Here’s a novel idea: Go visit your new customers four or five months after they purchased your software and after they have deployed it into production use. Ask them, “How are you using our software? What applications have you implemented? What value are you receiving?”
What you learn is tremendously important! You’ll take away terrific reference and success stories that will help you make your next sale, expand deployment with existing customers, and even open new markets.
If you are in sales, wouldn’t it be wonderful to know what goals, objectives, and Critical Business Issues (CBI’s) are faced by the new prospects you engage? Wouldn’t it be delightful to know the underlying Problems or Reasons for these challenges and the Specific Capabilities most likely desired by these prospects to address their CBI’s?
Interviewing current customers to gain exactly this information enables salespeople to address prospects more effectively and to sell with greater precision. This same information helps marketing prepare relevant, focused and accurate materials for these new prospects. It also prepares the presales team to create and deliver more compelling and more effective demonstrations – and reduces the “show-up-and-throw-up” and “harbor cruise” demos typically offered as qualification exercises.
Most companies do not actively collect and leverage “Why did they buy?” information today. While there is a certain amount of “tribal knowledge” gathered for a few key reference accounts, each salesperson largely has only his or her own personal experiences to draw upon.
The first group is applications that your customer planned to implement, when they purchased your product, and did indeed roll-out. Regarding these applications, you should ask: