One of the most critical things you can do during a sales call is to get the customer to establish decision criteria (required capabilities) that are in your favor.
If you arrive late to the sales process and are faced with decision criteria that have already been set, you need to determine two things:
If they’re not in your favor, then who are they favorable for? Not only should you know your own company’s differentiators, but it’s important to understand how the competition differentiates as well.If you know the differentiators used by your competition, it will be easier for you to identify who has influenced the customer’s decision criteria.
Has the competition made a strong enough connection between the required capabilities they have influenced and the customer problems that need to be solved?
Differentiation is only as good as the value it provides to a customer, and the only way you can add value to a customer is by addressing a problem. Put your discovery hat on and ask some questions:
What problems are being addressed by the customer’s required capabilities?
When was the last time the problem occurred?
What was the business impact of the problem?
If your customer has a hard time answering these questions, your competition probably hasn’t made a strong enough connection between the required capabilities and the problems that need to be solved. If the customer can’t firmly tell you the value of a required capability, there is a strong possibility that it came directly from a competitor.
That’s great news for you.
You now have the opportunity to refocus the required capabilities in your direction. Use trap-setting questions that highlight the value that the customer will receive as a result of a differentiator that you have.
Then, get the customer to stack rank the required capabilities. It never fails, the required capabilities that are attached to the most value always rise to the top, and those that aren’t attached to value move to the bottom — and sometimes, are removed all together.
Best-in-class sellers know the key to overcoming sales challenges like this, is to be audible-ready to tie value and differentiation back to the required capabilities. Leverage The Audible-Ready Podcast for more insights and sales skill that you can use to make an immediate impact on your current deals. Subscribe here.