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Changing the Customer Experience with Enablement – Sales Enablement Soirée, Spring 2020

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Shawnna Sumaoang: Welcome to the session on Changing the Customer Experience with Enablement. Our customers are more critical to us than ever before. And as sales enablement, we have a unique opportunity to impact the customer experience all the way from the buying experience through the customer’s journey. Creating customer loyalty and impacting recurring revenue for our organizations are extremely critical.

I’m excited to have Tas Hirani join us today from Salesforce. She’s going to walk us through her experience. With that, I’d like to hand it over to you, Tas. 

Tas Hirani: Hi there. My name is Tas Hirani and I’m the Global Director of Sales Enablement at Salesforce. Today I’m going to talk to you a little bit around buyers.

Buyers today have many options and they really want a personalized experience. So I’m going to break it down for you in terms of how you enable your sellers to deliver that personalized experience that buyers are expecting. I’m going to do that by talking to you about a personal story and then I’m going to lay on top of that story the process steps that we use to enable our buyers to break that down into the various components of a conversation and how they personalize that. And then I’m going to wrap that up with a little bit of the science behind it. So without further ado, I’m going to get going with my personal story, which is about BMW.

So my husband, Billy and I are on our way to the BMW showroom. In the car, Billy says to me, “Right, I’m not looking to purchase a new BMW. I just put this appointment in with Michael to explore what my existing car is worth.” Now Billy’s always purchased his cars outright. He hasn’t been a strong believer in leasing new and he has had four BMWs over the last I would say 15 years or so. So he’s a big BMW fan. He has other cars in that time, and he’s mostly gone with nearly new or heavily customized vehicles in the BMW range. 

So we’re on our way there and we arrived just before the appointment and we park up in the car park. We walk into the showroom and Michael is there ready to greet Billy. He immediately kicks off the conversation saying, “Hey, Billy, great to see you again. How’s it been going in terms of getting those family touring journeys out there? Did you manage to get to Edinburgh over the summer?” And Michael and Billy then walk off and leave me to mull around the showroom. And off they go for about 20 minutes to half an hour, they’ve disappeared off having a great conversation about touring holidays in their cars and stuff like that.

So it was just very interesting that Billy then came back to me and he’s like, “I definitely am looking at this particular BMW.” considering the conversation we’d had in the car on the way there. Which was “I’m not looking to buy anything new. I just want to get a valuation on my existing car.” It was very interesting to me. So I just wanted to leave this story here and break it down for you in terms of the components of that conversation and how you can enable a buyer to deliver the same experience that Billy had, which was very personalized. 

So Michael kicked off the conversation with asking Billy around, ‘where are you right now in terms of your current situation”. He asked Billy a lot of questions that helped Billy paint a picture of what wasn’t working well. He drew out from Billy his pain points. What were his goals? What was he looking to get out of his current vehicle? And what were the negative consequences of that? 

So Billy had explained to Michael, in previous conversations, that he was looking to really be able to take his family away: to go to the Lake District, to go to places like Edinburgh, to tool the Highlands. And when he was talking about his family, he was talking about his wife, his two teenagers, and also his grandparents who were approaching 70. And quite often they went to family events together. But because of approaching 70, he didn’t feel comfortable with them always having to do such long road trips.

And quite often, which was a pain for him, he would end up driving one car, his wife (me) would end up driving another car and it would not really feel like a cohesive family trip. And it was also, from a safety point of view, not great having two cars in convoy all the time. You’re looking for places to park two cars. It was the cost and everything else and it’s just much more fun when you’ve got everybody together in the same vehicle. However, there was also for Billy, he just didn’t want to compromise. He just didn’t want to go for a people carrier. He didn’t want to go for any kind of big van because, on a day to day basis, he doesn’t need that larger vehicle. And he wasn’t looking to buy a third car because myself and Billy, we both have our own cars, and we’re not looking for an additional vehicle that’s only used for special trips. So all these kinds of things. 

Michael was exploring in the conversation with Billy and he had a good understanding of what we can call Billy’s ‘before scenario’. What’s his pain right now? And what are the negative consequences of that? So he explored with Billy, the fact that he felt that because he didn’t have that ability to have his family in the same car, there were always issues about parking two vehicles, concerns about safety, which were holding him back from actually executing on those trips.

Michael then explored with Billy, what was he looking for? What were the ideal things he was looking for? And this is a conversation he was then having in the showroom with Billy. He then started to get into ‘what are you looking for and how can we make it better?’ So he explored with Billy around what was really important to him. What did that absolute vision of perfection look like? And then he got into what are the good things that result from that. Let’s call this, in a business context, the ‘after scenario’.

So Michael’s already taken Billy through “Where are you right now?” Which we call it the before scenario. Let’s call the ‘after scenario’ that perfect vision of the future. What does that perfect vision of the future look like? What does your ideal car scenario for Billy look like? And he helped Billy explore that, talk to him about it in detail and helped Michael understand ‘what are the good things that are going to come or as a result of having a car enables you to have all your family in the car at the same time’. And for Billy was really that feeling that he was in control, he was able to have everybody in that one vehicle, which then meant that there wasn’t a holdback or any hesitation around booking those family trips.

There wasn’t any scheduling around who’s going to phone, who, because I need to pull over at the service station. All of those kinds of things would be gone. And it just meant the whole trip experience would be so much better for everybody. Also coordinating things like when people are  leaving, that whole thing is all gone. It’s just a much more positive experience having that kind of a touring holiday. 

So what Michael did next was, he then recapped that whole before scenario, which was the phone call before, and then what he’d discussed in the showroom. And he helped Billy understand the delta between the pain that he’s feeling and how great that vision and the after scenario looks like.

He helps Billy stop in that moment and think about, ‘So where are we on right now is we’re having to use two cars. That isn’t ideal. I’m not looking for a third car. I can’t do those great touring holidays that we’re really looking for. And what I’m looking for now just seems so far away from the car that I’m in right now. The car that I’m in right now doesn’t help me achieve what I’m looking for.’ It doesn’t help me achieve those positive business outcomes that are a result of that after scenario. So Michael helped Billy come to that realization point by recapping the delta between the before and the after very, very well. Because he’d listened so intently to what Billy was talking about. Now notice at this point, Michael, as a BMW show guy, hasn’t talked about any BMWs. He’s not talked about anything to do with product, solution, problem solving. All he’s done at this point is really just listen in very well to what Billy’s talking about in terms of his current situation and what he’s looking for. 

Then what Michael did was he started to explore what were Billy’s requirements. So some of them we’ve already talked about and it was obvious, and Michael was able to say, right, so you’re looking for the ability to have a minimum of six people in the vehicle. He then ran through some other key requirements that Billy had. Which was around a four wheel drive, it needed to be 4×4. At this point, Billy had an X6 but it didn’t have enough space, obviously for the number of people he was looking at. And I think it was really great the way that Michael challenged Billy on, he came up with so many bells and whistles that you want on a car. For example, Billy wanted to have a panoramic sunroof because it looked cool. And so Michael challenged him around, well, if you had to give that up, would you give that up? If you were able to have your six seats and X, Y, Z.

What Michael did really well was as Billy was putting together that shopping list, he was able to understand what were the most important capabilities. So for Billy, it was safety. It was having six seats. It was four wheel drive. It was about having things that drove that safety aspect, like heads up display where you can see, on the display rather than having to look down at the dash. So those kinds of things were important to him. That he wouldn’t compromise on. But the panoramic sunroof, to be honest with you, isn’t something he has in his current car. So he did end up compromising on that. 

But as you apply this to a business context, customers have capabilities, all of which they think they require. It’s really good to challenge and to understand what’s the most important capability, what can not be compromised on. I’m challenged around that and we’re going to come back to that piece in a little bit, towards the science end of this conversation. So again, Michael hasn’t talked about BMWs at this point.

He’s talked all about what Billy is looking for, what Billy’s required capabilities or product specification, or think about RFP, list of requirements are at this point. Only now then, has Michael started to get into so in terms of your requirements. How are you going to measure those? What’s important and what are those metrics that you’re looking for?

Again, it’s those required capabilities. So for example, what is the end cap safety rating? I’m just giving you an example in a car context, but in a business context, there will be metrics or measures against those required capabilities. A good one could be thinking about a call center. They’re thinking about what’s the acceptable abandon rate.

Businesses always have measures against those required capabilities. So it’s about understanding what those are. And for Billy some things were just not compromisable, whereas other things were nice to have. And that was the simple way that Michael built up metrics around those required capabilities.

Now, with all of that information, Michael had built up the ability to start to think and challenge Billy around the BMW product and how they could fit his requirements. He had started to talk to Billy about, well, we do have an X5 product and that does allow you to have six seating.

You can still use it in the same way that you do your X6 right now. Where you just don’t have that third row elevated and you have a bigger boot space. It’s pretty similar to your X6 in fact, it’s better in some ways because you have the similar space and feel to your expect in the X6 but you have that additional third row seating for when you do need it. 

He talked about the BMW product, he talked about the relevant pieces of the BMW product range that was important to Billy and he talked about how that product did it better. He also talked about specific statistics that were important to Billy around safety.

What was great was that out of this process, Michael asked great discovery questions. He asked discovery questions that enabled Billy to share his point of view, his story around what he was experiencing, about what he was looking for. So then, Michael was able to provide a solution in terms of a car that not only helps Billy with what he wanted to do on a day to day, but also his aspirations of what he wanted to do in that after scenario or his ideal vision of the future. It meant that when Michael was talking to Billy, he wasn’t talking about flashy convertible or things that were not of interest. He was just talking specifically around what was relevant to Billy. 

So just to bring this together, I would say that the great thing that Michael did was he listened really well and he asked great discovery questions. He helped Billy to share, through those responses, information that he could then use to hone in on those key capabilities that were important for Billy. And he did that in a way that felt like a natural conversation. He also, throughout those discovery questions, asked some great questions that helped realize that the similar Jaguar and similar Mercedes products, perhaps weren’t suited to him because they didn’t have that third row seating or they didn’t have similar tight handling that he was used to, from his BMW product today. Or other statistics that he layered in to help, think about the right product for him.

So I think it’s just bringing this together in terms of how do you enable your sellers to personalize the experience for a buyer? I think it’s a nice way to step through a conversation and make it all about understanding what the buyer or the customer’s needs are, so that when you’re thinking about talking about your solution, you’re only talking about what’s super relevant and you’re only talking about what’s important because you understand the key capabilities that your customer is looking for.

The last piece I want to bring into this conversation is actually some analysis that’s been done by Gartner. You can Google and you’ll find this, on LinkedIn, which is around the five profiles of sales professionals. Gartner talks about five key classifications. They have done this analysis across many, many sales cohorts and they bucketed different profiles: Hard Workers, Challengers, Relationship Builders, Lone Wolves, and Problem Solvers. Take the sales team around you. I think each of us can identify different personality types that we could immediately call out. 

As you know, Relationship Builders tends to be a very popular one. You can identify very easily, those in your, selling teams who build strong relationships with their customers. They’re really helpful. They get along with everybody. Those Lone Wolves stand out for me as well in terms of, they’re very independent. They’re very self-assured. They get on and they execute. But the really interesting piece Gartner brings to bear on the Challenger profile is the propensity for success. Within that analysis, you can actually see across your sales team, you tend to have, in their analysis, around 22% in the Hard Worker profile, 23% in Challenger, 26% in that Relationship Builder, and then 15% Lone Wolves and 14% of Problem Solvers.

But the interesting thing in their analysis is, if you look at high performance across those different profiles, what you tend to find is on average, you tend to have 23% Challengers, but you have 39% of the Challenger of profile fitting into that high performance category. And when we’re talking about high performance, they classify this as achieving their target for the year.

I’m thinking about that Challenge of profile a little bit more. Challengers help their customers or their buyers to understand a different view of the world. They take the time to understand their buyer. They help that buyer, through those great discovery questions, to challenge. They will debate with them around those required capabilities. What’s important to you. And they will push the customer to stand in that moment of pain between the before scenario and the after scenario; the vision of where they’re looking to get to and help them understand how big that delta is.

And so you’ll see that even the analysis points us to that Challenger profile. Actually being able to on-point, deliver that much more personalized experience simply by taking the time to understand their customers and challenge them and to help them understand what’s most important to them.

So hopefully, during this session, I helped you to build a picture of how you can enable your sellers to deliver a much more personalized experience to their customers. My name is Tas Hirani, if you’re looking to get in contact with me, you can look me up on LinkedIn. My handle is tasleem1.

Thank you. 

Shawnna Sumaoang: Thank you so much for that presentation. With that to our audience, we’d like to open it up for Q and A. Please type any questions you have in the chat panel below and we’ll be sure to address those. Again, thank you for joining us today.