Re-Diagnose Need or Not?

Re-Diagnose Need or Not?

In my tip, Sales Up in a Down Economy?, I talked about how salespeople can win deals by demonstrating to the buyer that their new purchase will be put to good use.

While you may not think managing the implementation is part of your job as a salesperson, it’s worth your while to stay involved. By helping Customer Success understand what success looks like in the eyes of the implementing team, you’ll help deliver early impact and set yourself up for success down the road by creating advocates.

Follow these steps to ensure a Flywheel of Growth that will carry you through downturns

  1. Re-Diagnose. Re-diagnose the problem AFTER the deal closes. As counterintuitive as that seems, here’s why:
    • New people on their side.
      Many times, the people who implement the solution were not involved in the sales cycle. Projects fail when the implementers are not involved in diagnosis and in co-creating the solution. People support what they help build. People love their baby. They do not love your baby. Nor the boss’s. (Though they pretend.)
    • New people on your side.
      Of course, your delivery team needs to know how to check the technical boxes.But that’s not enough.

      You also need to understand the personal, subjective elements of value. These less obvious components of success are almost always unknown at the outset of the first project.

      You have to ask to know.

      Thus re-diagnosis with the implementation team.

  1. Scope the first project so it can succeed.
    Large data lake projects can easily fail when the first project is too ambitious. Implementers can easily under-estimate the difficulty and over-estimate their abilities.You must also assess the customer’s internal capabilities.

    The first project must be within the capability of the implementing team. They will fail if they bite off too much. The customer success team needs to be aware of the need to handhold, train, and assist to deliver early impact.

    If needed, start small. Ensure the customer has the knowledge and skill they need on their end. Offer training and services where they do not.

    Successful deployments are often done in two phases, starting with power users who were open to new technology. It’s not hard to find them. I just asked the leadership who everyone went to for help.

    Once the power users help build the solution, they become advocates and serve as an internal source of training and support.

  2. Co-build a customer success plan.
    If you get surgery today you will probably be asked to do post-surgical therapy before being “released” by the surgeon.It’s a good idea for surgery patients and also for SaaS and software buyers.

    The key elements of the Customer Success Plan are:

    • Define the problem to be solved.
    • Define success.
    • Ensure the implementation team has the required knowledge and skills.
    • A communication plan with agreed check-in points.
    • Anticipate dissatisfaction. Hold their hands through the adoption phase.
    • Keep in touch with senior leaders.
    • Deliver and document early, positive impact.

The flywheel picks up speed with every new, successful customer.

The momentum of your growth flywheel will carry you through tough times.

If you want more information about our programs for Account Managers and Customer Success Managers, please let me know –