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

Episode 57 · 8 months ago

Navigating the Decision Process With Multiple Buyers w/ John Kaplan


Improve your ability to navigate your buyer's decision process and win deals that involve multiple decision makers.

John Kaplan walks through key tips for getting multithreaded in your deals and to ensure you’re communicating effectively with the key players in the buying organization, including:

- What actions you can take early on in the sales process to effectively influence a customer’s decision process

- How to get higher, wider, and deeper in your organization to determine key decision makers and multiple buyers who will have a say in the final “yes”

- Tips for making an impact in front of each stakeholder in an opportunity

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

Here are some additional resources on decision process:

- How to Ask the Right Questions in Your Sales Conversation


- Why Sales Reps Struggle with Metrics in the Sales Conversation


- Executing Effective Discovery [Podcast]


Most bying decisions today are made bya team of people. So more often than not, when the group comes to a nodecision, it's not because they don't know how or because they're too busyit's, because they weren't able to come to unanimous cansensus. So we like tocall this getting to a collective, yes, 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 fuel repeatable revenue growth presented by the team Fforce management, a leader in PTB sales affectim. This let's get started hello and welcome to the audible, ready,podcast, I'm Rachel Clapmiller joine today by John Caplin Hi John Hi Rachel.So today we are going to dive a little deeper into one of the letters ofMedick. We haven't really covered it...

...that much on the podcast. We've talkeda lot about medic and some various parts of that acronym, but we haven'treally talked about the decision process yeah. This is a great topicbecause it's a critical topic and I actually call it the forecast accuracykiller. So I mean the decision process is the intersection of the buying andthe selling cycles. So it's really really critical yeah and we break downthe decision process into two main components: The validation process andthe approval process. Yeah. So I mean the validation process. Is The biursway of verifying that your solution will satisfy their highest priorityrequirements so in other words, that it will work as promised? And then youalso have the approval process, which is the sequence of events required toobtain contract signatures once the valevation has taken place. So thedecision process is a series of...

...interrelated customer buying activitiesthat convert interest, inthe action, yeah interest into action, and when I'mon that fhone with a vendor, I love it when they ask me about the decisionprocess or who else needs to be involved or what's the approval process,because I know they're executing the science of selling and as with anythingin the sales process, it's not a one and done event right. It's a process.It's a decision process. So let's talk about what I am doing as a salespersonto continuously validate the decision process. In my deals- and I know yousaid John- it comes down to controlling the process in thosecustomer accounts. Yeah I mean in the way we're using the word control. It'snot a it's, not a bad word in the sense of this. You know Biran sellarrelationship. So if you're, not in control, the customers will believethat they need to be in control and your competition will quickly gaincontrol. So this is not to say that...

...customers don't call the shots, theyabsolutely do, but we need to understand that the shots are beingcalled. They have to be called by somebody. So we need to align our salesprocess to the customers decision process and we always need to remembereverybody loves to be led, provided you can get them to a place they can't getto on their own yeah exactly so. What am I doing to make sure I'm validatingthese processes? I'm aligning my selfs process, the customers decision processthroughout the sales campaign, and I just blatantly asking what am I doing.This is part of your discovery, so remember your number one job as aseller is to set highly differentiated required capabilities, also known asdecision criteria, and you do this with the buyer. You also want to set howthose capabilities will be measured. So now the race is set up, let's go winthe race and the race is winning it...

...against the competition yeah. It's notreally like you said about controlling the prospects. You're, almost coachingthem through a well vedded decision process, but the ultimate goal here ismitigating surprises or around the deal. You want to know where you stand yes,so your prospects expect you to have a process. They also expect you to ensurethat your process integrates with theirs. So you think of it is notfollowing the customers leade. You want to influence how the decision gets made.It's all about influence. We know that there isn't just one person that makesa buying decision without seeking input from others. Most buying decisionstoday are made by a team of people. So more often than not, when the groupcomes to a no decision, it's not because they don't know how or becausethey're too busy it's, because they weren't able to come to unimosconsensus. So we like to call this...

...getting to a collective, yes and as aprofessional seller, part of your job is to help facilitate the decisionprocess and help your client get to a collective. Yes, it's no surprise thatyou cannot effectively accomplish this. If you are single threaded in your deal,so you want to build out those players and then determine how many of them youhave access to once you determine that you want to determine a plan to improveyour control of the process, right, you're, influencing how the decisiongets made, and I know that some of you listening out there- maybe a little bitoverwhelmed if you start to map this out as it relates to your deal ow. Howam I supposed to do that? Every customers different nobody's the samehat's. One reason why we always start with why we always say to start early inyour process, but also it's important to understand that if you aren'tsuccessfully building all those relationships getting multithreaded indyour deals to use swords. You just said...

John There's a lot of room for yourdeal to fall apart. It's not just understanding the decision process. Youprobably not going to advance your deal yeah, I mean it's all related and we'reall kind of swirling around this. Getting back to what we always talkabout. So your job is to uncover customers, positive business outcomesto set and influence the required capabilities that are good for thecustomer, ind very, very favorable, for you as well, and to get the customer tounderstand and articulate how they're going to measure their success. We thenpivot in a line how we do those require capabilities, how we do them better ordifferently and where we've done it before. So that is the motion thatyou're going to do day and day out. You are constantly using a discoveryprocess to understand the three critical things from a customer.positivesness outcomes require...

...capabilities in matric, so the goal isto fill up those three buckets in your discovery process. Now this concept ofmultithreaded is there the realization that theyre are depending upon thecomplexity of your products and services, that there are multiplepeople that you're going to have to speak to, and ultimately many of thesedecisions come down to a collective yeah. So I want to remind you a maybeyou can put in the show notes Rachel the concept of the mnw thatwe've talked about before so multi threaded. When we talk aboutmultithreaded, I want you to think about an emine t and it's it's engagingall levels of the decision making process. It is engaging the users andif it's an M, think about just drawing an em on a piece of paper you'restarting on the lower left hand, corner you're, going up to the top you'recoming back to the middle you're, going back up to the top you're going backdown. If you think about the users at... level, if you think about themanagers at another level, an the executives at another level, you haveto include in the decision process. If you look at a decision process and it'ssingle threaded you're not going to CEE NMOR wwis the exact opposite of that itmeans you started at a higher level. You worked your way back down throughthe organization. You work your back way back up down and back up again.Those are the most successful decision process kind of characteristics that wesee positives outcome, require capabilities and metrixs, and it'soperationalized by a multithreaded conversation and point of view, so holdyourself accountable. Look Right now at a critical opportunity that you haveand look at your decision process. I don't want to see that you just say.Yes, I understand that I want the evidence of an Emora w yeah, the MNWCONSEP. We have a great bob on that I've linked it up in the show notes.It's about the title is how you're struggling metrics an the salesconversation so be sure to check that...

...out and you no. We always talk abouteven fforce management. We we write a lot about getting higher in your inyour prospect, organizations and that's important, but you have to go down toit's, not it's about both the M and the W, and to your to your point, John, thething that makes all of this easier as it relates to your decision process.Getting multithreaded in your deal is to align to a business level issue andeffectively aligned the required capabilities to your solution thatmakes the decision process easier. Yes, I love how you just articulated that,always when I'm looking at the decision process, it's always it always getsilluminated when we first attach ourselves to the biggest business issue.That's the first thing we always want to do attach yourself to the biggestbusiness issue, faceing the customer. If you're attached to a small businessissue, it doesn't mean that you don't have the right decision process. Youjust could have a decision process.

That's for a small business issue.Small business issue gets small attention, get small dollars, get smallpower and influence attached to it. So always force yourself to think big.Attach yourself to the biggest business issue, next get the customer to agreeon their positive business outcomes, require capabilities and how they'regoing to measure success. You do this with users, managers and executives toensure that you get to the collective yes. So now you understand your fullvalue. They understand your full value and the decision process becomes moreof a an excited expectation of how quickly both of you can get there. Yeah excited expectation, we'll leaveit there. Thank you so much John Fhor joining me for this conversation bypleasure. All right, thank you to all of you for listening to the audible,ready, podcast at force management. We're focused on transforming salesorganizations into elite teams ar...

...proven methodologies, deliver programsthat build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth, give yourteams the ability to execute the gross strategy at the point of sale. Ourstrength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get startedvisit us at force. Managementcom you've been listening to the audible, readypodcast to not miss an episode subscribe to the show in your favoritepodcast player. Until next time.

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