The laws of design bend in many ways, including B2B sales and its processes. Sales design means that design thinking – combining creativity and strategy – is harnessed to strengthen an organization’s sales capabilities. The goal is to combine sales and marketing resources and create positive, memorable highlights in the customer’s buying experience and make the acquisition of the service as smooth as possible.
“Sales fit well into design thinking because, in a renewable business, it must be possible to continuously develop sales speeches and offerings so that competition in the market is possible,” says Joona Mäntyvaara, Business Director.
Adopting the agility of a startup could therefore be beneficial for established organizations as well. The basic idea is that everything – including the sales process – can be developed and tested at a very early stage before the service is launched on the market. The design-derived approach differs from the traditional model in that the service is refined based on customer feedback and testing, not just based on vision.
“If testing produces good results, only then will the product or service be built for the customer. Moreover, through that it is developed on the basis of iterative testing and customer feedback, ”says Mäntyvaara.
The sales design process
Sales design requires an understanding of the B2B customer’s very complex and time-consuming sales process as well as the steps that slow down decision-making. When starting any cooperation, we first get acquainted with the current situation of the customer and the existing materials through the eyes of an external expert and discuss it with internal stakeholders.
“Often companies are aware of the baseline, but it is not fully understood how to improve the sales process in practice. We refine the existing material and, based on current information, clarify the value promise of the service together with the customer, ” says Mäntyvaara.
Roughly summarized after an audit of the current situation, the sales design includes:
- Crystallization and validation of the value promise of a service / solution
- Defining the service model and customer path of the service / solution
- Prototype creation and service / solution testing with company sales
At all stages, work is done closely with the company’s stakeholders, for example in workshops and through interviews. Stakeholders include, but are not limited to, management, employees, partners, and test customers recruited to test the service.
“Together with stakeholders, we look for gaps in the purchasing path: how customers understand the service and whether it meets the value proposition, whether the service is understandable, and whether it is easy to deploy.”
To get through the screening, the service must provide real added value to the customer, be attractive, unique, and viable for the business.
Through Jobs-to-be-done to the highlights
The most important part of the sales process is to help the customer move from the old service to the new one, i.e. to create an easily climbable bridge during the transition phase. Thus, the customer has “jobs-to-be-done”, a need to which he is looking for an answer and to which the company should be able to respond with their own offer. If the customer finds the transition from the old and familiar service to the new one difficult, the purchase will not take place. And on the other hand – if the seller is able to communicate very clearly and accurately visualize how the service will be implemented, it will be hugely easy to purchase.
“It should also be kept in mind that in B2B, the purchase decision is almost invariably made by many people. That’s why it’s important to address everyone involved in decision-making with a message that addresses them – how the service helps them in their own work. ”
“When prospective customers are offered highlights that exceed expectations during the buying process, the more likely they are to end up buying a product from your company. This puts the sales into design again – all of which can be shaped as long as it takes time and energy. ”
Would you like to hear more about how sales design could drive sales to your business?
Joona Mäntyvaara, Business Director