Understanding Your Customer’s Business

Early on in the sales cycle, it’s critical to identify:

  • What initiatives your customer has
  • What business challenges they face for this initiative
  • How you, as the vendor, can help solve their business challenges

As a modern-day seller, it’s important to ask yourself: Are we actually solving the prospective customer’s problem, or are we just trying to push our solution on them?

To help guide you in the discovery phase of the sales process, here are six key points to better understand your customer’s business and how you can best serve them:

  1. Do you understand your customer’s business and goals?
  2. What issues are your customers facing in meeting their business goals?
  3. What initiatives have been implemented to address these issues and reach their goals?
  4. Are there specific projects in place to execute on the initiatives outlined?
  5. What are the names of these projects (in the customer’s own words) and what business problems are they solving?
  6. How do your solutions, as the vendor, help uniquely address these problems?

According to Steve Thompson, author of The Irresistible Value Proposition: Make the Customer Want What You’re Selling and Want It Now, you should start with the end in mind.

The one question you need to ask your prospects in the beginning stages of understanding their business is: “It’s been six months after implementation, what outcomes have you achieved and who cares?”

This key question will help you identify who the key stakeholders are in the buying decision and what outcomes they care about the most. By clearly identifying key stakeholders and mapping outcomes to your solutions, you can make the decision-making process simplified and easier. Learn more in the video guide below on understanding your customer’s business through consultative selling.