DESIGNS: Inspires Project Team to Create that one Wow Purchase Experience

DESIGNS: Inspires Project Team to Create that one Wow Purchase Experience

Sudip’s story was astonishing even by the standards of Sales Sorcerers

Sales Sorcerers (SS) an online monthly magazine for aspiring and practicing sales managers, featured sales leaders with extraordinary achievements to their credit. Month after month, SS turned the spotlight on sales wizards who crushed quotas in impossible markets, used radically innovative selling approaches and set new standards in selling.

For their latest edition they interviewed Sudip B, Head Project Sales for UVW Structurals Ltd. Below are edited excerpts from Sudip’s interview to SS:

SS: “Welcome Sudip. Before we dive into the stunning sales record you’ve built for yourself , the business you’re in is a little unusual. Can you tell us something about it?”

Sudip (laughing): “Next time you want to throw in a tough question in a job interview ask “What is ‘Structural Glazing?”

"Jokes aside, every time you admire the glass and concrete tech park you spot from your plane window as you land into our city, you are seeing a marvel of structural glazing"

"In simple terms it refers to use of glass in the design of a building. We all tend to think that only concrete can bear the weight of a building. But surprisingly in today’s commercial buildings, large glass panels also take a part of the load. Use of glass as a structural material for aesthetics, comfort, lighting and safety is what our business is all about”

SS : “That’s fascinating. You have a lean, mean sales force that delivers phenomenally. What’s the secret sauce?”

Sudip (smiles): “Not to worry, they aren’t on any performance drugs. We have become serial project crushers because we spend huge amounts of time in designing what’s most appropriate for the Customer. Inherently a design approach to structural glazing solution isn’t easy"

"I have a banker B School batch-mate of mine who often speaks of a Happy Trinity that makes a project attractive for funding – (i) Technical feasibility (Will it work?) (ii) Economic viability (Will it make a profit?) (iii) Managerial capability (Are people involved capable of making it a success?).

"If we adapt the Happy Trinity to structural glazing, we need to ask questions like – Is the structure the Customer wants, feasible? Will is stand our rigorous stress tests? Is the cost involved acceptable to the Customer? Does our design team feel confident about delivering on Customer expectations?”

“These questions often create typically centrifugal energies. But we manage to synergize them. We look at the big picture of what the Customer really wants and work backwards to get to our design"

"Like my banker friend says, people don’t buy investments and mutual funds, they buy the dream of financial freedom. In our business, many Customers want their buildings to make a statement about who they are and what their brand is. Others dream of their buildings being green paradises”

"And our entire project team, including design engineers, finance professionals and relationship managers, all think of how they can come together to make this Customer dream happen"

"This way, they can create an absolute wow purchase experience for the Customer. After designing solutions for numerous projects, we now work in perfect empathy. Our Design function thinks like sales. And Sales knows what would matter to Design or Finance”

“So, when the Customer wants to buy a forest, we don’t give him clusters of trees and say Please make yourself a forest. What we work towards delivering is a total purchase experience that’s remarkable and not a series of satisfying transactions”

SS: “Incredible stuff. You still haven’t answered our question on what helps you sell so effortlessly. We have heard market whispers that you never entertain any price negotiations. Is that true?”

Sudip (Laughs): “Now you are making me feel like a film star being interviewed. You can ignore the market whispers. Our design approach to project selling and execution have created buildings our Customers are proud about"

"You will agree, possessions we are proud about never carry a price tag. All our new business is through referrals from happy Customers or testimonials that attract potential prospects to us”

Outstanding sales leaders frequently ask themselves and their teams this question – “What are we selling?” This helps them focus on the big picture of what the Customer really wants.

Having got this insight, they are able to inspire their sales teams to operate cross functionally with other key functions to surpass Customer expectations"

They apply the 3 famous levers of design thinking to project selling – (1) Customer centricity (Laser like focus on what the Customer wants) (2) Empathy (With Customers and with other functions in co-creating the solution) (3) Curiosity (Wanting to know every little whim of the Customer and about various solution possibilities)

Radical attention to what the Customer wants, helps outstanding sales leaders design solutions that deliver unforgettable purchase experiences, time after time.

And with every Customer becoming their brand advocate, is it any surprise that such sales leaders build resilient teams? (Like Sudip did in our story)

Pause to reflect: “Look at the big picture of what the Customer really wants and work backwards to get to your project design”

Action Question: What can be a dream purchase experience you can think of in your business? What are 3 steps you can take to make it happen?

Related Readings: Mercuri Mail March 2010 Must Read feature on The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Takeaway Quote: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." -- Steve Jobs, co-founder, Apple Inc.

About the series:  This is the 63rd in a series of 100 Posts that seek to build your #Sales Resilience.. as an individual salesperson, as a sales team, and as a sales organization. Because a Resilient India needs Resilient Sales.


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