The analogy with sport involving a finishing line is a fine one. The problem is that most sales professionals think the finishing line is the winning of a Purchase Order. Wrong. The finishing line is a happy, on-boarded customer who is delighted with the improved performance he was promised.

You see if the sales process is seen as a mission to improve the performance of the prospect, then the mission becomes a project. If it’s a project it needs a deadline, a finishing line, a point of success. That point is a happy customer not a PO.

And the beauty of anchoring the sales discussion around customer success is that you can quickly frame the discussion around:

  1. The consequences of doing nothing.
  2. The priority of the project.
  3. The personal benefits to the prospect of completing the project (buying and installing your product/service).
  4. The ROI of the project given reasonable success criteria, investment, and benefits.
  5. The timetable of the project and therefore the necessary timing of the PO.
Finally by adopting a project mindset the sales professional comes to the table on an equal footing with her prospect, not to sell but to improve.