TL;DR. More and more customers demand sales organizations to stop selling. They wish for their partners to have a more customer centric approach. This post provides a customer centric sales process and an action plan how to implement it. We just nicknamed it DiscoDojo.
Your Customers Called and Said; Stop Selling Me!
Your customer doesn’t wake up in the morning excited to have someone pitch, sell, and close them on something. They don’t! So what do your customers want? They ache for sales pros to help them to identify a problem, assist them, educate the team, diagnose the situation, inform them on options, help them through the process.
This is not new, consultative B2B sales pros have been doing this for decades on large multi-million dollar enterprise deals. However today every B2B customer desires such an experience.
Customers Don’t Go Through Stages – They Have Experiences
Before we can design a customer centric sales process we first need to outline the experiences a customer goes through – See Figure 1 something that was described in more detail in a previous post: Authentic GTM
Figure 1: Customer Centric Experiences (Authentic GTM)
Now let’s map the sales process to match those experiences (Match the colors :-). The process in Figure 2 does not just apply to SaaS but also to a variety of other business models such as Subscription, Freemium and Perpetual across different industries such as Software, Advertisement, Healthcare, and Education.
Figure 2: Customer Centric Sales Process
Where Does It Go Wrong?
Nine out of ten companies still sell to a customer. These organizations are found to hold pitching contests, negotiate with their customers, and offer discounts to a customer to close by the end of the month.
Figure 3: Traditional focus of a sales organization
However we are faced with a rapid increase in global competition; there is always a competitor willing to do it at lower cost, or worse, for free. In such a competitive environment, Pitching, Negotiating and Closing are skills that can have an adverse impact. We need to focus elsewhere. If you recognize this: Read on!
What You Can do? Focus on Assisting Customers
Companies that wish to differentiate can no longer depend on just rainmakers to help them change the sales part of the business. Companies need to become customer centric in every part of their business. This requires to design an end-to-end customer centric process and – and this is important – to apply their most qualified resources on the areas in the process that customers value the most!
Figure 4: Areas of most value to a customer in a modern sales design
Areas to focus on:
- Organizations that go out to develop leads must stop using a Qualification process. In particular the use of BANT is wreaking havoc. Qualifying provides insights to the seller but no value to the customer. Instead we recommend to focus onIdentifying the Impact of a problem/solution. Identifying Impact demonstrates expertise and greatly benefits the customer!
- Diagnosing as the new sales skill; Which questions to ask, when to ask, and how to ask. It is this level of expertise showing causality around the impact. It exhibits expertise in the first calls and avoids a qualified customer Going Dark. Instead it brings a customer back when they are ready to move forward.
- Help customers be successful using your service. Not just onboarding them and calling it good. But truly helping them use, and expand usage by sharing best practices, etc. More and more this needs to be delivered in an online environment as the amount of user conferences today is unreal.
- Focus the most qualified people on your team to earn more business from current customers. Many companies still focus their key resources on securing new logo’s. However selling more of your services to help existing customers truly holds the key to growth.
Dojo Sessions Are The Best Ways To Affect Change
To evolve a sales team we’ve found that simply the most impactful way is by performing a group instruction on recorded calls that emphasizes one specific skill. We have nicknamed these sessions as DiscoDojo.
Figure 5: DiscoDojo class room at one of our clients
During a DiscoDojo an instructor dissects a recent Discovery call and provides improvements for the entire team. Better yet the team assists in the teachings.
Keys to a successful DiscoDojo are:
- Create a proven Blueprint from previous calls.
- Record Calls. We use Gong and Chorus across our customers (see Gong screenshot below), but there are many other credible solutions such as ExecVision & ReFract.
- Review calls by comparing against your Blueprint.
- Perform a Team DiscoDojo once to twice a week with an existing sales team.
- Create real-time exercises such as: Finish the sentence, Summarize the conversation, diagnose the situation etc.
- For new hires we recommend two-a-days for the first two weeks.
- Record DiscoDojo so new students can review later on. For larger groups this means you have to use wireless microphones to capture their feedback. See picture.
What is your take?
By sharing you with the insights we have gathered I hope you as a reader are willing to share your insights via the comments. If you have questions and want to learn more how to Design, Build and Scale your sales reach out to me via LinkedIn.