with technical pain. As a result, reps can lack a fundamental understanding of not only other technical issues, but also overarching business issues, thereby limiting their ability to make their solution relevant in the eyes of the customer. In this episode, John Kaplan explains how to take the next step and move beyond the early stages of a sales conversation. He talks about:

  • The importance of broadening the sales conversation as early as possible.
  • Connecting technical pain to business pain.
  • The need to understand the solution requirements and metrics that will drive the customer’s desired business outcomes.
  • How to access key individuals in the buying organization.

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Wire capabilities, metrics, and you know they're at a technical level and you as a wrap need to open the windows and translate those bullet points and deposited business outcomes. You're listening to the audible Ready Podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sell more faster. It's brought to you by the team at Force Management, a leader in B two B sales effectiveness. This show features sales leaders sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the Audible Ready Sales Podcast. I'm Rachel clap Miller, joined today by John Kaplan. Hi John, Hi Rachel, how are you. I'm good. I'm good. So today John, we're going to talk through broadening your sales conversations, owning that next step to get beyond the current conversation. Tough topic, tough thing to do, so we want to break down some best practices here today, John, let's talk. Let's talk first about the importance of doing this as early as possible, brought in in the sales conversation. Yeah,...

I mean really again, great topic. In many cases, it's much easier to broaden the sales conversation earlier. Like most business situations, people get a little closer to the vest the closer you get to asking them to spend money, and that's typically kind of later on in the in the sales conversation. So you know, it's it's the same for you. Are you more likely to give more information to that car that car salesman after he or she has given you the price of the car or less likely if you just kind of think about that, you yourself. The closer you get to being asked to spend money, which is typically later on in a sales cycle, you're more close to the vest with your information. So should just be just kind of a good understanding for us that we should always be looking to broadened conversations...

...earlier in our in our sales campaigns. Then later it's going to be harder to do typically later. Yeah, And when we talk about broadening the sales conversation, a big part of that is collating the pain, like finding the pain, the broad pain around the organization and then collating it, bringing it together so you can determine the decision makers you really need to get to. Yeah, I mean what I'm seeing today is a big gap in seller's ability to connect what I call technical pain to business pain. And this is a fundamental skill that that has got to be mastered. It's in this intersection of where technical pain and business pain come together. This is where there are great, great opportunities to broaden your conversations to include others. Yeah, we use a metaphor often if we call it the house of the kind um. It...

...can be an important concept to think through when you're trying to broaden the sales conversation. It sort of simplifies it a little bit. Yeah, bear with me on this one because it's I want to go into detail here and it's for me. It's it's like a really really great analogy or metaphors. So I want you to think of a sales conversation or a sales process as a house. It's a big house, and it's got many rooms and multiple floors, and you know, the reps that are struggling with expanding the conversations are typically doing a good job in one room, but they are missing everything else in the house. So let's say you're a you're a rep and you're having a great conversation with one decision maker, but that person is in a small room and the windows are closed, the doors shut, there's no light in the room, and kind of that's your first sign right there. They're lower in the house than than higher up in the house, and we know we've got to get higher up in the house. So you're talking to them without considering the rest of the house. You're so busy with one person that you...

...don't have any idea of what's going on in the other rooms. And so what you really have is you've got you got one of three choices. The first thing I see people do is they figure out that they're in the room and they're like, hey, there's no light in here. It sucks in here, it's musty here. I gotta get to another room in the house. And they figure out a way to get out of the house and away from the person that excuse me, get out of the room and away from the person that's in that room as fast as they can and head to the other rooms. And then they realize they get out of that room and they're like, well, I don't know, I don't know the layout of the house, I don't know where the other rooms are, don't know who's in these rooms. And so then there's another group of people that focus on getting to the other rooms with the help of the buyer that's in front of them and that they're currently talking to. And what they do is in that room, they open up the door and they open up the windows and they connect this decision maker to the rest of the house by great discovery questions, which...

...gets that buyer to contemplate other rooms in the house. So let's get more familiar with language here. So remember require capabilities metrics and you know they're at a technical level, and you as a rep need to open the windows and translate those bullet points into positive business outcomes for that person. And you do this by asking great discovery questions like what is simple ones like what's the impact to that you know of this technical issue to the business. You know, if they say, gee, I don't know, you need to speak with so and so. Hold your water and don't just bolt out of the room. Take this technical buyer up the stairs with you. They need to understand how what they are working on technically connects to the business outcomes and you can learn this together. So for me, Rachel, the best sellers I've ever...

...seen are the ones who get people emotionally connected to what they do for a living and why it matters. In this case, the technical initiatives always are related to business outcomes, and the best way to move around in the house is with somebody who already knows the layout of the house. So let me just summarize that. Remember the basic seller's framework. It's your job to understand the positive business outcomes, the technical required capabilities, and the metrics. The very nature of this framework tells you that you need to be in multiple rooms of the house, and so with multiple buyers, and so these rooms are This analogy is these rooms are where other decision makers, where other people in the decision process, where they reside. What I'm suggesting to you is making yourself really really relevant, bringing people from one room in the house to the...

...other, bringing those people together, and you getting kind of the hall pass, if you will, by having one person in one room bringing you to the next room. So I know that's kind of a big analogy, but I really really like that just starting with you look at an opportunity. Are you some of you aren't even in the main house. You're like they're in the carriage house, and it's mouth in the carriage house and there's nobody in the carriage house and you're locked in the carriage house. And if that resonates for you, I just want you to kind of re listen to what we just talked about. Ways to get into the main house, to get into multiple rooms and multiple levels in the house. It's very very purposeful, yes, and it goes back to what we're saying earlier of really bringing together the technical pain economic pain to get a good picture of the problem that your solution can solve. As you're talking, John, I thought about you as a...

...salesperson, are kind of you kind of need to be like the r A. Right. You need to know what's going on in all the dorm rooms, the dorm suits, the people that are living by themselves, the people who've got three roommates. You've got to be the r A and align the pain and the point here, as you said, John, is really understanding the requirements, the solution requirements that's going to drive the business outcomes that they're trying to achieve, even the metrics how they're going to measure success as it relates to everybody in the buying process, right, all the decision makers to drive that collective. Yes, no matter what what room they're in. Yeah, I think you can assume that the rest of your decision makers are going to understand the importance of those technical metrics or even the connection of those technical metrics, you know, considering the house metaphor. You know, they're important to the people in that one room and they impact the rest of the house, but they aren't the focus of the people in some the other rooms.

And I'm thinking about like people that are you know, at the C suite or would have you technical translation? You have to go to a technical translation to a business translation, so you know people higher up are you know, thinking about the business impact and if you go in there talking about the technical aspects of it, you know, you get delegated to those that you sound like. So it's really really purposeful. It's not just moving from one room to the next. It's when you get into that next room. Are you welcome in that next room? And will you be welcome back? Yeah? But I'd like to back up a little bit, John and talk about how you get to those other rooms. You know, you need to get there. What am I saying to broaden the conversation or get access to the other parts of the house, so to speak. Well, yeah, good points. So let's talk about access. So the best way to get access is to you know, create technical champions and have them take you to the you know, to the other makers. This is a great example of a warm...

...call. You know, be prepared to use the language of the new room. Like we just talked about, I said, to get delegated to those that you sound like. So in in this case, it is switching from technical outcomes to business outcomes. So the best way to get access is to have somebody take you there. If you don't have somebody who can take you there, then be very very cognizant of who you're speaking to in that room. If they are more business oriented, be prepared to talk to them about a you know, from a business perspective. If they are more technically oriented, be prepared to talk to them about the technical orientation. I think the most elite sellers on the planet are the ones who sit right in the middle and understand how to bring the technical ramifications and technical considerations and connect them to business outcomes. That's where great sellers live. That's great, and that's where we all all want to be. How would Yeah. So the bottom line...

...for me is don't get stuck in one room of the house. And if you're listening to this right now, if like there's a saying, if you know you know so this is resonating for you. If this, if this podcast is resonating for you, then you know. Your job is to bring technical and business outcomes together, get people emotionally connected to what they do for a living and why it matters. And I love people that have the tendency to do this at the technical level. A lot of times people that are focused on technical things and technical outcomes, they've lost their own emotional connection to what they do and why it matters to the company. The most elite sellers I've seen are the ones that put those two together, and they and and by the way, they also take them along for the journey. Don't just get them emotionally connected to the technical outcomes having business outcomes. Let them see the fruits of their labor from a technical perspective by bringing them in front of...

...the business people and allowing them to get credit for what they're doing technically and connecting that impact. Like my grandmother used to say, you don't need the credit, you need the money, give other people the credit. One of the best ways you can do that is to bring technical people together with business outcome people and show them the connection. Start getting I would fit with me, and I'm listening to this podcast. I'm all fired up right now. Rachel. You know, just just to go do it, because again I think that this is that's a critical skill. The best way to move around the house is to bring technical initiatives together with business outcomes and you get to all levels in the house. Thank you, John, you gotta go get them all right. I feel like we have a lot of listeners right now, like drawing houses on page Yeah, that's right. Why does your account plant look like a house? Well right? And why is there no light? Come, there's not even any light coming in from the crack underneath the door. You're you're not in the You're not in a room in the house.

You're in the dungeon in many cases. So I'm not making fun of people. I just want to motivate them. Get out of the dungeon, get to the penthouse. All right, let's go, let's go. All right, Thanks 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 management dot com.

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