At IVR Technology Group, we don’t take our customers and partners through a “selling” process; we help facilitate their “buying” process. After all, it is about them more than us.
To help facilitate their buying process, we’ve developed a methodology largely influenced by Mahan Khalsa from Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play and Keenan from Gap Selling.
We start by focusing on where the client is today (current state) and where they would like to be (desired future state). In doing this, we move off the solution and facilitate them through a “discovery” to better understand their issues. We focus on facilitating, listening, and learning.
We typically explore the following five elements in a structured way:
Finding The Future State
Here is a typically structured conversation overview.
Issues: We realize customers have issues – problems they’re trying to solve or desired results they’re trying to achieve. For instance, many lack the ability for a remote contact center agent to facilitate a secure payment over the phone. Others struggle with getting customers to the correct department in an effective and efficient manner.
To learn more about our clients’ issues, we ask them to help us to understand what they’re trying to accomplish. We gain a shared understanding of the problems they’re trying to solve and the results they’re trying to achieve. We also focus on not stopping on one issue. We’re committed to deeply understanding them and their issues. They often hear us say, “what else” and “what happens when that happens?” Our passion and commitment is to fully understand all of their issues and how they are interconnected and impacting the business.
Evidence: Once we gain a shared understanding of their issues, we look for evidence to help them document how these issues are showing up in the business. How does the issue(s) show up as a problem today, and how could it be resolved tomorrow? How would they measure success? How would they know the problem was solved? We intend to understand what evidence they’re currently having to make sure that we can align on a co-created exact solution.
Impact: Issues and solutions have no value until the impact is defined. How much does this problem cost today? What is the lack of results costing? How is it impacting the business (time, money, people)? If the problem was solved, what impact will that have, and when will they know? These are important elements of the buying process for everyone to understand.
Context: Typically, we see that issues don’t live in isolation. Understanding the context of who and what else they are affecting is important. Who else is interested in solving these issues or implementing the solutions to the problems? Typically, when meeting the needs and understanding the exact solution, we learn multiple people are involved in the context in any given organization.
Constraints: Every organization has issues. Some they would choose to solve now, and some they may not be able to solve now due to constraints. If the impact or value of solving these issues is so large, what has stopped the organization from moving forward? Why haven’t they already solved them? What is driving this change now (time, people, money)?
Overall, we learn, listen, and solve issues while many others are focused on demo after demo after demo. As we often say, demonstrations don’t solve issues; people do! Our commitment is to diagnose before we prescribe. Our clients have found this approach to mapping their buying process has helped them accomplish meaningful results. Finally, we don’t measure success as a “sale.” We measure success when our customers and partners have solved their problem(s) and achieve their desired results! That’s what we often refer to as a true win-win partnership.