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Sales Training Success: CustomerCentric Selling® takes the pain out of prospecting for BSD's salesforce, unleashing greatly improved skills and sales performance.

Key Player
Director of Sales, BSD

Goal
"In December 2005, Bryant Hendricks felt uncomfortable. As director of sales for Building Systems Design, Inc., (BSD) he had real worries. Although sales were up 20% quarter-over-quarter for the past year, he felt nervous that he still did not have a well-defined sales process in place for continuing the growth trend. Hendricks had promised executive management that revenue for 2006 would continue to grow at the 20% pace, but when he looked at the pipeline he could not see the pot of gold at the end of the forecast. He had also promised that to the extent sales could make an impact, current profit levels would be maintained. Without establishing and implementing a welldefined sales process tailored to his needs, he worried that he had over-promised on both points.

BSD sells specification writing software to architects and engineers nationally. Most of the sales are by the seat and sold over the phone after a salesperson-led, web-based demonstration. The good news up to that point was that 30-40% of all web demos resulted in wins, though often accompanied by a discount. The bad news was that the other 60-70% of the web demonstrations did not close. Sometimes they lost to a named competitor, but usually losses were to the status quo.

Current Situation
Hendricks realized that he needed to address the following key challenges:

1. Lack of a defined, time-efficient sales process
BSD's sales force was made up of younger, less tenured salespeople. On the positive side, they were eager and committed to making sales. They were also tech-savvy and able to deliver quality webdemos. The current sales process, though, was illdefined and without any controls. Salespeople were skipping important steps.

First, there was very little qualifying going on. Salespeople didn't know how to figure out if opportunities were real, meaning they never knew if prospects had any real interest or authority to buy. Immediately upon learning that a prospect was interested in hearing more about BSD's software, salespeople jumped right into offering a web-demo, since web-demos were in their comfort zone. Jumping right into demos, however, resulted in either: 1) free consulting - where attendees only wanted to see the software, but had no interest in buying; 2) the beginning of an unnecessarily long sales cycle, because eventually others at the prospect's firm needed to see the software; or 3) poor negotiating and discounting, because they had skipped important value/measurement steps.

Second, they didn't know how to project manage the buyer's evaluation process and either leave the opportunity early or close in a timely fashion.

2. Lack of quality sales calls
BSD had successfully sold into the Early-Market - those architects that "got it" immediately upon seeing an advertisement in a trade publication or reading about the software on the BSD Web site. However, the majority of the new prospects were beginning to exhibit the behaviors of the mainstream-market, meaning they were not technologists and did not know why they needed BSD's software. These prospects would not just quickly "jump in" to buy like the early market. Salespeople-all of whom were not architects themselves-were avoiding having business conversations about how architects successfully used BSD's software. This led to a confidence gap among the sales team preventing them from conducting quality sales calls that built the proper vision in their prospect's minds. Hendricks was worried that when the 'Early-Market' dried-up, BSD would be unsuccessful selling and marketing to the mainstream architects who would need a vision of usage, value and implementation in order to make a buying decision. He understood that this market segment needed to understand why they needed to change, the impact of not changing and ultimately, how they can use BSD's technology to solve their spec writing issues.

Capabilities Needed
To overcome these challenges, Hendricks brought in Adam Shapiro, a CustomerCentric Selling® (CCS) Business Partner. Together, they defined the BSD sales process and created messaging tools to "loadthe- lips" of the sales force, so they would exhibit best practices (having quality conversations) similar to those at top-performing sales organizations. To define and document the BSD sales process, they first mapped the CCS methodology to BSD's selling environment. During this time, they charted who to call on, the purchasing habits and buying processes of this target market. The new BSD sales process then became the roadmap for BSD to follow, from first initiation, through customer success. It contained pipeline milestones, deliverables and is 100% auditable for sales management. Once they mapped out the BSD sales process, they brought in other key executives, including Rob Dean, company president, to create messaging tools which would help salespeople interact at all stages of the process. The tools would enable salespeople to have higher quality conversations with their targeted buyers. The core of the messaging would include:

  • How to obtain targeted buyer's business goals and explore needs
  • Actual diagnostic questions for each targeted buyer, that would help the seller extract the buyer's issues that are currently preventing them from achieving those goals
  • How to help salespeople build value by architecting the questions for them that would uncover the financial impact of the issues
  • Product positioning that will help the buyer build a vision on how the use of BSD's offerings will help them achieve those goals

After the team defined the sales process and created the initial messaging toolkit, BSD had all its customer-facing personnel participate in a skill development workshop in December 2005. At this workshop, Shapiro transferred the skills/tactics necessary for the BSD team to execute and repeat the customized sales process, and taught them how to use the new messaging. The BSD team "unlearned" the unproductive behavior of traditional salespeople and learned the behaviorally correct techniques for facilitating a prospect's buying process. They also learned the scientific rationale behind each of these techniques. Salespeople practiced how to help prospects identify solutions specific to BSD's offerings to overcome their specification writing issues or challenges, as well as how to qualify and close, or disqualify, opportunities after having such conversations.

Results:

  • Exceeded 20% growth rate set at start of year
  • Discounting reduced by more than 2/3
  • Average deal size grown by 20%
  • Salespeople have clear path to follow
  • Improved qualification and prospecting

Customer Closeup
Building Systems Design (BSD) develops and sells innovative software tools for the architecture, engineering and construction markets of North America. Founded in 1983, the company creates, maintains, and supports advanced cost estimating and specification writing products used by thousands of architects, engineers and design professionals nationwide. More information on Building Systems Design can be found at HHUUwww.bsdsoftlink.comUUHH

If you have questions about this client, please contact Adam Shapiro at ashapiro@customercentric.com

About CustomerCentric Selling®
CustomerCentric Selling® (CCS®) is a proven methodology for predictably improving revenue growth and sales performance. Founded in 2002, CCS® helps clients worldwide to implement repeatable, auditable and scalable sales processes that, when combined with Sales Ready Messaging®, guides marketing and sales to have meaningful conversations with customers and prospects. This results in winning high-value deals, retaining and growing client relationships and improving the predictability and accuracy of sales forecasts.

CustomerCentric Selling® is regularly named to the Top Sales Training Companies list. Clients such as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Business Objects, Rockwell Automation, EMC and Raython have deployed CCS® worldwide. For more information, vist www.customercentric.com, or call Jill Perez at 800.993.1228, ext.706.