Commerce has been following a linear model in the last few years. In the past, if you wanted more turn-over for your organization, you would hire more salespeople. By purchasing a few extras, such as a CRM, a smart process and other smart, sales-supporting tools, you would add another five percent in profits. We, as commercial improvers, also used these tricks. We trained salespeople in methods such as consultative selling, solution selling, challenger sales and storytelling. All of these courses were aimed at inspiring customers and solving their problems.
Those really were different times. Governance works towards finding out where you are as an organization and how you can move forward. Governance models in those days used product-driven strategic data in reports and face-to-face meetings. Strategic data helps estimate the number of sold items or the discount that was given to a customer, whereas today, we prefer to focus on total solutions, on offering complete packages.
A solution would be to use the primary strategic data for the benefit of the customers. If traditional governance systems aren’t changed, organizations will keep pushing own products, despite the solution-driven courses. It’s all about setting up a working ecosystem, not about selling merely a part of the solution.
Customer Success Portfolio
In order to attain commercial success, organizations need to know a little about the so-called Customer Success Portfolio. Many organizations lack these insights.
The Customer Success Portfolio offers customers a total solution that stretches beyond your product. Their dream solution might consist of six or more parts, than just that one product that you offer.
Submerge yourself in all the aspects of customers’ wishes. The advantages will be limitless, because as soon as you find out the customers’ portfolio, you will be able to facilitate their dreams.
Map out the Customer Success Portfolio, using the dreams and the parts that together shape the total solution. You can figure out later what you have to do to fulfill those needs. Ask open questions to challenge customers to disclose more about their wishes, needs and pains. The crux of it all is: knowing what you can and should ask. After all, the more you know, the better you can adapt. Find out which questions touch upon a certain ‘latent’ pain, with which you can challenge them to describe their dream solution. That is how you can distinguish yourself from your competitors.
You can also use the portfolio to design a sales academy. To offer your employees courses aimed at your unique philosophy on the customer dream. Many organizations train their staff, but not with their unique Customer Success Portfolio in mind.
- With the Customer Success Portfolio you can simply determine the why, how and what, regarding your customers’ dreams. If you know their dreams, it means your organization matters.
- The portfolio shows you what type of partner you need in order to facilitate the total solution. These partners can help you with the things you don’t possess yourself, or the items you cannot deliver, but are needed to fulfill the customers’ wishes.
- It also gives you input for your content calendar. You need this to challenge your prospects online and to stay relevant in this modern world of digital sales. The online world is becoming more and more important and you need to figure out how to stay relevant. The Customer Success Portfolio is the necessary input that online marketing needs to maximize sales.
- Finally, the portfolio helps you to design your modern governance model. It helps you define new strategic data, such as the percentage ‘pain’ per deal or your total added value, or percentage in turn-over that comes from partners.
Make a difference
I asked numerous companies what their Customer Success Portfolio looks like. It was remarkable to discover that none of these portfolios encompassed a total solution. The focus was far too often on existing products. It’s essential to create different portfolios for different types of customers. With the Customer Success Portfolio, you can design your commercial DNA structurally and culturally. It helps you make a difference.
Do you want to learn more about what a modern sales machine and commercial blueprint should look like? Take the test, book an inspiration session and challenge your team to find ways to make a difference with your organization.
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