CustomerCentric Selling, Second Edition
Michael T. Bosworth, John R. Holland
The Web has changed the game for your customers― and, therefore, for you. Now, CustomerCentric Selling, already recognized as one of the premier methodologies for managing the buyer-seller relationship, helps you level the playing field so you can reach clients when they are ready to buy and create a superior customer experience.
Your business and its people need to be “CustomerCentric”―willing and able to identify and serve customers’ needs in a world where competition waits just a mouse-click away. Traditional wisdom has long held that selling means convincing and persuading buyers. But today’s buyers no longer want or need to be sold in traditional ways.
CustomerCentric Selling gives you mastery of the crucial eight aspects of communicating with today’s clients to achieve optimal results:
- Having conversations instead of making presentations
- Asking relevant questions instead of offering opinions
- Focusing on solutions and not only relationships
- Targeting businesspeople instead of gravitating toward users
- Relating product usage instead of relying on features
- Competing to win―not just to stay busy
- Closing on the buyer’s timeline (instead of yours)
- Empowering buyers instead of trying to “sell” them
What’s more, CustomerCentric Selling teaches and reinforces key tactics that will make the most of your organization’s resources. Perhaps you feel you don’t have the smartest internal systems in place to ensure an ideal workflow. (Perhaps, as is all too common, you lack identifiable systems almost entirely.) From the basics―and beyond―of strategic budgeting and negotiation to assessing and developing the skills of your sales force, you’ll learn how to make sure that each step your business takes is the right one.
of fact, allowing salespeople to forecast abdicates control to people whose mission is to justify their jobs, not to predict what will actually close. Without process, opinions rule. This page intentionally left blank CHAPTER 3 Success without Sales-Ready Messaging A FTER READING THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER, you might well be asking: Aren’t some companies successful despite their reliance on the opinions of their salespeople? The answer, of course, is yes. We learned a long time ago that using
chances of success of candidates they interview? Will insecurity in their new positions tempt them to hire less talented people who won’t be a threat? In our experience, the answer is often yes. Many 10s (highly talented people) hire 9s, who hire 8s, and so on. 38 C U S T O M E R C E N T R I C S E L L I N G Winging It The major difficulty with the selling environment we’ve described so far is that few companies develop a repeatable way for traditional salespeople to navigate buying cycles with
commonly used to get buyers to commit earlier than planned is substantial discounting. Some buyers are so offended by this approach (“I was naïve to assume that the initial price they quoted was real!” or worse, “They must think I’m an idiot!”) that they ultimately decide not to do business with a company that employs these kinds of traditional closing techniques. One difficulty with selling in this fashion is that it tends to turn into standard operating procedure. Emptying the pipeline at the
company. Your amended list might look as follows: CEO Achieve revenue growth targets Improve company image Improve share price via improved forecasting Shape customer experience CFO Improve profitability by lowering cost of sales Lower IT cost for providing a single view of the customers Improve forecasting accuracy VP Sales Increase revenue through improved win rates Shorten sales cycles Improve cross selling Increase close rates by tracking leads Improve forecasting accuracy Reduce
In Figure 9-3, we have reproduced an actual CustomerCentric Selling client Success Story. This particular client sells a host of manufacturing productivity-enhancing products and services, and the Key Player and goal are from their Targeted Conversations List. The contributing reason is aligned with one of their key capabilities: early warning notifications. After their salesperson delivers a benefit statement, she can then finish by quantifying the actual financial benefit. Note that this