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 damn CEO just doesn’t get it … ”
Who am I kidding! You’re a Sales Leader–getting let down is just another Thursday, or End of Quarter.
You have long ago stopped feeling embarrassed by customers who flake or deals that push into infinity. Success is just one more call, another proposal, ten rejections more–you and your team will push come hell or high water.
For 38% of sales teams hitting quota today–pushing in a straight line is enough. But what of the other two-thirds? Do we blame the market? Bad product? Perhaps they did not put in the hours?
After hundreds of conversations–with quota-hitters and missers, with VPs at F500s down to middle managers at hot startups and their eager sales reps–there’s one simple question that goes unasked.
This question, if salespeople worldwide asked it of themselves with sincerity, could change the world. Companies struggling to turn a profit would reverse their fortunes overnight–salespeople with families to support would never go hungry again. Buyers might even respect sales again.
How do you know your team sells well?
When you roll your eyes at one of the 86% of customers who reach NO- DECISION–how do you justify the time wasted?
If you lined up your reps’ deals from your Salesforce–(erase their names to avoid quota-hitter bias!) with all the critical notes, call recordings, emails shared, and key facts–could you figure out which CLOSED-LOSTs were your fault? Could you spot the CLOSED-WONs where reps got lucky? Hell–if we removed win/loss result too–could you even figure out which customers bought?
Our clients’ sales teams–before they reinvented themselves to great profit– couldn’t. They couldn’t even piece together the business case!
Here’s a simple way to test your team’s business cases–
Open up your CRM (your reps do take good notes . . right?)
See if you can parse out these four fundamental criteria–with clear answers and notes–that must be discovered for a purchase to happen (hopefully your reps’ conversations with your customers are all about these–not BANT, mere rapport-building, or other 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.
This is called Problem-Centric Selling and it’s how all purchases get made–
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).
The real sale happens inside your customers’ minds, and in those dreaded “going to discuss it with my team” meetings where “deals that never were” get put out of their misery.
These product-centric sellers, they aren’t selling at all . . .
They perform blind discovery and compensate with a good pitch and demo.
For Problem-Centric Sellers, for whom the business problem is the entire conversation, this sale occurs in the open. In a world where your sales reps and your customers are cooperating and agreeing about the business problem, your rep can now actually influence a good decision and control the sale.
And this influence is earned: Problem-Centric Sellers will help your customers put the puzzle together.
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, after training their teams on Problem-Centric Selling . . .
On average–our clients went from close rates of 13% to 34%–and even better–their revenue forecasts hit an average of only 16% variance–changing the reputation of sales from a bunch of cowboys riding on the seat of their pants to credible, detail-oriented professionals.
How much is this worth to you? We must speak to find out and whether you’re even a good fit.
The easiest way to know if Problem-Centric Sales is right for you is to go through our sales process and ask yourself:
“Is this how I want my team to treat our customers?”
Here’s how you can compare sales processes:
- We send you a copy of Gap Selling, our manual on Problem-Centric Sales, to ensure we speak the same language on our discovery session.
- Understand what your reps are doing right and wrong–then determine the bottom-line impacts on your business and whether changing them can have explosive benefits to revenue–or not.
- Understand what sales leadership is doing right and wrong–make no mistake–if your reps are wasting your customers’ time, that is your responsibility first.
- If we agree there is a problem and we can fix it together–we can discuss a variety of options to address the root causes we agree on during discovery. These range from full-on live sales training, to more specific programs for problem areas like pipeline or 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.
Here’s What You Should Do Right Now
If you are intrigued by Problem-Centric Sales and want to learn more via our sales process as an example + our bestselling sales manual Gap Selling …
Fill in the very short form below: your name, email, and phone. Address if you prefer print for Gap Selling.
Read your book when it arrives. Change requires commitment and work. We expect you to have at least skimmed the book to understand the mechanics of our approach, so we can compare to your current state.
If you follow-through on #2, we will invite you to speak with us and join other companies in going through our Problem-Centric Sales Process. What happens from there–is up to the gap!
Start your side-by-side evaluation below
Click this button to schedule a call AND receive our manual (for FREE) on Problem-Centric Sales: Gap Selling