Here’s the premise: It is very helpful to know your prospect’s Critical Business Issues before the discovery call begins!
Wait, what? Don’t you need to uncover your prospect’s Critical Business Issues (CBIs) in your discovery conversations?
Well, yes… But in the best cases, what you are really doing is confirming your expectations of your prospect’s CBIs in discovery.
Whoa – this seems confusing! However, it’s not. It’s a terrific rescue to avoid equating “pain” with CBIs. This article explains why this is so important, particularly to reduce No Decision outcomes.
Let’s examine a couple of examples to illustrate.
First example: Your prospect is the VP of Sales.
We all know that the huge majority of heads of sales have quota attainment as a major objective or measurement of success. Accordingly, in a discovery conversation with a VP of Sales, if we hear them say, “I need more and better leads…”, we know that this is not a CBI, but is rather a Problem/Reason and will (on its own) be insufficient to drive a purchasing decision.
We need to ask more questions to determine if their insufficiency of leads is impacting their ability to achieve their quota requirements. If we don’t explore this, we are at risk of this opportunity resulting in a No Decision outcome.
We want to have this “pre-discovery” knowledge prior to the call. We should know that the VP of Sales’ CBIs should include “making the quarterly and annual revenue numbers” or similar.
Second example: Your prospect is a Manager of Development.
Again, we should know ahead of the discovery call that this job title’s likely CBIs should include “completing projects on time, on spec, and within budget”.
If we hear a “pain” expressed such as, “We suffer from a large number of errors that result in wasteful rework…” we know that this is a Problem/Reason and not a CBI. If this Manager of Development is on track to finish their project(s) on time, on spec, and within budget, then this opportunity is yet another candidate for a No Decision result. The errors and rework may be troubling but lack sufficient driving force to make a change.
What are the typical CBIs of your prospects?