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

Episode 59 · 6 months ago

How to Build Alignment on Buyer Value w/ John Kaplan


One of the most basic things you can do as a sales organization is ensure that your executive team and entire company is aligned on the key value and differentiation of your solution. When you have consistent answers to the essential questions, you have the framework to equip sales to articulate your solution’s business value and differentiation in a way that drives bottom-line impact. John Kaplan joins us to discuss how companies generate consistent, cross-functional agreement on the four essential questions, and why it’s critical to accelerating business growth.

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

Here are some additional resources on generating company alignment with the buyer:

- Four Questions Every Sales Organization Needs to Answer


- Intercom Increased Average Deal Size by 261% After Generating Alignment

- The Secrets to Aligning Your Company on Customer Value and Differentiation


If the top leaders en your company canarticulate a consistent value propem, you know we always ask: What do youthink your salespeople are doing in their zoom palls with prospects andthat's a kind of a scary contemplation? So that's why alignment needs to be thefirst step, the scaling and accelerating growth 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, inptb sales, affectim tiss. Let's get started hello, welcome to the audible, readysales podcast, I'm Raciel clapmiller. Today we're going to talk aboutorganizational alignment and how that empowers and relates to the salesconversation John Caplin joins me today.

John. This is an important topic forleaders to really wrap their heads around yeah. I think it's a criticalone and it really everything begins with alignment yeah, and we have this conversationfrequently. When companies come to US looking to improve sales performance,they know that they have a sales performance problem, but often a lackof alignment is the root of what is manifesting in sales performance ind,the Organization: Do you think companies think that they're alignedwhen they're not yeah? I think that's pretty normal, because you know eliteteams. We all have a tendency to get territorial, so we're taught from ayoung age to you know, handle your business and business today, especiallyin the selling world. It's collaborative it's crossfunctional, soyou know we often ask crossfunctional teams, you know the answers to the fouressential questions and we talk about...

Hem all the time. I'll. Just repeat himhere, really quick, but what problems do you solve and if you're sittingthere in your car walking? I want you to do this with me, because you shouldknow them by Hart by now. If you listen to our podcast, but what problems doyou saw for your customers? How specifically do you solve them? How doyou Sov them differently or better than anybody else, and where have you doneit before and when we ask those questions? We get different answersfrom most everyone of the differentorganizations inside of company. So if the top leaders in your company can'articulate a consistent value prop, you know we always ask: What do you thinkyour salespeople are doing in their zoom calls with prospects and that's akind of a scary contemplation. So that's why alignment needs to be thefirst step, the scaling and accelerating growth e. So let's make that jump so, like yousaid, we talk about these essential questions, aligning on the answers andthe thing is, as you said, when you have a consistent answer to thosequestions in the company, you have a...

...framework for success and, like yousaid we talk about them. I write about them a lot and sometimes, when I'mwriting about them, I think gosh, these essential questions. They seem sosimple, but they're so powerful. So talk about how a sales organizationsuses those consistent answers to improve performance, yeah talk about itfrom a couple of different aspects. So, first, let's talk about it as a rap. Soif I have the answer to the four cental questions, I have a clear idea of theproblems I'm solving for my customer. I'm aligning my discovery, questionsappropriately. I know how I can win a deal against the competitor, because Ihave a good understanding of my differentiation in the marketplace and-and I also have the proof of success that I can use with these prospects. Soif I'm a manager, I have a basic framework that helps me. Keep my wreptfocused on the right types of deals.

You know what are the problems weresolving for this deal and you know: Are we attaching to the biggest businessissues facing this customer? I have a way to coach my reps on differentiationthat will win the deal. I have a framework of proofpoints that I canmake sure my reps are using in their conversations, and you know. Ultimatelythat lowers the risk for the customer and it continues to build great belieffor my sale teams. yeahand bolsters that consistent message. I know yousaid it before I'm on the PODCAST, even if Youve work somewhere for a long time.You know the buyer, you know the solution even at force management. Here,John you're constantly centering yourself on the answers to thoseessential questions, even before your own sales calls yeah. I mean I still doit today. I you know I write down the the answers to excuse me. I write thefour cents of questions on a piece of...

...paper somewhere and then then- and Iprepare my answers- t en the reason why I do that is because it's anexpectation. You know, I know that the companies that I speak with or sell to.They expect me to be able to provide these answers. So I'm constantlyprepared- and I think about the questions that I'm going to ask to getthe customer to give me these answers, because it's an outside in mentalityversus an inside out mentality. My answers about my company and mycapabilities are inside out, but I earne that right by being outside in,in my discovery, questions to tell me about those problems. So there's a lotof preparation involved. It just simplifies the motion for me. I knowthat it's an expectation that the people that I speak with they going towant to know the answers to those four centof questions. Fror me yeah andthat's what you bring up a good point about preparation. Those answers to theessential questions are really the foundation to creating a lot of thoseprep documents for your sales teams.

Messaging frameworks, precall planners.Even if you mentioned managers the deal review fields in your sales force allof those things, and when you talk about wanting to improve salesperformance without having that awyment in those consistent answers, you aren'tstarting with the right foundation yeah. So I mean I love that, because those are just kind of evidence, allthose tools and systems if you're talking about are really evidence thatand it starts to show up in those tools. It's evidence that a company is reallykind of owning that responsibility. So, no matter what your role is, you know matter what you're rolling thecompany is, whether you're an executive, whether you're in products or marketingor sales or BDRR SDR count executive sales, engineers customer success. Weall live in this world of having that...

...expectation from our customers and thatwe have to be prepared with the answers to those four censor questions becausethat's what they expect from us. So the other thing that our customers and prospects expect fromus is consistency in those answers and that's a big one, and so I think, maybea little challenge for everybody. That's listening to this podcast cometogether with all those different groups that I just mentioned. You knowthe leaders of those different groups, and this is a great exercise that youcan do for a lign that have come together and write those essential questions down. What problemsdo we SOLV for our customers? How specifically do we STOLV them? How dowe solve them differently or better than everybody else than where have wedone it before go around to the different groups? Let everybody writetheir answers down come together and share those answers and you're going tosee a gap. I guarantee you you're going... see a gap, and so what we're goingto do is we're going to look to minimize the gap, get more consistentin our answers, and I will tell you I've never seen that exercise. Equalfailure, yeah, that's a great challenge for everyone out there listening and ifyou do it, let us know how it comes out, reach out to John An linkdo reach outto myself we'd love to hear how it comes up thanks. So much for joining mefor this conversation John. I very much appreciate this one because I thinkit's a critical, critical action for companies to take and if you're,listening and you're not running the company, it doesn't matter use yourinfluence, get your company aligned yeah. Thank you. Thank you, John. Thankyou to all of you who continue to listen to our podcast. I know John andmyself get messages frequently from you on Linkdon, and we really appreciateyou listening and sharing the podcast wer growing numbers every month, whichis really exciting, be sure to check...

...out the resources this podcast. We havesluw of resources on essential questions, check them out, share withyour sales teams, Sharm with your cossfunctional leadership, and thankyou for listening to the audible, ready sales podcast at force management.We're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams areproven methodologies. Deliver programs that build company alignment and fuelrepeatable revenue grow. Give your ceams the ability to execute the grossstrategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proofis in our results. Let's get started visit us at force. Managementcom you'vebeen listening to the audible, ready podcast to not miss an episodesubscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time.

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