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Anyone that has ever worked with me for more than an hour or so has seen me address customer behaviors and understanding what makes them tick. As I like to say, we must understand the people at the table. The tool that I typically use for this discussion is Bain’s RAPIDTM framework example. RAPID is an acronym to explain the roles people play in a given situation:
Recommend (A decision or next action)
Agree (Must Agree on Subject, part of decision)
Perform (Will be accountable once decision is reached)
Input (provides input not part of decision)
Decide (Commits Org to Action)
I seldom categorize or use all the categories in a real situation, but it is fun drawing pictures of the people at the table and where they fit. It gives you a good framework on how to frame individuals views and understand their needs better.
In a recent Business901 podcast, Linda Richardson discussed her new book, Changing the Sales Conversation: Connect, Collaborate, and Close. She touched upon one area that intrigued me a great deal, the Value Model. In the value model, she discusses the importance of understanding and planning to address the different people or departments that are part of the decision process. Instead of making up a fictitious company with names, I just used the RAPID template for the representative sample. I would suggest the mapping to be based on these five factors.
Challenge: Problem to be solved
Outcome: Define the impact of the outcome
Proof of Success: Metrics, Success Story, Financial
Implementation: Review Roles, Time Frames
Gain Client Agreement
Of course, the amount of granularity will depend a great deal on how much that individual role will affect the outcome. And, there may be the same problems or outcomes for 1 or more roles. The mapping provides a great deal of context to the saels conversation. As more and more decisions are being made by committee, our understanding must adjust. We can no longer just look to the decision maker. We must view the purchasing committee as a whole.