Know which metrics matter most to your buyer, and how to speak their financial language and how to align yourself with the way your buyer gets evaluated.
- Value. It's the single biggest driver in customer urgency. Value is the difference between where do I sign and let's revisit this in a few months. To be valuable, you have to connect your solution to the metrics your buyer is evaluated on. Try to look beyond the obvious of revenue and profit and think about the metrics that actually contribute to those big picture numbers. Here's an example. NPS score.
The Net Promoter Score. This is how likely a customer is to recommend a company or a product to someone else. NPS is free and it's highly effective marketing. NPS scores are particularly important to banks and credit unions and financial institutions that have a broader customer base. So find out if that's important to your buyer. Another key metric is customer churn. Sometimes this is called customer turnover or customer attrition. It's how many customers a company is losing and how quickly they're losing them.
When the 2016 banking scandals broke, customer churn followed. On the flip side of that is customer retention. Retention is how well a company is able to maintain their customer base. It's exponentially more cost effective to keep a customer than to find a new one. So that makes improving customer retention particularly valuable. Other metrics that might be important to your buyer might be things like employee engagement, recruiting effectiveness, internal turnover, social media presence.
All of these numbers play in to profitability and revenue. So when you're selling, narrow in on those bigger picture metrics. Tons of companies are saying they can improve profitability but what piece of profitability matters to your buyer and your buyer's boss? How are they expected to make a dent in those numbers? For example, we once worked with an accounting firm and customer churn was a huge problem for them. They were having to rebid business every year and their margins were getting eroded.
Anyone who could help them solve that problem would have their ear. That problem was solved with leadership coaching, better marketing, better recruiting, sales training and some website revisions. Tons of things play into these metrics so don't think your solution has to make a 180 degree shift in order for you to connect to these numbers. Is office furniture going to cut your turnover rate in half? Probably not but new office furniture may contribute to improving employee engagement.
Sometimes sellers are afraid to connect to larger metrics because they don't want to be held accountable for the entire metric. That's a mistake. Connecting to these metrics and positioning yourself as a supporter, not the sole owner, well, that's what makes you valuable. Instead of seeing your product or your solution, help your buyer see the potential impact you can have on the things that matter to them.
- Define investments.
- Craft a financial narrative.
- Explain how to read annual reports.
- Identify your buyers.
- Codify your value.
- Describe how to tap into industry deadlines.
- List reasons buyers will trust you.