At the recent Customer Experience Ecosystem: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange, Allastair Meffen, Head of Definitive Healthcare’s award-winning customer experience team, led a session and brief discussion about Outcome-Based Sales. Meffen leveraged his considerable experience managing high-performing sales teams to share best practices for running a successful kickoff sales call. Specifically, he outlined how to follow up the call with a tailored customer journey roadmap and implementation plan that both sales and customer experience teams should follow.
These days, customers want a business partner – not just product features. They want to understand what makes a difference to their bottom line and how your offerings can improve their business outcomes. To succeed in this new customer-centric landscape, you need to adopt an outcome-based sales ecosystem in your organization.
- Insight on how to properly document your customers’ and prospects’ high-level objectives and the metrics being tracked to achieve ROI
- Examples of how to develop best practices surrounding joint introductory calls: ask the right questions and transition the customer seamlessly between teams
- A guide for translating desired outcomes into specific customer journey roadmaps and implementation plans for both your sales and customer success teams to follow on an ongoing basis
Move to an Outcome-Based Approach
Meffen opened his session by underscoring the importance of delivering real value to customers. He shared his process for moving the organization from “feature-selling” to a more collaborative outcome-based approach. He recommended moving the needle at the very beginning of the sales process by pairing a sales representative with an Account Executive and following the overall process below:
- Document your prospects’ high-level objectives. Understand their key pain points. What’s the problem the customer is trying to solve? Why is your company uniquely qualified to help them?
- Ask the customer: What are you doing now? What were you doing before?
- Ask: If you purchase today, what does success/ROI look like a year from now for you?
- Are there any anticipated roadblocks or concerns? Discuss.
Create a True Sales/CX Partnership
Gathering the key information above was essential to serving clients and meeting their objectives. Internally, it’s important to create a partnership and transition plan that will move from sales to the customer experience team. As Meffen noted, at Definitive Healthcare they worked hard to make sure they created a customized customer journey that all team members understood. They also divided accounts into different groups depending on company size, investment, etc. (i.e. Enterprise, Strategic, Associate) and created a chart that all stakeholders could follow.
As Meffen shared, it was often a matter of “passing the trust” from the sales team to the customer experience team. Importantly this customer-focused mindset and orientation came from the company’s leadership, who emphasized that a customer-centric focus was critical and fully supported the initiative.
Ultimately this Outcome-Based Sales approach was successful, and resulted in an increase in growth and customer retention, as well as better client relationships. Internally, workflows were improved and there was a better understanding of the process and outcomes, too.