Sales-Market Fit

with Whitney Sales

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Qualified Leads

How to vet the best customer

Whitney Sales

Founder of The Sales Method, Consultant, Growth Expert

Lessons Learned

Early selling for startups involves challenging customers to think differently about their needs.

Create value in the eyes of your customer by asking questions about their processes & pain points.

Need-to-know customer information varies depending on what kind of sales you do.


Lesson: Sales Market Fit with Whitney Sales

Step #8 Qualified Leads: How to vet the best customer

So BANT and CHAMP are methodologies in which to qualify your account. CHAMP is used more for an enterprise perspective. It's that insight selling. It does come into play as well in solution and consultative selling. But it's challenging your customer to think differently about their own business in order to establish a need that may not have existed. So this is going to be outbound calling, outbound sales.

So it could be that you have an established relationship with someone in the market and you're sitting down and having a conversation. This is especially really early on as a founder. This is essentially the selling you're going to be doing. You're sitting down across the table from someone and challenging them to think differently about how they're going to run their business.

So whether you're selling a service or whether you're selling a product, more than likely they probably aren't aware of you, they didn't know about you before you had the conversation, and you need to challenge them through questioning to think about how they run their business and how the solution you offer can actually help them run their business better.

From there, it's creating that value through questions and kind of taking them down this journey of like, "Oh, I didn't realize there is a solution for this. Oh, I really have a big pain point around that," and how your product actually solves that problem and dropping into then presenting the value amongst that sales cycle.

So BANT is an older methodology that I actually think still has a lot of value within the market. So it looks at four criteria: budget, authority, needs, and timeline. So it's making sure you actually understand what all of these are within the sales process and your qualification process. Depending on the complexity of your sales cycle, you want to dive in to each of these much deeper.

So if you're in a transactional sell, it's, "Do they have money to buy this product? Can this person make a decision? Does our solution fit what they need and can they buy soon within a couple of weeks to a month?" If you're getting into an enterprise sell, it's, "What does the budget look like? When is it allocated? Are we going to have to pull money from different departments? When do they make their decisions about budgets? How do they make their decisions about budgets where they deem to spend money?"

Authority, it's, "What role does this person actually play?" So there's a lot of Miller Heiman. This also goes into "The Challenger Sale" pieces. They look at different roles within the organization. So as we get into levels of authority, there are various roles somebody is going to play. So someone could be an influencer. Someone could actually be a blocker. Someone can be a change maker. They can teach you how to navigate things. Some people are just going to talk your ear off and not actually give you anything. Some people are just going to be skeptics, like, "There's not actually a solution for me."

And so that's going to tell you a lot about the authority that person has and how they're going to play a role within your sales process. This is all enterprise. Then we can look at a needs assessment. What are the needs? How do they weight those needs? So is one thing important over another one?

So when you're actually selling your solution to someone, it's not just, "Okay, what are they looking to accomplish?" It's, "Why are they looking to accomplish it and what's more important than another one?" because that's going to tell you when you're going into a competitive space whether your competitor is better something than you, the likelihood of them buying your product, and what you need to emphasize, and potentially the objections you're going to need to overcome in order for them to buy your product.

And then timeline--so, looking at the timeline itself, it's, "When can they buy my product in the most simple way?" But there are various ways of navigating timelines. When are they looking to get up and running with the solution? If you have a customized complex solution, it may take a month to onboard this customer. They may need to get a solution in place in two weeks. In that case, there may not be a fit.

You can also use these pieces to actually drive timeline. So if they need to get a solution in place in a certain period of time, you can actually navigate through the decision-making process back into when they actually need to make a decision. So if they take two weeks for a legal process, for example and then it takes another two weeks to get the IT team involved, and then they work on month long sprints, that's gives you an extra eight weeks in which you need to factor in onboarding this customer.

So it's all of these pieces that actually come into play as you start to look at a more complex sale. BANT is very much a part of the CHAMP process. It's just how you start the sale.

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