Hundreds of the world’s most successful B2B sales performance consultants for almost a decade agree: Salespeople fail to understand customer outcomes. That means they can’t possibly understand customer value.
It gets worse: After consuming scores of research studies on consumer choice, buyer psychology, and consumer behavior, and one thing becomes clear. Outcomes and value are what drive every customer decision.
Think about it:
That means salespeople are worst at the most important thing.
Businesses invest billions in automating selling tasks, training and coaching methodologies, deploying AI into sales and marketing. And yet, deal win rates continue to fall. It’s like building the world’s fastest race car without steering…you’ll get somewhere random really fast.
The blessing…and the curse… of Sales Methodology.
I sold, trained, and coached methodology for years, and used one for decades. I’m a believer. However, it’s important to know what methodology is good for, and what it’s not.
Out of the box, sales methodology’s strength is delving deeply into the customer’s self-determined buying decision and positioning your solution most advantageously with all of the personas involved. That’s an optimal play when your customer knows:
- All about what they’re buying,
- Why they’re buying it,
- And all of the outcomes they can achieve by doing so.
Unfortunately, customers are self-informing more deeply and sadly, more inadequately. Even worse, sales teams practicing methodology are only adept at uncovering and following their customers’ flawed buying decisions.
Recently, major methodology shops have responded to this trend by splicing “insight”, “perspective”, and/or “challenging” into their methodologies. The idea is to help salespeople become consultative decision guides…trusted advisors. These well-meaning efforts fall well short of what customers really need. With one methodology for example, perspective training was essentially “use your existing business acumen and understanding of the customer to provide valued perspective”. No teaching business acumen or telling how to understand the customer. There was no assistance applying your product/service into new customer outcomes. Just “poofamiracleoccurs: now go be smart”.
Don’t Hate Your Methodology. Augment it.
Your methodology probably talks about customer outcomes and value. But those are probably 10-15% of your methodology, your training, your coaching, and maybe 10% of your metrics. Outcomes and value are 90% of what moves a customer decision. Build out that emphasis gap.
I focus on helping my clients fix their under-emphasis on customer outcomes and value. They don’t need to change their methodology. With my help, my clients install the steering wheel. Once they have it, marketing and product development is guided more insightfully. Product/service training doesn’t just talk about your differentiated features, but focuses how those features enable unique customer outcomes. This shortens sales time to productivity.
Contact me today to get either a summary of my book, Radical Value, or a sample chapter.
To your success!