If you picture your customer in the future live with your solution what KPI’s are they using the measure the impact it has had upon their organization? It is likely that some of these KPI’s can form your Metrics, or at least if you have an idea for a Metric if you run it through the same process in your mind and it checks out you have a good candidate for a Metric.
THE ROOKIE MISTAKE
Sellers frequently make the mistake of aligning the Metrics to the value proposition of their solution. They think "everyone knows my solution is most commonly used for driving increases in conversion rate so a Metric for my customer must be increases in conversion rate". This is a rookie mistake.
METRICS NEED TO BE APPLICABLE
Metrics need to be applicable to the organization you are selling to and the only way to do that effectively is via a thorough Discovery process.
YOU NEED TO GO DEEP
Elite sellers know they have to be patient and go deep to truly uncover the full extent of value and pain within an organization you are selling to.
Average sellers don’t go deep on Discovery, instead, they look to ‘Identify the Pain’ and once they do, they shift into pitch mode, leaving a ton of value and pain uncovered.
The real selling happens once you have found some value or pain. The best sellers see it as a loose thread and once they pull on it they know it uncovers more and more, uncovering the most value.
IDENTIFY > INDICATE > IMPLICATE PAIN
Metaphorically speaking, this is where a seller goes from Identifying the Pain to Indicating the Pain, once they have been able to quantify the cost of it to the business. What is left to do is in the territory, only reserved for the most elite of sellers and that is to Implicate the Pain. This means highlighting the pain to the customer and digging deeper into if via some excellent two-sided discovery to uncover the full extent of the pain
ABC - ALWAYS BE CURIOUS
Last but not least, don't forget that Discovery isn't a stage or something you do early in your deal. You should remain in Discovery mode throughout your deal, even to the last moments.
Articulating the Metrics
When done right, your Metrics will be taken around the organization as part of a business case or justification of why the organization should invest in your solution. Your solution will be put in front of stakeholders which you will never meet, who have zero context of your solution, and therefore it is crucial that you articulate the Metrics in such a manner that they are understandable to all stakeholders. Even those that aren’t technically savvy or clued up on what you do.
METRICS COME IN TWO
To effectively communicate your Metrics to your customer it is recommended that you split the the Metrics process in two:
USE METRICS IN YOUR FIRST MEETING TO OPEN THE CONVERSATION
So much work goes into getting in front of a customer in a first meeting, but, sellers regularly blow it by diving too quickly into discovery or just by skipping discovery all together and going into a pitch.
This video is an extract from our Online MEDDPICC Training Course, and shows how to use Metrics in a first meeting to showcase and uncover value.
Watch the video
Metrics should be used to drive urgency with your customers.
Elite enterprise sales organizations often use a framework called 'The Three Why's' to help their sellers focus on the things that matter when engaging with prospective customers.
The Three Why's:
Why should you buy this type of solution?
Why should you buy from our company?
Why should you buy now?
In the above three questions, Metrics are essential to underpinning positive intent in questions 1 & 3; they help quantify the solution’s value. They can support the business case that states why the customer should invest now.
However, it is question number two, where you need to dig deeper to uncover Metrics as these will be what differentiates a decision to buy your solution, a competitors, or to do nothing.
My favorite way to uncover Metrics that differentiate is to think about how your solution is helping other customers?
- What does your solution do that is unique, and subsequently, so is the value?
- What is the Metric that quantifies that value?
This is genuinely a Win/Win situation; you not only underpin your solution with more value, but in doing so, you set yourself apart from your competitor’s solutions.
Using Metrics in your Success Criteria
A Success Criteria is a useful tool to align to a business case, or something like a test or proof of concept. If you are going down this route it is imperative for the success of your deal that you underpin any test with a ‘Success Criteria,’ meaning you set out with a goal in mind and some data points you are trying to achieve.
This Success Criteria and Metrics on your deal aren’t intrinsically linked. They could be related, but often the test serves a different purpose to the main objective of buying your solution. With this in mind, you must establish early on the specifics of any kind of test, and what exactly is it that you are trying to test, and what would a successful test look like?
Once you have this information, you can build the vision of success into a Success Criteria, which should be measurable as the outcome of tests isn’t often binary, and you need to remove any uncertainty that opens the results up to interpretation.
Metrics and Procurement
If you are using MEDDPICC correctly then you should never find yourself engaging with Procurement without having your Metrics locked in place complete with consensus from the main stakeholders such as your Champion and the Economic Buyer.
You should put the Metrics front and center of your conversations with Procurement. This will keep the conversation focused on the business outcomes. Despite what many believe Procurement do care about business value and if you lead with the Metrics this will help you focus the conversation on value.
METRICS AND THE SALES PROCESS
Early: How much will these help me? Do I believe you?
Mid: How much does this value compare to others?
Late: Have they proven that this value is available?
Metrics and Post-Sales
It is common that once you have closed a deal that you pass the ownership of the relationship with your customer to your post-sales team, often a Customer Success Manager, Support team, or an Account Manager.
This passing of the baton often plays a critical part in dictating how successful the customer will go on to be with your solution.
If the pre and post-sales organizations are aligned, passing over a customer who has clearly defined Metrics will be incredibly beneficial to the post-sales team.
We know how important it is for a seller’s success to have successful customers as references; therefore, elite sellers always ensure that the handover process to Post-Sales is as thorough as possible.
Capture the success
The most elite sales organizations focus on capturing success from their clients. Elite sellers will be tuned into these initiatives to ensure that their customers’ success is captured into proof points that are available to be used as references, case studies, quotes, or in any relevant collateral marketing support.
Summary of Metrics
There are many parts of a seller’s job that can be perceived by the buyer as self-serving. However, Metrics is one selling element that the buyer can never feel aggrieved at the Seller for being enthusiastic about. The purpose of Metrics orientates around measuring the success your solution will provide. With this in mind, Sellers should be ruthless in their pursuit of obtaining and agreeing on Metrics into their deals.
As legendary Sales trainer John Kaplan would say:
“Small problems receive big discounts, and big problems receive small discounts”
John Kaplan, President – Force Management.
Metrics are what will help you quantify how big the problem is that you are solving.