Who Should Make the Discovery anyway?

Let’s face it, nearly every day, we are all looking for missing information so we can proceed with a task or a challenge. Eg.

  • You go online when the Ikea instruction for your new bookcase is missing.
  • In order to move forward with your crossword, you look up the solution to a question.
  • You check your app for the updated train timetable to get home on time.
  • Your daughter challenges you with the question if there are more doors or wheels in the world (look it up!).
  • Before packing your suitcase for the holidays, you quickly check the weather app.

We are all looking for missing information until we discover it and move on.

Now I have got your attention, I would like you to reflect on the customer meetings you had today. Did you get the information you were looking for so you could proceed with your sales process? Or was it the customer who gained new information that helped them move forward in their buying process? Who should make the Discovery anyway?

The answer is probably both. They collaborate in a question-and-answer exchange to discover the information they are looking for. However, the biggest difference between the traditional sales process and the modern one is that the balance of discovery leans a lot towards the customer. B2B buying has become more complex, and hence your stakeholders’ expectation of the value you need to add during meetings has changed. They have raised the bar. We need to help them with making better decisions. Providing missing information is part of that.

With that in mind, in the new way of selling, salespeople need to focus in preparation for meetings on what they would like the customer to discover. And less on their own discovery needs. They need to be others-centred rather than self-centred. In every phase of the Buying process, they need to come up with insightful information that helps the customer to move forward in their buying process.

Buying Phase The MISSING INFORMATION you share:
Why Change? – The risks and opportunities the customer did not consider
– Stories of similar customers who had similar challenges and
what they did to overcome these.
Change to What? – That their current solution will not deliver the results they are
looking for.
– Unique solution criteria that will help them with achieving their
desired business outcome
Change to Who? – That you have the best fit to deliver the needed solution
– The business case demonstrating strategic value
Commit to Change – That the risk of not achieving their desired business results is not
mitigated until the proposed change is implemented

Think about this when you prepare for your next week’s meetings. Where are your stakeholders in their buying process, and what would you like them to discover?

Feel free to share with your teams and peers.

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