It sounds plausible. You focus your marketing story on outcomes you deliver for companies. Your sales team’s chatter is all about how they can improve prospect company X. They’ve improved similar companies. It’s a slam-dunk! Certainly focusing on company outcomes is a hundred times better than features and benefits, but it’s not enough. It’s not personal. It doesn’t emotionally involve anyone.

No, sales is about people. It’s about improving the lives of people. Until you articulate the outcomes you achieve for me, the marketing manager, the production manager, the developer, the CTO, whoever, then all you’re doing is reciting big company outcomes that don’t affect me.

  1. Company outcome: We reduce the production costs of any factory.
    Personal outcome: Frank, the cost over-runs you are describing in your department that you are responsible for, are symptomatic of a problem that can be fixed with our software.
  2. Company outcome: We help health providers outsource medical administration staffing
    Personal outcome: Samantha, as the head of resource management at Lahey, we understand the pressure on you to match immediate needs with available resources and the cost penalties that can cause. Could we explore how our outsourced staffing solution could deal with your problem at a fixed cost?
  3. Company outcome: We help small and mid-sized businesses, non, profits, governments and educational institutions thrive by delivering cloud computing solutions.
    Personal outcome: John, as the systems administrator for the company you have the nightmare task of monitoring all the Google business software including interruptions to service. Basically you get the call. We understand there is a problem with that picture. Would you like to review our admin-friendly cloud management tool that’s puts you back in control?

Sales today, is about understanding how your services or products can transform the performance of specific people in specific companies in specific industries. It requires a deep understanding of your products but an even deeper understanding of the people you are selling to. You are looking for the priority problems worth solving. Solutions that can transform the success of a person’s job. And of course little by little, if you are successful at it, the insight you will gain and the trust you will deserve will make you a very special supplier to that company. But that’s the corollary of human improvement not the objective.