The Deal was Definitely Ours to Win…
“—but then their CFO showed up!”
Sales Leaders who already “know-it-all”: You’re NOT invited to scroll down
SHOOT ME IF YOU’VE HEARD THESE BEFORE…
“The deal’s not really dead … it just won’t come in this quarter.”
“Their budget covers only half of our costs–we’ll have to discount a second time.”
“Customer says our competitor has more features and exp in their industry!”
“We were the favorite! But that darn CFO just doesn’t see it … ”
Who am I kidding? This is sales…
You hear these letdown phrases every quarter–if not every week!
You have by now stopped feeling embarrassed when “good” deals push into infinity. Success is just one more call, another proposal, ten rejections more–you and your team will force a way forward, come hell or high water…
For 28% of teams hitting quota today–pushing in a straight line is enough. But what of the other two-thirds?
Who is to blame?
Helps Sales Teams Who Get Ghosted by Customers
@ ASalesGrowth Company
In our hundreds of conversations with sales departments who demand better results, we’ve worked to identify this bogeyman: why do sales teams fail to close business they forecast on schedule (if at all!)?
We’ve spoken with quota-hitters and missers; with VPs at F500s down to first-time managers at hot startups and their eager sales reps. And despite their great differences, we’ve found a most strange commonality…
When we ask sales leaders one particular surprising question–they’re speechless. They can hardly answer–or even think to ask it when trying to improve performance.
This question, if salespeople worldwide answered it with sincerity, could change the world. B2B forecasts would no longer be way off… Companies struggling to turn a profit would reverse their fortunes overnight!
Hell, buyers might even respect sales again…
THIS QUESTION THAT SALES LEADERS COULD NOT ANSWER:
How do you know your team sells well?
Really, how do you know?
When you roll your eyes at one of the 86% of customers who, after many months of work, reach NO-DECISION… how do you make sense of that?
How do you know it wasn’t sales malpractice? (and that what our industry calls “sales best practices” is actually awful sales)
This is the scary possibility our clients had to face. What if their rockstar sales reps, sales managers and so…
Actually have no idea how to get a complex sale done!
And that for many quarters, sometimes whole fiscal years–you (and our clients) have made an extremely human error:
Assuming competence in their sales professionals.
Our clients did not want to believe it at first, either. We’d have to dive deep in where communications break down and where exactly sales reps lost their customers.
And when we asked simple follow-up questions, once again–they had no answer.
So we’d try one of many simple exercises, like this one:
The BLACKOUT CRM Test
Might need your RevOps guy for this…
Line up your reps’ deals in a sheet. Black out the account names. And erase the assigned rep/manager’s name to avoid quota-hitter bias.
Now, using only the CRM notes, call recording transcripts, emails shared, etc–can you figure out which CLOSED-LOSTs were the sales rep’s fault? What about the CLOSED-WONs where the rep just got lucky?
Hell–if you removed win/loss result too–could you even figure out which deals became customers?
9/10 of our clients’ sales teams–before they reinvented themselves with a few simple changes–could not. They couldn’t even piece together the business cases that won them the business!
Now here’s a simple way to test your team’s business cases. . .
Open up your CRM and go to deal fundamentals/deal notes (your reps do take good notes . . right?)
See if you can parse out these four fundamental keys that must be discovered for a purchase to happen (hopefully your reps’ talktime is all about these keys–god forbid it’s not BANT, “rapport-building,” or other common fluff):
Your Reps Must Know These Four Questions to Commit a Serious Deal
What is the Technical Problem?
Your customer buys things to solve problems. The Technical Problem is the mechanical problem that makes companies take time out their day to buy a fix. Examples: “our warehouse keeps breaking down,” “we can’t see who is visiting our website,” “my mower doesn’t cut our lawn fast enough.”
What is the Business Problem?
What makes the technical problem business-relevant? Examples: “every minute the equipment is down we lose $13,402 in revenue.” “Not seeing our website visitor makes us miss out on potential customers!” “I keep being late to work spending 3hrs mowing my lawn!” I’ve observed that 92% of reps successfully find the technical problem yet fail to progress to the business-relevance. CFOs kill bad deals here: “why does this issue matter and why should I spend money?”
What are the Root Causes of the Problems?
If a widget solves a business problem, we must first agree with the customer what causes the problem in the first place. Most reps leave the customer to put this puzzle together themselves! Examples: “the cause of not knowing your website visitors is not tracking IPs.” (so IP-tracking tech might have a case now)
What is the Impact of Making a Change?
Finally–what is the big-picture improvement that justifies both the cost of your solution or service and the time and risk of changing and retraining your customer’s team? If the equipment breakdown issue takes a year to resolve–how many millions of revenue would be lost in that year? Perhaps your customer would outsource warehousing if owning their own equipment isn’t that impactful. How much revenue gained from tracking IPs? 1 million revenue vs. $100k to purchase the tech? Easy investment. The opposite? Have fun losing at the finish-line.
These 4 questions form the foundation of Problem-Centric Selling and it’s how all purchases get made–whether your reps execute them or not. (91% don’t)
For Product-Centric Sellers, who neglect the business problem, this sale is invisible. Goes totally over your reps’ heads (but never over your customers’ heads).
Instead the sale happens inside your customers’ mind and in those dreaded “gonna discuss it with my team” meetings where imaginary deals are put out of their misery.
You see, these product-centric sellers, they aren’t selling at all . . .
Sure, they “do discovery.” And ask qualifying questions. But this is mere appetizer: they care about a tight talk-track + demo–not understanding your customer’s business.
On the other hand, Problem-Centric Sellers obsess about the prospect’s business and the problems dragging them down. They insist on getting the facts and the customer to agree exactly where they hurt, how much and why.
Because the customer has no choice but to spill the beans… the sale now occurs in the open.
Imagine this: your sales reps and your customers cooperating and agreeing on business problems and their causes. With this info–your rep can now actually influence and control the sale (and forecast it for real).
And this influence is earned: Problem-Centric Sellers help your customers put the puzzle together. No more deals left on the table.
Which begs this question . . .
How Much Revenue Are You Losing From Product-Centric Sales Reps?
Considering that the overwhelming majority of professional salespeople are still Product-Centric . . . you’re probably losing a huge amount of revenue.
Consider our clients’ improvements after instructing their teams on Problem-Centric Selling…
On average–our clients went from close rates of 13% to 34%–and even more remarkable–their revenue forecasts actually aligned with what closed: an average of only16% variance.
This more than just performance. Our methods change how sales are perceived by their firm: from a bunch of cowboys riding on the seat of their pants to credible detail-oriented professionals.
How much is this worth to you?
Impossible to say, without discussing your business problems.
The easiest way to know what Problem-Centric Selling can change for you is to sample our sales process while asking yourself:
“Is this how I want my team to treat our customers?”
Want to golf like Tiger Woods? The most logical route: go golf with Tiger!
Evaluate our sales process as a potential buyer–and decide if it can transform your sales or not. (and while you’re at it–try the same for other methodologies)
Here’s how we treat + qualify our potential clients…
- We send you a copy of Gap Selling, the controversial bestselling sales book that started A Sales Growth Company. Our founder Keenan wrote it so sales teams can finally stop pushing product and be problem-centric. If we meet, it’s essential we talk the same language, so you get it at no cost: we want you in the know.
- A real discovery call with a *trained* Gap Seller. No pitching, no shenanigans: “Just show me the demo” prospects get shown the door! Our mutual goal: understand what your reps are doing right and wrong–both as individuals and as executors of your systems. Then, we determine the bottom-line impacts on your business and whether changing them can have explosive benefits to your revenue–or not (not all problems are worth the trouble).
- Ditto for sales leadership. Where are front-line managers–and their superiors and their superiors, potentially–holding you back? Make no mistake–if your reps are wasting your customers’ time, that is your responsibility first.
- If we agree there is a problem and that we can fix it together and that the problem is worth fixing–we can discuss a variety of options to address the root causes we discovered together. These range from full-on live sales training, to more specific programs for problem areas like how to build reliable 2023 pipeline or how to raise your win rate with SMART deal reviews, to asynchronous online training–this depends, like all purchases, on the nature of your business problem and the cost of change to resolve it.
The clients we do take on see explosive gains to KPIs and revenue. And for a very rare reason in B2B sales: because of the insight shared by our sales reps!
There’s no reason your reps can’t do this too: sales should always be the value-drivers for your customers . . . not just the signature-getters.
This is exactly why we’ve come up with a way for you and other sales leaders to absorb our secrets–in only 45 minutes. See:
Here’s How You Can “Steal” Our Sales Secrets at No Risk in 45mins…
Curious Sales Leader: we offer you a Discovery Audit
Which is to say–you are invited you to speak with our trained reps and walk through your sales org: from discovery to performance metrics to hiring and more. No cost.
That’s right: we are elite enough and confident enough at selling to offer discovery calls.
Your competition? Their prospects would rather die than spend an hour with a rep just to get pricing + demo.
(How do you know your prospects don’t feel the same about you?)
Now, here’s what will happen on our Discovery Audit–
The Goal: to identify business problems and addressable root causes you might not have realized were there (the pressure points behind macro-problems like, “we missed quota by 37%”).
Your Incentive: ask yourself–“is this how I want my reps to sell?” “What are these Gap Sellers doing different in these conversations to engage me, the customer?”
If we find a business problem and root cause we want to solve together–that’s almost certainly bottom-line impact for you. If we don’t find a business problem (or one we can’t help with) you still sampled Problem-Centric Selling and get a fresh perspective on whether your teams are actually selling or merely pushing product (odds are 9/10 your team is pushing product).
You won’t find better ROI on your time!
And–like we mentioned above–this conversation starts with you getting a free copy of Gap Selling beforehand…
Fair warning on “Gap Selling”: after reading it, too many sales VPs have hammered down our doors with… intense reactions.
Some felt great EXCITEMENT that they’ve found a methodology that teaches the “right kind of sales” (we call these natural Problem Sellers).
Others–great DESPAIR that yes, their rockstar reps and managers were product-pushers all along! Pushers who win on the back of product + brand, missing business value and leaving deals on the table.
“Keenan’s book, Gap Selling, rocked me in its simplicity and power.” Zachary Bromberg, VP @ MB Financial
“Welcome to modern day sales!” Chris Nadeau, Sales Executive @ Presence of IT
“Wow. Just Wow. How many sales books have I read in my 30 years of selling? Most are recycled BS written by people who cannot sell or have never sold. This book however is something else. I can’t recommend it enough.” Simon Hares, Consultant @ SerialTrainer7
So, in short, if you request a Discovery Audit you get to:
- Steal ideas for your sales team by giving our Problem-Centric Sales Process a spin…
- Test if our trained reps are “bulletproof” by asking the toughest most damnedest sales questions (take care you’re not the one getting tested, detective…)
- Score a free copy of Gap Selling: the sales exec manual that’s sparked the transformative gains we’ve founded with our clients…
Here’s How to Get Your Book + Discovery Audit
Click the button below. Enter your email so we can send you a PDF of Gap Selling–if you prefer print, you can tell us when we follow up with you.
The pop-up will redirect you to one of our trained reps’ calendar–pick an opening of your choice.
When your book arrives (in PDF or print)–open it. We want you to have at least skimmed the book, so you understand the big ideas of Gap Selling and we speak the same language on our Discovery Audit.
Click button to schedule your Audit AND receive your free bestseller on Problem-Centric Sales: Gap Selling