Imparta’s core sales methodology, Creating Client Value (CCV), has been helping salespeople to drive revenue growth for the last two decades. CCV was developed in a unique collaboration between Imparta and Neil Rackham, arguably the world’s leading researcher into sales effectiveness.

It has been continuously improved since then, based on our experience with tens of thousands of salespeople. This client-centric approach is central to all of our core sales programs.

CCV concentrates on consultative selling – the space where salespeople help their customers understand their issues and opportunities in a new way and then show them solutions that closely match their needs.

CCV has generated hundreds of millions of pounds in identified incremental revenue for Imparta’s clients by moving the focus from the sales process to the buying process that the customer goes through. Recognizing where the customer is in their own process is critical in being able to support and influence them through each stage. There are five stages in any buying decision, as represented by our Buying Cycle:


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Awareness of Needs

In this stage, the buyer moves from being happy with the status quo to recognizing the need to change an existing product, service, process or supplier. The role of the salesperson during this phase is to identify possible opportunities and to navigate the different buyer roles. The salesperson also needs to help the customer build urgency around addressing their needs, quantify the value that a solution would create, and overcome barriers to change.

Specific outcomes we help to create during Awareness of Needs include:

  • Building the sales pipeline through more targeted lead generation activities and a better understanding of how to navigate buyer roles
  • Reducing cycle time and increasing average account size by building a deep understanding of a client or target’s business issues and KPIs
  • Further increasing account size by understanding your own company’s capabilities, and mapping these onto the customer’s needs
  • Improving the conversion rate from target to prospect, through questioning skills, a clear understanding of decision roles, and the ability to make a quantified case for change

Assessment of Alternatives

The customer has decided to act and is evaluating the product or service against competing alternatives. The salesperson or account manager helps the buyer to identify and rank their decision criteria in order of importance. Then they need to identify how their offer is perceived against the alternatives. Powerful strategies are used to position the offering in the best possible way against these criteria.

Specific outcomes we help to create during the Assessment of Alternatives include:

  • Building trusted relationships by clarifying the criteria that customers use to assess each solution against those of competitors
  • Delivering winning pitches by basing them on thorough needs-focused analysis
  • Improving success rates in competitive situations
  • Improving profitability and maximizing margins by selling on value rather than product features

Alleviation of Risk

The customer has now narrowed their choice of preferred solution, but begins to think about the personal and business risks that may be involved. The role of the salesperson is to uncover these risks and help them find ways to address them. Salespeople need to become comfortable with discussing risks as well as alleviating them to move through this phase.

Specific outcomes we help to create during Alleviation of Risk include:

  • Reducing the number of stalled opportunities by identifying when risks are blocking progress, and uncovering risks at the strategic, tactical, political and personal levels
  • Improving the conversion rate by exploring and resolving the obstacles to a decision
  • Managing competitive threats by developing a shared, client-focused approach to business development

Decision

Although a decision flows much more naturally when the principles of CCV are applied, there is still a need to finalise contractual agreements. Also, it is at this stage that Procurement will most often begin to exert pricing pressure. This is not covered specifically within CCV, but in the companion material on Negotiating Client Value and Commercial Acumen.

Achievement of Results

The decision has been made and the solution is being implemented. The salesperson’s role will vary depending on how you handle implementation. At a minimum, they should be preparing for a successful implementation, helping to anticipate potential issues, and looking for additional opportunities.

Specific outcomes we help to create during Achievement of Results include:

  • Increasing customer satisfaction by making sure that value promised is actually delivered
  • Reducing the costs of acquiring further business through increased confidence from the client
  • Identifying new opportunities by being visible during implementation and actively managing referrals

At this point, the Buying Cycle kicks off again. For more complex accounts, our Strategic Account Management programme helps Account Managers to develop robust strategies to further develop account opportunities.