Sales White Paper: How to Create And Win New Business


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This White Paper is about how to create and win new business. The subject of “creating” new business is so important in long term success – and yet it is easy to feel that it is just too hard.

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Sales White Paper: How to Create And Win New Business

  1. 1. How to Create andWin New Business WHITE PAPER
  2. 2. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 1 UNDERSTANDINGTHE CUSTOMER’S COMPLETE BUYING PROCESS As we know from our account planning methodologies, we must first make sure that we have spent enough time gaining the right kind of information about our key accounts or customers to make sure that we understand such critical strategic business issues as: • Revenue pressures – are they a success or failure? • Growth strategies – are they a success or failure? • Impact of current economic conditions – for example, are recession or currency issues playing a role? • Competitive advantages/changes/ disadvantages How to Create andWin New Business INTRODUCTION ThisWhite Paper is about how to create and win new business. The subject of ‘creating’new business is so important in long term success – and yet it is easy to feel that it is just too hard. Why is it hard?Well, as we will share, that’s because it means being a little schizophrenic at times – by that we mean that as sales people, our DNA is about focusing on deals – but to use the fishing analogy – we have to learn to‘cast our net further upstream’to have the best opportunities to work on. As with any of ourWhite Papers, there will be a big variance in the seniority and experience of the readership. Some of you will perhaps be in your first managerial role, looking to focus on what’s really important in the deal. Others may be more seasoned sales leaders, at Director, Managing Partner orVP level, tuning in to make sure you’re in step with the latest thinking and technologies. ThisWhite Paper aims to provide something for the complete range of requirements, since the ideas and recommendations have applicability right up the leadership hierarchy. However, if you want to dig deeper, or move wider, we urge you to get in touch with us individually. You can do this via email to: ThisWhite Paper will cover 4 key areas: first – you have to understand the customer’s buying process. Second – you need to pick the best targets. Third –You have to know how to‘project sell’in order to create the compelling event that will then turn this into a sales opportunity for you. Fourth, managers need a playbook to keep their sales teams in track. This is not an exhaustive list, but we must approach it from their point of view, as if we were able to create their SWOT analysis with them. This profile will give us a view into where they might be thinking about potential investment In addition, we also need to profile who will be involved in the decision making process for these issues, and that is what we mean by PoliticalValue. Understanding how our customers/ account/Business Units are going to define value is step one. In order to be able to create the best targets within the customer’s buying process you need to understand their potential business value.Potential Political Value PotentialBusinessValue High HighLow
  3. 3. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 2 The business profile uncovers drivers (either burning platforms or growth imperatives) which then become business initiatives – or projects that are then created to move a business initiative forward. Let’s use an example in the beverage business. As a result of our profile work, we understand that our account has created an initiative to grow revenue in the direct to consumer business (versus through a distributor or agency). In order for the initiative to be successful, the account would need to reach the customers directly via the web, traditional direct mail, advertising, catalogs, brand owned stores etc.They would then need to take and fulfill orders in the same way – web, phone etc. As they have never done this before, this initiative would generate a number of projects. For example, the account Business Profile Business Drivers Compelling EventsBusiness Initiatives Critical Success Factors • Consequences/ payback • Potential value • Decide among projects New Projects There is also another part of the equation – our potential solutions. Don’t forget these; as we discuss these potential new projects with our account or customer, we also need to be thinking about how we might configure our products and services to meet and fulfill the CSFs. As we already mentioned, the first step is to understand our account or customer’s complete buying process, an example of which is represented here. Most often, we find ourselves engaged during the mid-to- latter stages, or exploring what we define here as Current Opportunities. After that, we then often focus our attention on the actual deployment, when we are often most vulnerable as our customer begins to utilize our products on their own. might decide to create new call centers, or enhance its Internet infrastructure. It could also decide to create a mailing list to send out offers to potential customers directly. In order to do this, they would need to hire and train new staff, design, develop and implement new marketing projects to these new segments, and buy new hardware and software to handle these new types of orders and customers. As the initiative gains clarity, Critical Success Factors (‘CSFs’- in other words, the criteria that must be in place in order for our account to decide to go ahead with this initiative) will be outlined. If we are part of the customer’s buying process – or back to the fishing analogy: if we have moved upstream – we can influence how the project will be defined. Business Profile Business Drivers Business Initiatives Critical Success Factors New Projects Potential Value Potential Solutions Potential Opportunities Evaluate Business Drivers Set Goals and Launch Initiatives Identify CSFs and Launch Projects Determine Approach and Process Evaluate Supplies Negotiate and Purchase Implement and Measure Use Solution and Get Value Potential Opportunities • Find, create or develop Compelling Event • Create competitive advantage early • Close = launch project • Value = value of project Current Opportunities • Leverage Compelling Event • Leverage Competitive Advantage • Close = win deal • Value = value of solution
  4. 4. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 3 These are both very important phases, and deserve our and our team’s time. But this is also where the schizophrenia comes in, because doing the work that we just described - early in our customer’s decision making process, exploring potential opportunities – requires that we use discovery, creation and development skills, which are not necessarily proving and negotiating skills. PICKINGTHE RIGHTTARGETS Now that we understand the customer’s process, the second step is to understand how to pick the right targets, or decide where to fish and what to fish with. You can use this model to help you do that. In our account management methodologies, we learn that the vertical axis represents demand or potential value to you. Those are the accounts or business units that we want to target. But you also have to consider how difficult it will be to pursue that potential value – so the horizontal axis is your access to the account or Unit. Obviously the ones that are low in both potential value and access are not worth bothering with at this time. Ones where you have easy access but are also low in potential value are seductive – and we often waste time here by spending too much time with little return. The ones with higher potential value but low access are ones that you will have to make a decision about, because they are going to take a larger investment of time and effort just to get in the door. So the ideal targets are those with both high potential value and where you have good access. If these represent enough potential value to fill your pipeline – then you might feel you can focus on these alone. We work with the Possibilities as well. So how do we determine potential value and access? Remember some of the ideas that we just explored, about creating that profile on or, ideally, with the customer.The roadmap of Profile – Drivers – Initiatives and CSF’s gives us the ability to see into the future for those projects that can become potential opportunities for us. Drivers, Initiatives and CSFs are the cornerstone of Account Management Strategy Maps in our Dealmaker Smart Account Manager solution, which provdes a methodology for linking high value opportunities to the CSFs for specific customer iniatives. Similarly, within our Dealmaker Smart Opportunity Manager, the Collaboration Map provides a way for sales people to help their customers map out their business challenges and align them to their preferred solutions, using the causal connection of Key Business Requirement – Consequential Pains –Tactical Pains – Solutions. Access Demand-PotentialValue High HighLow Possibilities • High revenue • High degree of difficulty Not Worth It! • Too little revenue • Too difficult Targets • High revenue • Low degree of difficulty Possibilities • Low revenue • Easy
  5. 5. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 4 PROJECT SELLING So the third step to success is to understand what to do during the ‘project selling’phase.This means that we have to understand how to work the early steps in the customer’s buying and decision making process, an example of which is outlined here. How do we make sure that we create competitive advantage? How do we sell the value of the project and understand who the key players are during this phase? How is it different? First, the customer’s perspective is different.They are focused on evaluations and resourcing, not on picking a solution – not yet anyway. The competitors usually aren’t other vendors but are other projects competing for funds and resources. These are alternative uses of capital that have to be decided upon. Doing nothing or maintaining the status quo is also a potential competitor. The people involved in the decision making process may be (and usually are) different.This part of the decision making process is usually run by those who make investment decisions, who set goals, objectives and strategies for the business, the‘Inner Circle’. Your role is different too – you are not selling the solution but are trying to help the sponsor of the project.You’re often asked for expertise, not for product information.The conversations you will have will be about what‘value to them’ can be achieved with this project, not necessarily what value your solution can bring. So, what do you have to do to make sure that a new project is created – and it becomes a potential sales opportunity for you? What is the project selling process? First, make sure that you understand the priority for this project and all competitors for funding. Next, make sure that there is a sense of urgency for‘getting the project done’. The risk and cost of doing nothing must be perceived as greater than the new project risk and cost. And of course, make certain that you create sponsorship so that the project remains a key priority for the Inner Circle. Also check that the political value of doing the project exceeds the risk of change that is inherent in anything new. Let’s now uncover and discuss the final steps that can complete the‘create’new opportunities work that you do. The first step to creating or confirming a compelling event is to take a closer look at CSFs.This is where you can provide both insight and help to your account. Evaluate Business Drivers Set Goals and Launch Initiatives Identify CSFs and Launch Projects Determine Approach and Process Evaluate Supplies Negotiate and Purchase Implement and Measure Use Solution and Get Value Project Selling • Outcome = resourced project and competitive advantage • Value proposition = value of the project • Key Players = can affect or affected by investment decisions Solution Selling • Outcome = signed contract • Value proposition = value of your solution • Key Players = can affect or affected by selection decision PotentialValue Organizational Impact Financial Impact Political Impact CSFsandCompellingEvents Identifying CSFs • Infrastructure • People • Processes • Operations • Financing • Purchasing Business Drivers and Initiatives
  6. 6. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 5 Let’s return to the example of the beverage company that we mentioned earlier. In order to be successful, they needed to think through the answers to these questions: • What was the necessary new infrastructure that they needed to build or acquire in order to operate the new direct to consumer selling strategy? • What type of people did they need to hire?Who did they have who could be part of this new business? • Operationally, the impact was going to require that they established new ways to receive and fulfill orders • Most importantly, the owner was expecting this new route to market to be self-funding and to increase ROI by a certain percentage, as well as to be up and running within less than 6 months period of time The value of the potential solution that was required was driven by all of these factors. How you go about gaining the information that is outlined here is the next step to success. First, recognize that you must analyze the people in the Inner Circle versus those in the Political Structure. Second, you need to establish who will play what role in making a recommendation for the project – and who will be willing to step up and support the Compelling Event. Third, you must make sure that you and your supporters are completely aligned on the CSFs and their link to your solution. It’s all about your action plan to make your biggest investment of all – your sales calls. In general you are looking for visionaries or pragmatists – especially the former. Stay away (if possible) from conservatives and especially laggards – they tend to prefer the status quo. Focus on providing insight into the CSFs and how they are going to ensure value – organizational, financial and political impact. Don’t forget to search for both the business and personal agendas of the people who need to be your supporters and sponsors for the project. You need to keep confirming commitment to the compelling event which is going to help convert the project to an opportunity. SALES MANAGERS HELPINGTHE SALESTEAM We return to our fishing analogy here. It’s all about teaching and supporting someone to fish. This means helping them pick the right targets, keeping them focused, helping them test and improve their action plan, and helping them make the next best sales calls. First, the manager must help select and then support the ideal target customers or accounts, and they need to provide support to select the appropriate solutions. Then, it’s about helping sales people and sales teams keep focused. One idea here is to maintain pressure and support by tracking potential revenue, and by tracking‘further upstream’, meaning projects that need to be resourced. Managers also need to‘inspect expectations’. This can be done with the sales team throughTarget Account Selling, or ‘TAS Plans’.They should be used to focus on project selling. Finally, back to maintaining pressure, we all have to balance between short term and long term. Creating opportunities as we have been exploring here is about the longer term.There has to be balance between those and current opportunities. That’s the schizophrenia aspect again. Managers need to provide the coaching as well as the pressure to be able to do both! They should focus on the action plan and use PRIME activities to drive projects and opportunities forward and utilize resources (both internally and within the account) effectively.
  7. 7. Share this White Paper! Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved. 6 SUMMARY ThisWhite Paper has focused primarily on the idea that there are best practices that we can use to‘create’new business within our customers or accounts. • First, focus on your customer – on their buying process, understanding their upcoming business initiatives and getting in there to uncover the projects as they are being created • Second, we walked through the idea that’s easy to say but harder to do, namely to focus on the best targets • Third, we also outlined how to convert these projects to opportunities with Compelling Events • Fourth, having a coach to help with analysis and execution is essential If you wish to find out more, please contact us at
  8. 8. ABOUTTHETAS GROUP TheTAS Group helps progressive sales organizations increase their sales velocity resulting in higher win rates, bigger deals, shorter sales cycles, and more qualified deals in the pipeline. Our unique value is deep methodology embedded within intelligent Dealmaker software, 100% native in Salesforce. Smart coaching, delivered just-in-time, improves sales performance and accelerates sales results.We have changed the paradigm of improving sales effectiveness from traditional sales training to delivering sales methodology and insights when and where the sales person is working a sales opportunity. For more information visit Copyright ©TheTAS Group. All rights reserved.This briefing is for customer use only and no usage rights are conveyed. Nothing herein may be reproduced in any form without written permission ofTheTAS Group.