The Deal Desk

Options
Joe Huber
Joe Huber Member [Pro], Administrator Posts: 242
edited October 2022 in Peer Assist

This post should be used as a thread for you to ask questions about possible deal issues, how you're qualifying things, and tips for others. Any questions or tips to help you and others close any open deals.

Have a question that you want to ask anonymously? No worries! Go ahead and message Joe Huber with your question and he'll post it on your behalf.

Let's close some deals!

Comments

  • Robert Smart
    Robert Smart Guest Posts: 10
    Options

    Hey Joe,

    Got an opp where my champion has stated they have a slight preference for a competitor due to the UX/UI.

    I appreciate their candour but it's a pretty big red flag.

    I'm also concerned that they've looked at the superficial, top-level stuff and that our product is a better fit for their needs.

    How do I make my case on the below; over email most probably; without just talking down the competition or sending them a lengthy monologue about how great we are?

    Thanks!

  • John Kaplan
    John Kaplan Member [Pro], Member [Plus] Posts: 21
    Options

    @Robert Smart great question and I applaud you for digging in! I agree with you that this is a big red flag. First, this person is probably not your champion if they are just making a statement to you on what "they" prefer. Who is they? Quick sync on Champion definition - 1. They have power and influence; 2. They are actively selling on your behalf; 3. They have a vested interest in your success. Start here with this definition and ask yourself for "evidence" that this exists for you with this person in this opportunity. Could this person be a Champion for you? Do they fit this criteria (specifically around Power and Influence)? If not, find one. Who has the most to gain from your solution? Who currently owns the problem that you are providing a solution for? (Much more to talk about here but without more detail, let's continue) Next, focus on the Decision Criteria. I assume that you are stating that the current Decision Criteria is NOT favorable for you. Again, great job on being honest with yourself. I would list out the entire Decision Criteria as you know it. UX/UI seems important to them, what else is in the criteria? Always look to stack rank the criteria and try to move that down the stack if it is not as favorable for you. When you look at this criteria, how can you dig into them with discovery and reframe them to be more favorable for your solution? If they are not highly differentiated for you, then it will come down to price. I would always ask myself, "What is the biggest business issue facing my customer that I relevant for?" and "How is this Decision Criteria tied to impacting that business issue?" and "Who cares the most about solving that business issue?". By asking yourself these questions, you are making MEDDPIC come alive. "Biggest biz issue" = I (an extension of the Identification of Pain); "How is this Decision Criteria tied to impacting that business issue" = D-Criteria, C, EB; "Who cares most" should also lead you to Champions and EB's. Lastly regarding your question, "How do I make my case?". First I would always try to have a live conversation with your customer. Begin with recapping what you heard from them about the problem (this should expand the criteria from just UX/UI). Be prepared with your differentiation so you can set traps for your competition with great discovery questions. A trap setting question is intended to trap your competition around the differentiator NOT trap the customer. You have to ask them questions that get them to come to their own conclusion. The more you tell them that they have a problem the more they are going to resist you, but the more you ask them questions that make them stand in their moment of pain, they will convince themselves. This is a critical skill! Don't be afraid to ask the "champion" if they are in fact your champion. Sometimes when we ask this question authentically, we get a very insightful answer. You may get some insight from this person if there is somebody more influential then themselves influencing this opportunity. Now you might have an opportunity to help that individual assert more of their influence by helping them stay focused on big business issues, highly differentiated decision criteria that enables business outcomes and helping them navigate a political landscape. I know that I have given you a ton of information here, I hope it helps. Let me know how you make out.

  • Robert Smart
    Robert Smart Guest Posts: 10
    Options

    Thank you @John Kaplan , this is super valuable stuff.

    I think the reality is that I don't have a champion here, but my competition might. The fact that they're not picking up the phone and replying sluggishly to emails should have told me that before!

    I'm gonna go back to the original recordings to see whether I missed some valuable information, or an opportunity to control the DC. Or both!

  • John Kaplan
    John Kaplan Member [Pro], Member [Plus] Posts: 21
    Options

    @Robert Smart , yes that happens. Don't give up. At least you are aware that there is a problem with you deal and you are being honest with yourself. When people go cold that is a sign that "something" is not right. Don't be afraid to call it out with your contact right now in a humble way. You might consider, "hey xyz person, I feel like I have lost you in the conversation and that is my fault. I just wanted to review with you what we discussed. You said this ...... is the business issue you are focused on and these ........ are the technical capabilities (decision criteria that should be favorable to you as the selling company) that are required. And lastly, here is how you said you were going to measure success". "Did I get these right?" "I am always looking for feedback, please let me know if there is any other reason why the conversation has gone cold". There is an old saying, "Words that are spoken from the heart enter the hearts of all who hear them". Don't be submissive nor whiny. It's always business and business is conducted between human beings. Lastly, call on others in the account, we never want to be single-threaded. Much respect to you for your efforts and being a student of the game! #BeUncommon #BeElite.

  • Suhayl Patel
    Suhayl Patel Guest Posts: 2
    Options

    John, I remember listening to a podcast where you spoke about a similar situation where your prospect initially didn't want to buy because the color of your GUI (I think it was blue, and the engineers were used to green). You then took a step back, listed their required capabilities to move to a future state, and the GUI color ranked at the bottom of their priorities. I'm definitely not doing the story justice but thought I would give it a crack ;)

  • Joe Huber
    Joe Huber Member [Pro], Administrator Posts: 242
    Options

    Thank you for this response, @Suhayl Patel!