Sales cycles are fun. Everyone is excited about the new product they are buying, well versed in the business case used to justify the purchase, and certain that this investment is going to change their world.
But it doesn’t always work out that way, and our consulting firm is routinely approached by clients who are struggling to realize the business value originally envisioned, and in some cases are questioning the value of the entire investment.
After years of working with these clients, and with those just beginning their journey, we have learned that if they can answer these 3 questions they can establish a robust foundation on which to build a program that will deliver measurable business results:
It looks so easy, right? But obviously, if it were that easy there wouldn’t be so many companies struggling to achieve business value.
Just as a doctor helps a patient identify their pain to diagnose and ultimately proscribe treatment, a company must identify the pain points in their current environment to be able to utilize technology to solve them.
Let’s dig a bit deeper:
Surprisingly, some technology is purchased because ‘our new executive used it at their previous company and really likes it’, or ‘it is the best in the industry, so we need it to compete’. Those are terrible reasons for making a large investment.
What is the pain that your company is experiencing that you think can be solved with this technology?
‘Our strategy is to grow our business through M&A, but we lack a standard set of processes and tools. This investment will enable our growth strategy by providing the central platform’.
Now THAT is a clear answer!
Whether you are selling B2B, B2C, or B2B2C, customer satisfaction is a requirement for business success. ‘Customers don’t use this tool directly’ or ‘our employees will use it because they have to’ are both common ways in which this important point is dismissed, and always at the peril of the company.
What pain are your customers experiencing when they do business with you, and what pain are your employees feeling as they try to deliver on your brand promise?
‘Our clients perceive our company as disorganized and uninformed because one individual is being contacted by several of our sellers – sometimes in the same week – and we don’t know it’. We need the ability to create a comprehensive and integrated account plan and this investment will allow us to execute on that plan to create a unified and organized experience for our customers and sellers alike’. Bingo.
‘Employees will love it because it is better than what we have today’ or ‘they will use it because it is the only tool available’. These common refrains fail to take personal agency into account.
Everyone detests ‘administrivia’ and would prefer to spend their time on what they perceive as real value to their clients: spending more face-to-face time or spending more time helping them solve complex problems.
Providing them with tools that don’t help them get closer to their customer or free them up to spend more time selling or servicing not only misses the point, but sets the company up for poor adoption, poor data quality, and as a result, limited business value.
‘By implementing Next Best Action, Predictive deal scoring, and integration with LinkedIn, the seller is able to use one tool to help them source deals and provide them with the necessary insights to focus on the right deals, helping them to sell more’.
If you can achieve clarity on the answers to these 3 questions, your company has the framework to evaluate current state, identify key areas for improvement, and create a prioritized roadmap designed to support the business value.
And Thunder is here to help! We’re a boutique consulting firm focused on helping our customers Love Salesforce, forever. Learn more about our ‘3 question’ workshops to help your company get on track to realize the full value of your investment – as easy as boom!
Written by Susan Jaggers, VP Human Centered Change at Thunder