Customer Success Managers (CSMs) must be comfortable with selling, as it's a critical skill for their role. You may have joined the company to help people, not to sell them products or services. However, terms like "upsell," "cross-sell," and "renewal" are likely part of your job description, all of which involve some form of selling. Regardless of whether you're on the sales team or customer success team, knowing how to sell like a pro is essential.
To sell effectively on a daily basis, you need to follow a process. This is where the FIND method comes in. When you finally secure that all-important appointment, it's essential to be prepared to close the deal. There are plenty of sales processes out there that claim to be the best, but I have one that's truly awesome - the FIND method. I was fortunate enough to receive professional training in FIND during my first B2B sales job, and it has been a game-changer for me ever since.
You may be wondering, what is the FIND method?
It's simple - guide your client through a conversation that centers on discovering facts, identifying issues, uncovering needs, and presenting dreams.
Check out a detailed outline of FIND
Facts: Begin the conversation by asking questions to reveal the “Facts” about their current solution that will be important as the conversation moves forward.
- These are classic discovery questions:
- Who, What, Where, When, and How are great starting points.
- Not only is this a fact-finding adventure for you, it may be the same for them, and if nothing else, it's going to get them thinking/talking.
Tip: If this is your current client, you likely already know the answers to these questions, but you want to hear it from the client'.
- Ask more probing questions that dig deeper into their current solution, such as "What are some of the biggest pain points you experience with your current solution?" or "What are some of the features or capabilities that are missing from your current solution?"
- Use open-ended questions that encourage them to share more about their business and processes, such as "Can you tell me more about how your team typically uses your current solution?" or "How does your current solution fit into your overall business strategy?"
- Consider conducting research on their industry or competitors and use that information to ask more targeted questions that show you have a deep understanding of their business and challenges.
Issues: This is all about illuminating the “Issues” with their current solution. These “Issues” are likely gaps in their current solution that you already know your solution solves.
Here are a few starter questions:
- “How does your current solution integrate with the other tools you use?”
- “Tell me a bit more about the impact of using our platform for ABC ,and then bouncing over to the platform to perform XYZ? How many times a day does that occur?
- Overall, the key is to ask targeted questions that help you identify their pain points and challenges, and to use that information to position your solution as the best fit for their needs. By showing that you have a deep understanding of their business and challenges, you can build trust and credibility, and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.
Tip: Summarize the issues as you shift to needs. It is very easy to say something like “So, just I make sure that I’m understanding, in your current environment, 123 are happening, that may not be the greatest for your business? Is that correct?
Needs: At this point, you have identified the issues with their current solution and can now address their needs. These needs should be abstract points that relate to the issues they are facing, such as general efficiency, ease of use, cost savings, time savings, or any other benefits that your solution can provide
You can ask questions such as:
- "How important is it for your team to be able to complete tasks quickly and efficiently?"
- "What impact would it have on your business if you could save X amount of time or money each month?"
- "What specific features or benefits are you looking for in a new solution?"
- How does calling multiple support organizations impact their daily lives?
Tip: Make sure to tie their needs back to the issues you previously discussed and highlight how your solution can address those needs. This will help to build a strong case for why your solution is the best fit for their business.
Dreams: The Dreams section is all about painting a picture of what their ideal solution would look like, and how it would benefit their business. This is where you want to get them excited about the possibilities of your solution.
Some questions you could ask include:
- "If you could wave a magic wand and have the perfect solution for your business, what would it look like?"
- "What are some of the goals you have for your business, and how do you see our solution helping you achieve those goals?"
- "What would be the ideal outcome for your business if you were to implement our solution?"
- You can also share success stories or case studies of how your solution has helped other businesses achieve their dreams and goals. This can help to build credibility and trust in your solution.
Tip: Don't be afraid to ask for the sale at this point. If you've done a good job of uncovering their needs and showing how your solution can address those needs, then they should be excited about the possibility of working with you. Be confident in your solution and the value it can provide to their business.
As you implement the FIND Process, consider the following suggestions:
- Do your homework on your audience beforehand by reviewing your CRM history and researching the client in greater detail.
- Be the one in control of the conversation and keep your objectives in mind.
- Use open-ended questions to encourage the client to speak, and listen attentively to their responses.
- Take notes during the call to ensure you don't overlook any crucial points.
- Use "Bumper Questions" to subtly guide the conversation without revealing your plan to the client.
As a customer success manager, it's important to remember that sales is a crucial aspect of your job. Whether you're upselling, cross-selling, or renewing, knowing how to sell effectively can make all the difference in building strong relationships with your clients and ultimately achieving your goals. By using a proven sales process like the FIND method, you can guide your conversations with clients and position your solutions in a way that meets their needs and drives results. So, go out there and sell like a pro, and watch your value as a CSM skyrocket!
**This blog was originally published on LinkedIn. See the original article here.
Keith Plummer is the founder of Growth Ops. He has successfully built and scaled Customer Success and Support teams in three early-stage start-up environments.
As a strategic and team-oriented Customer Success leader with over 10 years of experience, I specialize in building and leading teams that drive revenue through expansion and renewal. My customer success philosophy centers on sales and revenue generation. I have scaled teams from 2 to over 20 members and reduce churn from 4.6% to 1.2% per quarter over a 9-month period.
Whether building a team from scratch or taking an existing one to the next level, I am passionate about developing people and delivering exceptional customer experiences to my clients.