Are you sure that you’re properly diagnosing your future customer’s pain points?
This week on INSIDE Inside Sales, Darryl rings in the new year with guest Adam Springer, the rockstar head of Startup Sales and respected authority on B2B sales. Darryl and Adam go over Adam’s 6-Step Call Structure that will help you find the friction your prospect is experiencing and take you from small talk to demo in record time. They also discuss ways you can quickly qualify or disqualify a prospect, how to create a Pain Map to help find other prospects with similar needs, and how to get the right stakeholders to your demo. Learn how to find the pain points that turn prospects into customers on this episode of INSIDE Inside Sales!
Speaker 1: Welcome to the INSIDE Inside Sales podcast with your host, Darryl Praill. Join us every week as we interview industry leaders and experts to uncover the ways they're finding sales success today. Tune in as Daryl brings you actionable strategies and tactics that can immediately increase your sales and success.
Darryl Praill: How are you doing folks? Welcome back. It's another week INSIDE Inside Sales. Darryl Praill here. It's 2021. Can you believe that? I know I said that already, but it's 2021, my head's just not there still. It's crazy. How's it going for you so far? Is it better than 2020? Let me ask you that. Is it better than 2020? Oh my goodness. I want to share a story today. And I think it's a story we can all relate to. Honest to God, I'm having fun with this one. So, my wife, bless her, so I talk about her from time to time. She needs a new car, and apparently her 2008 vehicle with over 400,000 kilometers is probably due for a replacement. For example, when I call her in the car, it's so loud now with probably broken bearings and everything else that are happening in the front end, that is really hard to hear her. So that's a real pain point that she has and I have. And she's self- employed, so she's an interior designer, so she's always talking to her clients about what nots, fixtures and colors and all those things that designers talk about. So a car is important. So we're out shopping. We're buyers. We have high intent. Can you relate? This is who you want to talk to. And so we went through a process that I'm sure every other buyer, no matter what they're selling, whether it's a$ 50 thing item, or it's a half a million dollar thing item, it doesn't really matter, which is we did these Google searches and we start to educate ourselves on what it is we want, what are the options out there. And then when we did that, we then we found a few vehicles, we shortlisted them and we went to the actual merchants, the car dealerships website, and we looked at the dealership and I went to Google and Yelp and everything else and checked out their reviews. I did word of mouth referrals, I phoned a whole bunch of people. Saw some cars we liked, then we went and drove to the dealership on a Saturday and we walked around and drove around the dealership, and I'm in Canada so it's cold as hell, so we must really want a car if we're doing that. And it was remarkable, you know it's Canada, because no one came out to talk to us. Sales mistake number one, whenever you want them to talk to you and they never come out it seems. So, we did that and we saw several of the models that were intriguing to us on the lot. Yep. There they are, we saw them. Yep. They look like the pictures. That's good. So we're going through the whole objection handling, already if you will. Then we went into the dealership, and we got introduced to this young man and we started talking to him. So now let's recap, what's happened here. I've done research. We felt the pain of needing a new vehicle. We know directly what's causing our desire to actually replace our current vehicle. We did the research, we did word of mouth referrals, we went to the review sites. We went to the website. We actually went physically there, just to touch and feel to make sure it's real, we are high intent. And I shared this with our sales rep. Guess what the sales rep did? I find this so interesting. After demonstrating all of that intent, you would think the rep would turn around and say," Great, so you saw those two in the lot, let me grab the keys and we'll go look at them." One had a one color interior, one had the other color interior, you can see which you like better. Other than that, they're the same vehicle. So here we go. That's what I thought it was going to happen. No different than typically, you rep, so you just go right to the demo," Oh, you're interested? Great. Let me show you the product." And instead what this rep did, very nice gentlemen, was he sat there, and along the way, I got to learn a little about him, he's got two kids, he's married for a period of time, he's from the East coast, born in Ottawa, raised on the East coast, his wife plays the fiddle, of course if you're from the east coast in Canada, you have to play the fiddle. They know all of the East coast Canadian musicians. And we talked about a whole bunch of stuff, and he sort of asked my wife and I, what are certain things that we really wanted in the car? Must haves. Not colors and everything, like do you have any medical conditions? Do you have anything that you can't give up. What does your current car have that you'd like? What does your current car have that you don't like? And I'm like," I want to go see the damn vehicles." And we were there inaudible half an hour, with him asking us questions. And it was so interesting to watch, because in the end he's like," Okay, so we'll show you those cars you want, but you know what? I got a car just like that, but it's in blue instead of white, and it's got a little, slightly lower mileage. Would you like to see that one too? And I can probably do a good deal for on that one. I'm like," Sure, we don't care, blue's a beautiful color." And that's what he did. And he didn't show us the ones we went there to see, he showed us the one he wanted us to see based on his analysis of our pain points. It reminds me of a podcast I listened to recently on Sam Dunning's Business Growth Show, where he had Fred Copestake on, and Fred's a great guy. And Fred talks about when you're trying to uncover pain points, you need to understand how to approach the customer and the classic, what we always tell people, is the W. The W is the why, what, why, when, who, why, why? And he said, the W is interesting, that can be pretty aggressive. Consider the Ted. And I'm listening like," The TED? I've not heard of the TED! What's this TED thing?" And he's," TED was tell me more. Can you explain that to me? Describe how that's making you feel." Tell me, explain, describe. Wow. That engaged me. I thought that's killer. I watched first hand as the customer, instead of the CRO, exactly how we were sold to by an amazing young man who knew how to sell, and took the time to understand my pain. And I got to tell you, my reps often drop the ball there. I see you guys drop the ball there. It's not malicious. It's part of learning how to sell better. So I thought to myself," Who can I get on the show to actually help my reps uncover pain better? And that's when I knew, it had to be Adam Springer. Now, if you don't know, Adam, let me introduce you to him. He is, what I like to call, a sales process expert. His expertise is all around the B2B side. He's pretty good when the deals are in larger size. He's all about startups as well, so when you're trying to really ramp up and figure it all out, that's his jam. That's where he's at. He's about founder, sales strategy, startup, B2B sales processes, pricing, growth hacking, basically, anything that comes related to sales skill. So, Adam, how did I do? Did I nail it? Are you a rockstar, are you going teach us today how to be the man when it comes to all things, sales, pain inaudible related?
Adam Springer: I think you hit this... Probably sold myself better than I could.
Darryl Praill: All right. So if you're like me, and you multitask, and you're maybe listening to this at your desk, and your phone going on, and you're safe, you're not your car to going down the road, check them out at startupsales. io. That's the first place I want to send you to go... And he's on Twitter and he's on LinkedIn, the usual stuff, follow him, you know the drill. But man, I want to talk to you today about pain. So what do you see? Especially cause you're coaching these guys who were high growth, were big goals, big ambitions. What are the common mistakes you're seeing reps, whether that'd be leadership, sales leadership, company leadership, or these reps themselves, what are the common mistakes or issues or symptoms that they're just not getting it, when it comes to uncovering pain and the role and importance and the process?
Adam Springer: Well, I'm going to tie it into to your story about buying a car and what the rep did, because the rep took the time to qualify you. That's what he was doing. And so one of the biggest pain problems that I'm seeing with my clients is that they want to just jump in and try to sell what they have. Like," Hey, Oh, you want to talk to us? Great. Let me show you what we can do. Let me show you all the features that we have." And it's such a mistake all the time to do because that sales person could have easily took you to those two cars. He probably had a high chance of probably closing you, but you wouldn't have been as happy. Even if you did close, it wouldn't have been the right fit car, if you had a better fit car. And so now you've got this story. Now you've telling people about this. Now you're going to go and pass the story along and send him referrals. So it's much better to do that. And not only that... That's kind of the consumer side buying a car, but on the B2B side, there's a lot of other options out there for our clients. And when you just come in and just start throwing up all over the client, and all over the prospect, they don't remember anything that you're saying and they're getting lost. So it's your job to guide them. And that's the mistake that I'm seeing is salespeople, founders, they're not taking the time to learn about the clients, to learn about the prospects and what pains they're having and ask those deeper questions. You said that the guy asks if there's any medical conditions that you guys have. And I think that's incredible, because what car salesman would ever ask," What medical conditions do you have, if any." But that is on a really deep level of what kind of pain that you have that they could help you solve.
Darryl Praill: It is. And the funny part was the answer was yes, my wife has two herniated discs from an accident from years ago. And for her, it sounds stupid but this is a really good analogy that you bring it up, she needs a power seats that have, not just the basic front, forward, up and down, but I want an eight way power seat so she can fine tune exactly how she's sitting. She needs lumbar. She needs a telescoping tilting steering wheel, because she needs all of these different bells and whistles to try to get that perfect angle, to actually give her a comfortable driving experience over a long haul. So that's where the medical thing came into play. Everybody's thinking,"Well, if they have a heart condition, you're going to have a heart attack and fall off the road. No, that's not it. It's not high blood pressure. Mind you driving with my wife does give me high blood pressure, but that's a whole different story. So that was what was so critical, because right away, what he just did... He was qualifying us was like," Oh, you need eight way power seats with telescoping tilt, steering wheels? No problem. And that means you're going to go into a higher price point. Right away, he moved us up, because you, my wife, just said," I have to have this." Not him, all simply because he said, basically tell me if you have any medical conditions so I can make sure we get you what you need. And that was really really powerful. So let me be just blunt. We all know that uncovering pain is kind of like sales 101. Yet here we are talking about it. And you said it yourself. You said like," How many sales reps selling cars would go ask about medical conditions?" In other words, how many sales reps would ask what I'm sure is a common occurrence when selling cars. It's a common issue. So what's stopping us from doing this? Is it fear? Is it inexperience? Or is it we're not using methodology, sales methodologies? Therefore we're wanting to jump the gun and get to the end game.
Adam Springer: I think it's all of those. I think it's also a bit laziness, but also a bit unprofessionalism, as far as not being a... Not that a lot of people are unprofessional, it's just they don't take the time to research and dive deeper into their own career to learn more what they need to do and learn more about the prospects that they're selling to. Because if you really learn about the prospects that you're selling to, you're going to ask those questions because then you really have to have that curiosity as far as who they are and what problems they have.
Darryl Praill: What I was so impressed about... My wife didn't know what was going on. This is what I do for a living. She's just a sweetheart. She has no idea that when he's asking questions about your family, your kids, sharing about his family, his kids, what his wife does, relating to her, is that he's building trust.
Adam Springer: Yeah.
Darryl Praill: How important is trust, to being able to ask those really hard questions that are awkward or perhaps insensitive when you're trying to truly uncover pain?
Adam Springer: I think it's vital. You're not going to tell a complete stranger that walks up to you on the street, what medical conditions you have. But a guy that took 30 seconds to tell you about his kids, now you feel that much closer to him, that you feel that level of trust. You feel that level of bond, so that it gives him permission to ask these more difficult questions. And that's what's really important in sales. And also a lot of people are listening to this and like," Well, that's fine when you're selling a car." Or whatever millions of other excuses most people have for not diving deep. But the fact is is that every person that you're selling to, even if you're B to B, at the end of the day, you're selling to a human being, not the other side. And that human being has emotions. And you need to reach that side of that person. You need to get to the emotional problems that they're having. And in order to do that, you need to break down that barrier and build that trust and build that rapport with them.
Darryl Praill: All right. So this is what we're going to do folks. We're going to break away for a quick commercial. When we come back, I'm going to ask Adam, the process he recommends with his clients on how to make sure uncovering pain is part of every single sales opportunity. Don't go back, don't go anywhere, we'll be right back.
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Darryl Praill: Okay. We're back. Adam, I set it up before the break, I told you. I was going to ask you, how do you instantiate the process? How do you teach them and train them to make sure that this is something they do every single time? How do you stop that sales rep from jumping? You said it, right into the demo, right into let me show you my wheres with no context, because as you said, it will overwhelm them. How do you show them restraint? How do you convince them that it's in your own selfish, best interest to do this long term?
Adam Springer: You asked two questions there. First of all, how do I do it? Well, I tell them, don't do the demo on the first call. And I stop them from allowing them to do a demo on the first call. That will immediately make you want to fill in the gap. Like, why are you on a call? You've got 30 minutes with this person. Now you have to ask questions. But the second thing is, how do I do it? How do I show them? I can just get on the call with them. I'll get on the call with them and show them that," Hey, I don't even know your industry a hundred percent. I don't even know your prospects a hundred percent, but here's what I do have, is I have that natural curiosity where I want to learn about them and I'm going to listen to what they say. And if I'm listening to what they say, then it's going to bring up those natural questions. And then I'll just ask those questions." Hey, what are you doing here?"" Oh, okay, that's what problem you have? Okay. Let me dive deeper on that. What does that mean to you?" And so on.
Darryl Praill: Are they shocked? When you do that, what's their reaction? Do they just go," Yeah. I know." Especially when they watch you, or do they say," I do that."
Adam Springer: No. I don't typically get that. Because most people aren't doing that. So it's kind of a hard thing to say that" Yeah, I do that." They may say that they ask questions beforehand, before they actually see what I mean by ask in depth and ask five, six layers deep. They say," Yeah, I ask a lot of questions." We talk for like 20 minutes, it turns up to be like one and a half minutes. But once you actually get down and call and they see how it's supposed to be done. And not only how it's supposed to be done, they see the reaction from the prospect. And it becomes such a stronger bond. And you get so much more commitment from the prospect that they're now more committed to your sales process. And they're going to be a lot less likely to ghost you, and not return your calls or your emails. And they're going to be more excited to want to buy your product. Because now you've made it about them and about the problems that they have and how you're going to solve them.
Darryl Praill: Okay. So you made a very provocative point there, I want to drill back on... You, early on, mentioned asking a lot of questions versus essentially you were saying, asking the right questions. So for the audience, who's thinks they're asking the right questions, is there a way that you would help teach me, teach them on how to differentiate, how to know when you're asking the wrong questions or asking questions, but they're just not the right questions.
Adam Springer: Sure. So in order to do that, you'd have to really go back to the beginning and go back to the foundation. And that's understanding who your clients are. And there's a really good way to do this. If you get a pen and paper, and I'm doing it on the video now, but you have a quadrant and on the left side of the quadrant, you have a pain. And on the right side, you have a pleasure. And now we know that... Sorry, my left, your right, whatever it doesn't matter. We know on one side, you want to move away from pain. Human nature, they want to move away from pain and towards pleasure. And so we have pain on the x- axis, and on the y- axis we have... On the top we have now, and in the bottom we have in the future. So you have pain in the now, you have pain in the future. And you have pleasure in the now and you have pleasure in the future. Now this is where we start to label and we start to put all the pain points and all the frustrations and problems that our clients have and our prospects have that you could solve. And so once you actually start to take the pain point that you have, whether it's an emotional pain, a financial pain... Let's say that you're a head of sales and you... Let's go to the CRM example. You're a head of sales and your sales team are not updating the CRM. Okay, what does that mean to you, as the head of sales? Because that's your ICP, that's your ideal client profile. What does that mean to the head of sales? What is that causing them now? And what is in the pain, in the now, and what is it going to cause them pain in the future, which is a fear? So pain in the now is frustration. So what is he coming home and complaining to his or her wife, her husband, about, every day." Wow, John, again, he didn't put update a CRM. We lost this really big opportunity." That's really big. That's a frustration. That's something that really bothers him. And then the pain in the future is like," Wow, this is the fifth time. I'm sure if I don't get this wrapped around, the CRO is going to fire me, or the CEO is going to fire me, because this has happened so many times now." Now you've got pain in the future. So now you do the opposite for the pleasure, but let's just focus on the pain side right now. Once you start to actually label all these and you actually start to define what problems your prospects are having, now you know where to drive the questions that you have. Because what you want to do, is you want to ask questions, to get them to speak about those items on that list. And so when you ask those questions, you don't actually want to ask directly," Hey, are you afraid of getting fired because your salespeople aren't updating the CRM?" You don't want to do that. You don't make any assumptions on this. Even if you know a hundred percent they have this pain, you don't want to make the assumption. You just want to ask them an open- ended question to get them to start to speak about that pain or about that frustration. And then that will come up naturally. Like the sales person did with you in the medical conditions.
Darryl Praill: So there's a lot of ways I want to go with on this one. I love how you've done... There's a couple of things what you just heard Adam say that was interesting. He talks about the grid, pain in the now, pain in the future, pleasure in the now, pleasure in the future. And so you think to yourself, you're asking all these questions to get those answers, but did you hear what he said? He said," Okay, once you know that, okay, now, now you know what to ask." So there's a good example of asking lots of questions, but he was actually asking questions to know how to ask the right questions. And that was how it all began. Asking a lot of questions versus asking the right questions. And that's what he just gave us a beautiful framework around that. So it's interesting. I want to share a story. I was listening to another podcast the other day, I'm a big podcast freak, for those who don't know. This one had Marcus Cauchi on there, he's a British sales trainer, quite like Marcus. And he had an interesting perspective, it's not everybody's perspective, but it caught my attention. Because it's not at all how I run my team, and I'm like maybe I need to change. And so his point was this. He goes," Listen, if you talk to one person and you've asked them all these questions, you've done the pain process, you've asked them all. Because at that point in time, your sales opportunity is at 10% qualified." And I'm like," Dude, 10%?" So he goes on, he goes," Okay, now you uncover who the buying committee is. And if you ask all of them, their questions, when that happens, and only until that happens, when all the questions have been asked and we have all the questions listed, at that point, you're at 30% qualified." And I'm thinking to myself," How many people... That's like a 80% for most people." Now that the inaudible proposal is just peer process, we're there. 30% was his point of view. Now I was on a call the other day with a colleague of mine, a young lad who was picking my brain, looking for some mentoring, some coaching. And part of it, he was asking me some of the mistakes I see people do all the time. And I said," They don't reach out to the buying committee." So I know Marcus is sitting here and saying... He mentioned the word committee, but it was all about the questions. I told this fellow," You don't do it. You ride that one horse, you get all the answers, you ask your questions, but a one person." And his comment to me was," I don't feel like I personally have the authority, the experience, the wherewithal, to ask who else is involved in the buying process. So, questions, uncovering pain, that's a long- winded way of my getting there, is to say, it's not limited to one person. It involves a committee. So inaudible over to you, Adam, how can we springboard off of that pain process, discovery session, to actually leverage that, make a natural segue to ask," Who else has got pain? Who else is experiencing this?" Because like that rep said," I don't feel like I can do it. I'm scared." And that's really common. So what's your sales process and technique on that.
Adam Springer: Sure. So first of all, I'll tell you that when you do get to meet all those other people, you should have that same pain map that I described, you should have that for every person you're going to be speaking to. Because the attorney, the procurement office, the CTO and the VP sales, they're all going to be involved in this. And they all experience the same problem in a different way. So you need to know how to ask them the same questions, but in a different format that it relates to them. But how can I use that as a springboard from the first call? I have a call structure, I don't believe in scripts, I don't like scripts at all, but I have a structure that I like to follow. And that goes, it's a five step structure, it goes, first, small talk, one to three minutes, small talk, then qualification, start to ask them a lot of questions. And how you jump into that is," Hey, before we begin, I'd like to ask, what does your environment look like?" Or," How are you guys currently handling this problem?" Whatever it is. But the big point there is, before we begin, because as we were talking about rapport before and building that trust. This is keeping that guard down. You have the small talk to start to build a rapport. Before we begin, we're not actually official yet. So now their guard is still down and now you actually start to qualify them. Then you ask them some questions, and then you say," Well, great. That really helps. Thank you. Let me start by telling you about us." And then you have your one sentence elevator pitch, which is for me, it's like, I help early stage B2B startups build sales processes to get to 10 million in revenue. And then immediately ask them another question before they get a chance to ask you questions about what you do or how you do it or anything. And so with that, you get a say... And by the way, before you mention X, what does that mean for you? Or whatever it is your segue to cross and start asking more questions. So now you're qualifying them again. Now that's stage... One, two, three, four, so I guess the sixth stage. So you start to qualify them more, and then you say," Great, do you have any questions for me?" Now, they're going to start asking you some questions about your product and about your service. So then you answer them, say," You know what? This would be the best thing for us to do is to set up another call or to set up a demo where I could show you." And because they're going to come up with the questions, because now they're leaning towards you asking questions, instead of you coming towards them and telling them about your product. So now you segue into the next steps. It's like," Great, those are great questions. Why don't we do this? Those technical questions, I could answer, but it's not going to be really in the depth that you need. So why don't we get another call with you? And it's one of my tech team."" Great, cool." You book the time right then and there. And this is getting to your point, Darryl, how do we springboard from that first call to get calls with other people in the buying process? So you close that meeting with that person for the next time and you ask," Great, who else needs to be on that call? Or who else should be on this call to learn more about the technical stuff? Now you've made that segue, after you've closed the date, and now they're going to invite more people into that sales process.
Darryl Praill: So one of the things I want to throw here, because Adam's just laid it all out to you, and one of the things he's maybe led you to believe, not intentionally, but it's a natural place to go, is that if you ask all these questions, you get the buying committee going, it leads to a wonderful path. And then eventually you can finally do your demo. And your demo will be very focused based on everything you've just heard. And every single person in that buying committee, there will something in it for them, and away you go, life is grand. You told me this was your pain, they told me this is the pleasure you want in the future, and let me show you how we can overcome that pain and give you that pleasure. Life is good, right? There's one thing we haven't covered today that I want to really hammer with you. And I'd love your reaction to this one, Adam. The reason you're asking all these questions, we always like to think, it's that we can have... A great discovery leads to a wonderful demo or a proof of concept wherever it might be. And while that's true, the reality is why you're asking these questions, get this, get this, is so that you can eliminate 80% of your actual prospects. You only want to be spending time selling to high- probability, high- fit clients. Your natural inclination is to instead of have happy ears when you ask these questions, you're desperately looking for something, anything that gives you permission to move to the next step. And that's wrong. You actually are listening so you can disqualify them and all who's left should to the next step. What's your reaction? Would you see that, Adam? Or do you see people just skipping that step altogether? Because I see you nodding your head and smiling when I'm saying that.
Adam Springer: Well, I definitely see people skipping that step all together. Even if they start asking the right questions, they're still going to be pushing people along who clearly don't have a pain or clearly are not a qualified prospect. And they still try to push them along just to try to get the sale. Absolutely. I hundred percent agree with you. I'm looking more to disqualify, then I'm looking to qualify. I want to make sure that the person I'm going to speak to more than the first 20 minute call, is really worth my time. Because if not, I don't want to talk to him. He's not going to close. He's not going to give me that commission check. Why do I want to talk to him?
Darryl Praill: Do you see what Adam just did there folks? He said, is that person worth my time? Is that going to help me out? You're asking these questions to help them out, that's the consultative sell, we all like to do that, it's a collaboration. But, if you're with people on a inaudible of prayer, maybe they'll come around, what you're not doing is selling to somebody else who can help you out, who can help you get the commission. Your time is limited. It is the most valuable resource you have. Why are you giving it away? You ask the questions to do one or two things. You want to qualify them into the next step or qualify them out. That's the biggest thing gone. But either way, you got to qualify them. You can't just ask the wrong questions, a lot of questions. You got to ask the right questions and you can't just ask it of one person. You got to go outside your comfort zone and ask the entire buying committee. Of course, we've just scratched the surface today. What you should do is follow Adam Springer on social, Twitter, LinkedIn, et cetera. He is a host at the Startup Sales podcast. He's co- host and mentor with the Startup Sales Club, which is a monthly workshop for founders and sales leaders from early stage tech startups, to come and learn and practice both sales skills and how to build a sales team. This is the man. Follow him out. I'm a big fan. You should be too. But in the meantime, I want to say two things. I want to say, Adam, thank you so much. I had fun today. And number two, I want to say is, it's 2021! We got 12 more months of this. Let's go kill it. Ask the right questions. In the meantime, I'll be right here, if you have a question for me. My name is Darryl Praill and this my friends is INSIDE Inside Sales.
Speaker 1: Thank you for listening to another episode of the INSIDE inside sales podcast with your host, Darryl Praill. We hope you enjoyed the show. And if you did, we would greatly appreciate you taking a moment to leave us a review on the platform you're listening to the show from today. Also, please feel free to share this program with your friends and colleagues. Thank you. Darryl will be back again next week.