What would happen if you picked a point on your “business compass” and you were passionate about arriving there?
It would be clear who you would hire, who your partners would be, and most importantly, who your ideal customers would be.
If your organizational behavior was aligned to your “business compass point” – let’s call it True North – you could stop looking for the best employees, partners and customers because their GPS would have your compass point programed to experience your passion.
Now, let’s set your True North so your GPS point will be clear to all.
To do that, answer these “business compass point” questions based on what you believe is true by selecting “A” or “B” (only one) and then adding up the number of “A”s ___ and “B”s ___.
1. Are you a vendor “A”___ or partner “B”___?
2. Do you sell on price “A”___ or value “B”___?
3. Does your buyer buy price “A”___ or value “B”___?
4. Do you get paid based on the stuff you sell “A”___ or your brain “B”___?
5. Do you sell whatever the buyers wants “A”___ or are you passionate about your business compass point “B”___?
6. Do you close “A”___ or help the buyer buy “B”___?
7. Do you sell a product / service “A”___ or solve a buyer’s problem “B”___?
My hope is you answered honestly and in an aligned way (all “A”s or all “B”s). If you have a mix of answers, you are targeting multiple compass points. With multiple compass points, your staff, partners and customers can’t program their GPS for all those different points at one time.
For the rest of this post, we will talk about organizations less than $100m in revenue. Our goal will be to pick the True North that delivers the greatest revenue success (profitable revenue).
Almost all companies under $100m should have all “B”s. Companies with all “B”s are partners, who solve their buyer’s problems, get paid for solving a problem the buyer has not solved, and are selling their brain as a thought leader.
All “B”s is not about what is better or worse; it is about the realities of Revenue Science. Companies that answer all “A”s, are about scale, operational excellence, volume, lower margins, distribution, channel management, and selling things where the buyer knows as much, and sometimes more, than the selling organization.
Aligned all “A” companies are almost always over $100m and often, well over $1B. These companies are thought leaders in business processes and not normally in solving their buyer’s complex business problems.
Assuming you are or will be an aligned “B” company, here are 8 steps to finding and creating a “Highly Qualified” Prospect as your buyer “Partner!”
1. Determine if the suspect has the “problem” you passionately solve. You must know the problem you solve to set your True North.
2. Repeatedly clarify the buyer’s problem to be sure they are compelled to solve this “problem.” The pain from the “problem” is the metric that sets the value of the solution.
3. Listen (not pitch) when the buyer ASKS how you solve this painful and compelling problem. Keep your answers SHORT and focused on the buyer’s outcomes that meet or exceed the buyer’s goals.
4. Next, while repeating the plan and process that will create the outcomes the buyer requires, you must clarify the buyer’s role in solving the problem. Clarifying the problem and the joint solution assures the buyer is your partner. This leads to what is called a Joint SOW (scope of work) and will assure your success based on a partnership of equals.
5. When the buyer concurs with you about solving the problem, they feel compelled to fix this problem, and will invest time and resources to explore this approach with you – now you have a qualified prospect. This is the transition point from lead generation to selling to a qualified lead. This is the point where the metrics go from measuring “Cost Per Lead” to “Cost Per Sale Hour” and cost for the selling process. This is the Joint SOW, which is about developing the solution details, solidifying that the details and outcomes are highly desirable, and that you can actually deliver.
6. Work with the buyer team to develop and present the Joint SOW results. This will include dates, roles, and expectations for outcomes and the fee for these outcomes. The Joint SOW process always includes business and operational outcomes that justify your value and fee. This is the deployment of your “Brain” showing that you know how to do what is required and will deliver measurable value. This final version of the Joint SOW is easily turned into a contract and signed.
7. A proposal is the final step in the Joint SOW process (the part that gets signed). You only do a proposal for buyers who go through the Joint SOW process. Those buyers who value your approach to their problem, are compelled to have the problem solved, and want to make their organization stronger as a result, are your ideal buyers. Do NO other proposals.
8. If the buyer does not concur with any of these 8 steps, move them back to a nurturing program. Don’t push a buyer who does not have the compelling problem you solve, or have the resources to support a Joint SOW, or a willingness to align the business and operational goals in the Joint SOW.
Nothing in this process requires cash or special skill. Of course, this is not easy. Discipline is NEVER easy until it becomes cultural for the company and habitual for the people, but the payback is huge. You will not be able to stop great staff, partners and customers from showing up at your door once they have the REAL True North.
All you have to do is pick the business compass points and follow the 8 steps.
What do you think?
Please share your thoughts and experiences with us here!