Everyone loves a good story.
One that has an opening introduction or premise, a ‘lay of the land’ if you like. Then, a challenging situation arises or is uncovered. A solution is considered next that would resolve the situation. There are a few ‘bumps’ along the way, resulting in the solution being further refined and aligned to resolving the challenge (the suspense is up and the reader leans in). Finally, after its successful implementation, a positive outcome is achieved.
It keeps us on the edge of our seats!
Business Cases / White Papers / Case Studies should also follow along these lines. Whatever you call them they provide a story, a narrative, to prospective customers revealing how the problem(s) were successfully solved by the Vendor.
These insightful documents accomplish and add value to your New Business Development efforts in three main ways;
- By being able to fully explain the potential Client’s challenge, the Vendor demonstrates that they are skilled in Discoveries. There is a reason that Detective Columbo is the “Patron Saint of Sales People”. There is always just ‘one more thing’.
To fully understand the potential’s Client’s issue(s), no stone should be left unturned because the presenting challenge could just be the tip of the iceberg and signal systemic issues in other areas of their organization.
- Now that the stage has been set, the story of how their prospective Client’s challenges were resolved can commence. This is where the backdrop of the solution is detailed, the steps involved and, most importantly, the reasons behind ‘why’ a particular solution was recommended. Read on to see how the solution was aligned and customized to the challenge, and how it was implemented.
- Finally, the outcome / results are detailed. What was achieved? More efficient internal communications? An improved HR or Purchasing process? Reduced wait times in the Customer Service Queue? Was the ROI achieved?
If you think there is a ‘formula’ at work here, you are exactly right. In Sales we call it a “Methodology”, and the one showcased here is Consultative Sales. It consists of 6 steps;
- Pre-Call Research and Identification of Targets / Vertical Markets
- Development of Approach Messaging / Prospecting
- Discoveries (and more Discoveries) (and more Discoveries…)
- Initial Recommendation / Clarifying and Refining
- Agreement / Negotiation of Terms, etc.
- Project Planning / Implementation
If the Methodology is followed correctly, then it really does read like a ‘story’; a narrative about how a particular Client’s challenges were revealed, qualified, addressed and resolved.
If you or your Sales Team currently do not adhere to a Sales Methodology and would like to revisit your approach, consider outsourcing this strategy to a company with experience gained from working within multiple industries and can coach your Sales People on how to effectively utilize a Sales Methodology that uses YOUR stories as part of your New Business Development strategy!
About the Author:
Martin Beauclair is an Entrepreneur, Business Leader and Active Supporter of Start-up Communities. For the past 20+ years he has launched and managed numerous technology product offerings, serving as Sr. Vice-President of Sales & Business Development at IgeaCare Group of Companies, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at GlobeStar Systems and Director of Sales & Marketing at Edwards Systems Technology (Now GE Security).
Today Martin heads up Access2Sales as CEO, and recently founded FalconRidge Trading, a related Strategic Sales company.
Martin is a certified ADMA (Accredited Professional Administrator), a member of the AMA (American Marketing Association) and both UPSA & CPSA Professional Sales Associations. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School (AMP), a bilingual BAA (Bachelor in Business Administration) from the University of Ottawa, and also holds an MBA in International Business Management from Laval University.
He is currently pursuing his PhD in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix, and is a self-proclaimed ‘life-long learner’.
But what ultimately drives him at the end of the day? Simply,
“To Grow Companies by Creating and Leading High Performance Sales Teams.”