The third phase, accelerate, isn’t about pitching a one-sided perspective; you’re selling a co-created solution wrapped in a story.
After the discovery and sharing insight phases, you have the complete picture of the opportunity. The right solution will present itself faster when you co-create with your customer. Shared ownership enables you to move more quickly. The goal isn’t to solve for the customer, but for both of you. It’s a partnership, after all. You’re building value together with both sides wanting to find the optimal paths forward. As “Naked Sales” states:
“Hold your ideas lightly. See how the client responds. The goal isn’t to ink the first iteration of the deal; it’s to find common ground, then co-create the real solution together.”
With the mindset of agility, your objective is to accelerate the solution and close the deal. However, it would help if you weren’t aiming for the biggest deal possible, and it might not be the most polished solution. It could be a menu of options that ease your customer’s concerns. According to “Naked Sales:”
“Instead of pitching them what you think will get a yes, you look to excite them to co-create value and allow them to shape it with you.”
Below are a few ways to give your customers options:
Minimal: Limited risk, low intimidation, minor change from status quo
Middle: Additional value-added options, slightly more expensive, palatable
Premium: Bigger version of middle choice, more investment, massive undertaking
Give options that include moonshots that might help you accelerate and hit your sales quota sooner, but don’t be afraid to start small by offering bite-size options. The benefit to building toward the more significant sale is that you trade on trust and mutually taste success in little victories along the way. Remember, this menu of options is editable and doesn’t necessarily need to be fully baked. Present the menu to your customer and update with their real-time feedback like team members in a group project. Furthermore, tell a story. Your story should communicate the problem you’re solving, the vision you have for the future, and why your partnership will deliver results.
Play long-term games with long-term people. The customer has to be co-pilot or at least brought along with you. If done well, then “acceleration leads back to discovery for another possible deal. Every step is designed to move you forward, but there is no end.” In my next piece, I’ll discuss how to manage sales by design.