Outcome-based selling (OBS) focuses on customers’ desired outcomes in each stage of the sales process. OBS is about how your product meets the needs of your target audience. As a result, you differentiate yourself, earn trust, build mutual accountability, develop lasting customer relationships, and move deals forward. Let’s see how you can start your outcome selling and how it can help you succeed.
Think of OBS as a framework that prioritizes customers’ desired outcomes to encourage conversions instead of simply pushing the sale of a product. For example, when someone signs up for a gym membership, they enjoy the benefit of having access to workout equipment and amenities. The outcome is the ability to maintain long-term health and fitness.
Outcome-based sales require a customer-based mindset. Specifically, you should figure out how you can help your customers succeed throughout the sales funnel. For this, you need to understand what priorities your clients have to ensure you address them.
What differentiates outcome-based sales from traditional selling? Traditional selling doesn’t prioritize the customer’s priorities. Unlike traditional sales, outcome sales are interested in addressing consumer wants and needs.
For instance, product-as-a-service (PaaS), also called a Product-Service System, represents an outcome-based business model. A PaaS is about selling the services and outcomes of a product rather than the product itself.
Consider how aircraft engine manufacturers offer power-by-the-hour instead of selling engines. Instead of purchasing the engine outright and then signing a separate maintenance contract to support it, airlines get access to a complete engine and accessory replacement service on a fixed-cost-per-flying-hour basis.
Global retail sales were forecast to make about $26.7 trillion by 2022, up from around $23.6 trillion in 2018. In today’s rapidly evolving retail world, prospecting and lead qualification are salespeople’s biggest challenges, as over one-third of participants in a sales trends survey stated.
So, how can outcome-based selling help you avoid these challenges and grow your business successfully?
Customer expectations are changing. Buying habits are shifting toward “as-a-service” or value-based offerings. Specifically, more companies focus on increased customer value instead of applying a cost-centric approach. That’s where outcome-based services (OBS) come into play.
Your business value increases with customer success, and outcome selling helps you reach your customer goals and provide value. The better solutions you offer your clients, the more you help them meet their goals.
For instance, gyms can offer personalized training plans for clients based on their health objectives. As a result of these tailored services, gyms help directly address the member’s goals, in turn fostering positive relationships.
Outcome selling also helps increase customer loyalty. Since this type of selling requires constant communication with your customers, it builds strong relationships. As a result, customer loyalty increases, thus boosting retention.
Similarly, by creating personalized workout routines for members, gyms demonstrate a dedicated interest in providing helpful solutions. As a result, gym members can appreciate the outcome-based approach, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty.
The win rate represents a sales key performance indicator (KPI) that measures the success rate of closing sales opportunities. Since OBS helps you close a deal and do it faster, as well as reach better outcomes, your win rate grows as a result.
To start with outcome-based selling, you should define the benefits you provide. You need to present your solution properly, know who to target and find out who will value your solution. To be sure you’re on the right track, look closely at whether you explain the outcomes in the best possible way. Namely, make sure:
Let’s see how you can kickstart outcome-based selling in detail.
The first step is to understand your customers and their unique demographics. Look at your customers’ age, education, occupation or business, income or finances, and their situation in life or work. If you’re offering products or services to other companies, know the size and type of their business.
Customer needs are of two types: physical and psychological. For instance, if a person is hungry, they want to eat, and this is a physical need. As for a psychological need, it makes this person choose food based on a specific objective. So, for example, it can direct them toward buying a salad over a burger because they want to be healthy.
Knowing why your clients purchase a particular product or service, you can match their needs to the benefits your business can offer. To understand your customers’ needs, communicate with them. Know what they’re looking for and what business challenges and visions they have.
The next step to take when starting outcome-based selling is to study which products and features can best meet your customers’ needs. After you’ve assessed them, tell your customers how you can help them achieve their desired outcome through a compelling story.
When creating the story, demonstrate how well you know your customer. As a result, you’ll impress your client. In addition, you’ll show how the solution you’re offering is personally geared to their needs. This way, you can stand out from the competition in your field.
Finally, check in regularly with your clients to make sure they’re progressing towards their goals. For example, don’t hesitate to send a “thank-you” follow-up message to your customer to express how grateful you are for their business. Also, ask for feedback to know what you should improve while moving forward.
Outcome-based selling builds a bridge between what your customer wants to achieve and your offerings. As a result, you can:
Make sure to communicate with your customers by using their language. Demonstrate a tight connection between what they’re looking for and what your company can offer to meet their needs. As a result, you can enjoy a rise in customer engagement during the early stages of the consumer journey.
It would be best if you also focused on generating new leads, which is one of the ways to grow your business. Make sure to reach your customers and understand their engagement behavior. This will help your marketing and sales teams gain a better image of what offers or deals can contribute to more sales.
To succeed, you need to test and execute new strategies, track the performance of your ads, assess old ones, and evolve your plans to gain better insight and maximize return on investment (ROI). That’s where ad tracking software comes into play. It can help you monitor visits, clicks, and conversions with real-time reporting and fine-tune your campaigns.
Business outcome selling can encourage more spending from your existing customers. For this, you need to tell them how you can create value in ways your customers don’t already know. For example, gyms can encourage existing members to sign up for additional yoga or personal training by conveying the added health benefits of these services.
Most companies sell by focusing on features and price. OBS is about selling by focusing on business value. You need to demonstrate how your differentiated capabilities can translate into a measurable result your customers are interested in. After this, they’ll be more ready to hear about the outcomes that your product or service provides.
Outcomes are the gains your product or service can provide for your customers, such as what they can achieve with your product by signing up. Outcome-based selling is focused on customers’ desired outcomes to enable more conversions.
OBS requires a customer-focused approach and helps customers win while going through their journey. To succeed, you need to deliver personalized experiences to your customers.
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