In 2016, I printed a guide titled The Solely Gross sales Information You may Ever Want. Within the chapter on Accountability, I wrote that you simply promote “outcomes,” making the case that your potential shopper is not occupied with your product or your service. As a substitute, they wish to attain an consequence, one that may enhance their outcomes. Your shoppers would love to supply the end result with out shopping for your product or resolution! As Theodore Levitt, a advertising professor at Harvard, as soon as mentioned, “folks do not buy drills, they purchase holes.”
The 4 Ranges of Worth in Gross sales
In Eat Their Lunch: Profitable Clients Away from Your Competitors, my first chapter explains there are 4 ranges of worth, which most salespeople handle in precisely the unsuitable order. This was my second try at explaining that you’re promoting outcomes, and that attempting to promote something much less will hurt your outcomes.
Degree 1: The primary, and lowest, degree of worth is the worth of your product. Focusing in your product is all however sure to show that you’re promoting a commodity and that you haven’t any better worth to supply a shopper, besides maybe to clarify the options and advantages. Except you’re Apple, nobody has a burning want to purchase your product simply since you make it. This is the reason your shopper’s decision-maker or government has zero curiosity in taking a look at your SDR’s SAAS demo. In a phrase, they do not care about software program.
Degree 2: The second degree of worth is helpfulness, including good assist to a superb services or products, thus growing its general worth. You would possibly rating factors right here with the stakeholders who want better assist, however principally this degree is desk stakes. Whereas it is likely to be a think about a choice to purchase, it is not prone to be the rationale your shopper purchases what you promote. Resolution-makers count on you to assist their groups.
Degree 3: The third degree of worth is a technique to perceive the outdated, legacy, and completely commoditized discovery name, the one the place you ask your shopper about their “drawback” and their “ache.” At this degree, you promote the tangible consequence your shopper wants because it pertains to their drawback. Think about a bank card firm that should ship mail to folks between 18 and 28 within the decrease half of america. Delivering that mail is Degree 3, and if the mail exhibits up, the issue has been solved.
However what if that is not what the shopper actually needed? What if there was another motivation, one which was extra necessary, one thing strategic?
Degree 4: This high degree of worth captures the strategic outcomes the shopper is pursuing—or ought to be. It transcends the opposite three ranges, although all the degrees are obligatory. Let’s revisit our bank card firm to know why you promote outcomes. I’d argue that the bank card firm would not simply wish to ship their potential clients mail. The end result they need is new bank card clients. Like Levitt recommended, if they might have the brand new clients with out sending the mail, they would not ship the mail.
The trail seems one thing like this. Nobody simply needs to ship mail. Nobody simply needs somebody to fill out an utility for a bank card. Nobody simply needs a buyer to make use of their bank card. As a substitute, they need income development, improved profitability, better market share, or another consequence that drives their selections.
The Evolution of Skilled B2B Gross sales
The older your gross sales strategy, the extra sure it’s that you simply focus in your product or its tangible outcomes, theoretically as a result of tying your product to a “drawback” allows you to magically current it as a “resolution.”
The evolution of gross sales began with merchandise. The subsequent evolution might have occurred when pitching merchandise that corporations did not want required salespeople to attach the product to an issue the shopper truly had, usually to displace a competitor. It is also doable that consumers determined that they wanted extra assist fixing a few of their issues. Possibly each developments occurred collectively.
The rationale that skilled B2B gross sales is so troublesome now is that the folks accountable for main their corporations are struggling to make sense of their surroundings, whereas these accountable for shopping for want one thing extra from salespeople than asking them about their issues. Once more.
Once you as an alternative begin a dialog with strategic outcomes, you enhance the dialog by addressing what your potential shopper needs. You additionally make it extra probably that the dialog may also help them higher perceive the bounds of the best way they’re doing issues now—and the way they will enhance their outcomes. Most of the issues with promoting and shopping for might be improved by discussing the strategic outcomes your shoppers are pursuing.
Consultative Gross sales and Enterprise Advising
Anybody whose recommendation and suggestions is restricted to “purchase my resolution from my firm” just isn’t something near consultative, and under no circumstances might be thought-about a enterprise advisor. The salesperson who asks their potential shopper about their drawback, after the shopper’s heard that very same query in each prior interplay with a salesman, supplies their shopper with proof that the dialog would be the similar as all of the others they’ve impatiently suffered by means of.
How is it doable to not acknowledge the issues your shoppers have after assembly with dozens or a whole lot of them? How may you not know what outcomes you possibly can enhance in your shoppers?
Those that are unwilling to replace their strategy by offering their potential shoppers with a extra beneficial dialog, one which speaks to the shopper’s strategic outcomes, will discover potential shoppers much less and fewer keen to offer them their time. By elevating the stakes and addressing the strategic outcomes, you show it’s possible you’ll be somebody price area on their calendar and a line of their funds.
Think about a Board of Administrators discussing the way forward for their enterprise and the outcomes they want. At any level in that dialog, would anybody on the desk say, “you realize, I actually assume we must always get a demo of this SAAS software program”?
Do not promote drills. Promote holes.