The fewer hurdles buyers have to overcome, the more likely they are to make a purchase. The DEEP-C ™ Framework takes a different approach to B2B buying than traditional methods, aiding both buyers and buyer coaches (sellers) as they navigate what is now a nonlinear, or asynchronous, journey. While portions of the DEEP-C ™ Framework can be done non sequentially, discovering your champions and key stakeholders should always come first.
Tackling Your Champions
Champions close deals. Without someone inside the prospect organization making a strong case, you will be severely limited in your ability to influence outcomes in only the time you have them captive in a live meeting.
In Selling is Hard. Buying is Harder, champion and stakeholder discovery is equated to a game called Pomp.
“We would get a group of ten or more friends together in someone’s yard. One of us would stand in the middle of the yard. The rest of the group would try to run to the other side without getting tackled by the person in the middle. If you were tackled, you joined the player in the middle, and as a group, you would try to tackle a couple more people the next time they raced across.”
Think of the champion as the first one tackled in the game (the buying process). Once they are on your team, you can begin to bring more and more people onto your side. Tackling this person early in the game makes it possible to get more stakeholders on board with your solution.
- Deeper Discovery With Your Champion
The discovery portion of DEEP-C™ doesn’t stop after you’ve found your champion. “Until you discover the stakeholders and their unique interests, you have no chance at tailoring value to each stakeholder and closing the deal.”
Establishing their various motivations gives you adequate ammunition to design processes and personalized pitches that highlight how you’ll create value for them.
Remember the reason they’re talking to you in the first place: they have a problem, or job to be done, that you might be able to solve. “Because they are trying to solve a problem in their own company, champions are going to try to sell for you no matter what you do…It’s your role to find them before they begin selling so you can help them succeed.”
Give your champions the information their peers require early on so you can guide them through their process while controlling the narrative.
- Map the Buying Group
Buyers buy once or twice a year, if that. In that same time, you’ll likely guide hundreds of buyers through the buying process. You know what’s involved, and who’s typically involved, as well as the key milestones they need to hit.
This doesn’t mean you force your process, but rather you apply what you know works to their process. This includes guiding your champion through the different personas that should be involved in making a decision about your solution.
Map these personas, with your team and with your champion. Identify early on when and how each should typically get involved in order to create a frictionless motion for all sides.
The whole point of this exercise is to discover who needs to be involved in the deal. Since buyer groups have increased in size, you need to identify who should be involved as early as possible to avoid stalling out.
Sales people commonly ask their contacts for who they think is required to complete the deal. The contact may have some idea, but they probably don’t have the complete list of necessary stakeholders.
Enable your buyers to reach the proper stakeholders by following these steps:
- Make a map of the stakeholders who typically get involved and when
- Share the map with your contact
- Ask who within their organization fits these roles
- Find out as much as you can about them
By guiding the customer through the discovery process, you create a mutually beneficial situation. You find out who needs to be involved in the deal earlier, and your customer gets to be a lead influence in a solution for their organization and potentially boost their own career.
Speed Up Discovery with Technology
If you follow these steps, you don’t have to wait for the first meeting to discover all the stakeholders or advance the deal. “Create and send sales content to your point of contact (or the key sponsor or champion, if you know who they are already). They will naturally share the information with other stakeholders in their buying group.”
If you track who else views this content, you will have a sizable list of names for potential stakeholders, letting technology do the discovery for you.
Your goal with discovery is just that, discovering what personas and strategies will make you successful with this organization. Figure out who the key players are to close a deal and what their interests and motivations are. Once you have this information, you can continue through the DEEP-C ™ steps with confidence.