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

Episode · 7 years ago

Required Capabilities: Best Practices

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Managing Director John Kaplan breaks down best practices for identifying required capabilities early and validating them throughout your sales process.

Hello, I'm Rachel Club Miller and I'm the director of digital engagement and force management a growth play company. I'm joined now by our managing director, John Kaplan. He rates great to be here. I'm great to have you today. We're going to take a deep dive on a key part of the command of the message curriculum, require capabilities. Identifying them early and validating them throughout your sales process can be a critical component to your success. Yeah, I think I love this topic because I think require capabilities are absolutely the key to your success, you know, when thinking about a fantastic customer conversation. So let's start with a definition really quick. So the required capabilities are the customer has a current state of problems or challenges. Your job is to is to understand what that current state is and then take them to a future state that is more favorable for them. And what's in between is what is required to...

...get them between a current state and a future state. And so what we want to encourage sellers to really think about is to really really think about how to create that bridge between a current state and a future state and make sure that that bridge highly, highly represents your differentiation in the customers mind and the customers language. We're going to talk about required capabilities in a number of ways today. Let's start with the challenge of the digital buyer and how that affects required capabilities in those sales conversations. We know that digital content is having more of an impact on the sales process. Buyers are educating themselves to the online content that they're consuming. When they call a salesperson, they believe they know what they want. They're likely ready to talk price. So, as a salesperson, what am I supposed to do? How do I handle that? Yeah, I think that the the this topic is so critical right now because this is the reality. We have connected buyers, we have educated buyers.

Think about what you're buying today. Think about how you're buying things today. You're going out and you're becoming an educated consumer. So we understand what that world looks like. But I want to give you some spirit on the phone, or, excuse me, on the radio or how are you're listening to me today with a podcast on your phone, however you're doing it. I just want to give you some spirit out there, which basically says is that the required capabilities are gold for you so it's not just receiving quite require capabilities from a customer as kind of a mandate. It is influencing these require capabilities. So you need to be able to influence require capabilities and there's an old saying out there that says wherever you are, there you go. So whatever coms to you, you have to be audible, ready and prepared. At the end of the day, I have to make sure that these require capabilities are more favorable for me and my company. If they are not when they come to me, it is my job, through discovery and trap, setting questions and trapping the competition, to rearrange this criteria, to rearrange these require...

...capabilities until I get them into a form where they are more favorable for me, and I'm going to explain how to do that. Is We continue to talk and that's Che's up with. The next thing I wanted to talk about is that with required capabilities, you have to make sure that you're you continue to validate them throughout the sales process. Yeah, I like how you said that. You have to continue to make sure you validate them. Why? Because with an educated consumer and educated by or these require capabilities could change and we need to understand why they're change. Are they changing because somebody seeing something digitally? Somebody's being influenced from somebody? Are they being influenced by competitors? So, regardless of why they're changing, that should light up your skill sets or in your mind's eye, that says I need to validate these require capabilities. We always repeat our required capabilities for a number of reasons. To number...

...one, let the customer know that we continue to hear them and that we're listening to them and that we understand and their business, which is critical. Another reason why is when require capabilities change, something made them change and that should just set off a really, really intellectually curious mechanism inside of your head. So ask discovery questions when they change. Ask why they change and who changed them and what was the purpose of the change, and really, really dig in with discovery. And you also want to make sure as you're digging in, you're validating those required capabilities, that you're incorporating your differentiators in the requirements. Yeah, so, I think so. I think sometimes people make this just a little bit more complicated and hopefully our listeners have figured out that. If you're talking to me Rachel the it's not going to be your answers. My answers aren't going to be complicated. So I like to break it down this way. You know, I always think about what are my critical differentiators first and every sales meeting, in every customer conversation I have, the...

...first thing that I say to myself is what are my differentiators that I want to highlight in this conversation? Then I think about a series of discovery questions which are intended to trap my competition around the differentiator. My goal is, through those series of discovery questions and trap setting questions, I get the customer to say that they need my differentiation in the form of their required capability. So, if you don't mind, I'd like to give you just a little example I was thinking about before we came on air here. I want you to think about like force management. For the listeners out there, most of you know what we do and kind of how we do it, and so one of the things that's a huge differentiator of ours is our methodology creates highly customized and relevant and tailored content for our customers. And so many and most companies in our industry do not have a methodology like that, it's more off...

...the shelf, and so one of the ways and I know that's a big differentiator and I know what are the problems associated with having kind of off the shelf content versus highly customized and tailored and so I know that I want to ask some series of discovery questions with the intent to trap the competition around us. So I'll ask questions like, give me an example of the last time you worked with a vendor or partner in my industry where you didn't have that deep relevance and tailored content for your organization. So give me an example of what that experience was like for a participant or for the sales organization. Walk me through the challenges that the organization and had in implementing these ideas. At the end of the day, how successful was the program and how difficult was it for adoption and reinforcement? All the while, what I'm trying to get...

...them to do is understand, because I can't tell them they have a problem in this area. I can only ask them discovery questions with the intent that they would answer the questions in their mind. That's a man I need to work with a vendor or a partner that has highly customized and very, very relevant and tailored content for us. And at the end of the day, what I just do is that I call the little crux move and I'll say so. Can I just call that a require capability, and that is very, very purposeful. That is how you get your differentiation into a required capability. It's a great example and I think it's also important to remember that when we talk about required capabilities, but they're only one component of what you're articulating to the customer or the prospect and there one component of the value that you're trying to create. We use a term often called value currency, and you explain a little bit what we mean by that and how it relates to required capability. Yeah, I'm going to highlight this concept that you said, only...

...one component. I've been thinking a lot about this over the last several months and so for several of our listeners you might have heard me say this before, if you've heard me speak on this topic. I want you to think about like the analogy of a golf swing. Well, then a golf swing you have a takeaway and then you have some type of delivery to the ball or some type of follow through to the ball. So you have two mechanisms. You have a takeaway and you have a delivery or a follow through, and so it's all part of a it's all part of a process, and I want you to think about three takeaways. In the takeaway swing, you have three things that you're taking away and you need all three, and so these are positive business outcomes, require capabilities and metrics. Why do we need all three? Well, we need positive business outcomes because we need to understand what the biggest business issues and problems are associated with the solutions that we could help them with. We could help them solve those positive business outcomes. We...

...need to understand and their mind what's required in order to make that happen and those have to be heavily, if influenced by US and differentiatable by us, and we need to understand how they measure success. That's the takeaway and the delivery or the follow through is how we do that, how we do it differently or better and where we've done it before. And so your point, Rachel, of just the required capabilities are just one part of the takeaway, because if I only had required capabilities and I didn't have positive business outcomes or metrics, I would be less effective in that customer conversation. And your last point around value currency is I like to think about these just breaking it down very very simple. Currency means this is a common language and a common currency of value that I'm going to have between me and my customer, these three simple takeaways and these three simple deliveries. That's great. It said the is that what you would say is the bottom line when it comes to required capabilities?...

Yeah, I think you know. Let me just sum it up. I think the bottom line has require capabilities are the gold for salespeople. It's not just about knowing what these required capabilities are, but we need to be now more than ever, be prepared to influence require capabilities so that they're more favorable for us. Do that by beginning with differentiation, thinking about the differentiation that you want to get in place in the conversation, ask trap setting and discovery questions which will highlight those differentiators, and then gain agreement that those become heavily influenced in the require capabilities, and you'll win every time. Great, great way to end up. Thank you, John. Thank you for your time. Everyone out there, thank you for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe to it on itunes.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (184)