Over the years, I have worked with many discovery or needs analysis methods with the objective of finding out as much detailed information as I could about the prospect without having the needs analysis feel like an interrogation or have it take forever. Let’s face it; when you are engaged with a prospect that has an identified problem (at least in the mind of the prospect), there is a tug of war of sorts with the prospect desiring as much information as he or she can get without revealing too much information; this desire also exists for the sales rep; to get as much information about the prospect’s total situation before providing specific information on products, pricing, terms, etc..
Through many years, blood, sweat and tears, I have put together a discovery method that helps the sales rep develop a very clear picture of what the needs, wants and desires of the prospect are; what the current situation looks like; what the new situation needs to accomplish; and all the things that must happen in order to win the deal. I refer to this method as GCI+ CRM+ DM. I know, not a sexy sounding acronym. I am working on that. The approach is still sound, nonetheless.
The “G” stands for Goals; meaning what are the goals that the prospect is striving to achieve or hit.
The “C” stand for Challenges; meaning what are the specific challenges that the prospect, his company, his team are experiencing which are getting in the way of hitting the defined goals;
The “I” stands for Impact; meaning what are the impacts as a results of such challenges;
The “C” stands for Current Solutions/Approaches; meaning what are the actions that the prospect is doing and/or has done to address said challenges;
The “R” stands for Results of those current solutions/ approaches; meaning, what has been the results of any current or previously tried approaches;
The “M” stands for Magic Wand; meaning that if the prospect had a magic wand, what would he or she conjure up as the “perfect fit” solution;
The “DM” stands for Decision Making; meaning what are all the factors in the decision making process from players involved, to time, to budget, to other important factors for making the decision.
While this is a comprehensive needs analysis framework, the application of this method requires a lot of practice to get it right. At our Academy of Applied Selling, we help teams and individuals both understand and master this method so that the sales rep is able to get all the information that is necessary to determine whether a sales opportunity exist or not and whether the opportunity is worth pursuing. If deemed pursuit worthy, then quickly and effectively advancing to the next step in the Pre-Sales Phase.