I’ve blogged before about the work ethic displayed by my client in Mexico. They also have an innate sense of customer-centricity that can provide a lesson to us all. (By the way – I urge you to read this all the way through, AND collect a few case studies from your own team, before you blow off what follows as obvious. It is obvious, but it doesn’t get done!)
Every participant in every Sales Excellence Council I’ve ever facilitated gets the assignment of documenting case studies. Typically, the first batch is, well …awful. The tone is usually, “I sold X to Y by developing a great relationship with the decision maker.” Well thank you very much for such insightful advice! Seriously, what help is that for the rest of the reps on the team? The value is zero.
I just participated in reviews of 8 case studies that weren’t like that. 100% of them started with, “the customer had to deal with issue X.” X was articulated in terms of a quality problem, a throughput problem, a cost overrun problem, a new product introduction… Each ended with something along the lines of, “the customer increased end product quality by X%, or increased throughput by Y%, or reduced cost by Z%, or got the new product to the market ahead of schedule.
Without a whole lot of coaching, every one of these reps articulated a value proposition in terms of improving a customer business process and the value was quantified. Sound obvious? I’d be surprised if it didn’t, BUT… As I suggested in the first paragraph, don’t kid yourself and assume it’s actually standard procedure with your sales team until after you have reviewed a few of their case studies.