To really understand the issue, Jim and RoxAnne undertook a three-step process of discovery.
Step 1: Surveys and Phone Discussions with Buyers
RoxAnne continued to gather feedback from recently closed deals to better understand pricing. Recently closed deals were surveyed to gather quantitative feedback (the “numbers”) and then followed up with phone discussions to understand the reason for the numbers (the “why”). RoxAnne also worked with Jim to identify specific probing questions she could ask around pricing and value that would illuminate the issue.
Step 2: Discovery Sessions with the Sales Teams
RoxAnne hosted discovery sessions for every buyer interview with the internal cloud computing division team responsible for the deal. During the sessions, she outlined the core reasons the buyer did or did not purchase from the company, and then worked with the team to identify the root causes. “It is important to ask the simple question of, ‘What happened to cause x?’ on the discovery calls and get to the specifics,” RoxAnne said.
Meanwhile, Jim continued to dig deeper. He met frequently with his product team to dissect the problem, and worked on his own to look for patterns.
“He took the approach of challenging himself on the possibility that their price really was too high,” RoxAnne said. “The analysis as to why the price was too high allowed him to gain a clear view of the situation. It wasn’t just enough to read the client feedback, but attending the discovery calls was important as well.”
Jim agrees. “That’s when the eye opener came in,” he said. “It was the discovery session and the interview with the client that helped us determine why we’re losing because of price.”
Step 3: Transformation Sessions with Senior Leadership
Ken Allred, CEO of Primary Intelligence, first voiced buyer concerns with pricing during transformation meetings with senior leadership. The meetings focused on implementing changes to address buyer needs, which in this case was the persistent feedback on pricing. “Transformation services are the prescriptive part,” Ken explained. “We’re telling them what to work on based on the buyer’s feedback and then how to work on it based on the discovery discussions.”
During the sessions, Ken facilitated conversations with Jim and the other senior leaders to further provide the insights the company needed to take action.
“Primary Intelligence helped change the conversation,” Jim said. “It was sobering. They opened up our eyes to a level beyond why we’re losing. They helped us uncover something that enabled us to drive more innovation. It was really meaningful in terms of how can we really change and be much more agile.”
Ken credits the company’s buyers with changing the conversation. “The reason we can change the conversation is because it’s not our voice, it’s the buyer’s voice,” Ken said. “Most organizations will never be able to capture the buyer’s voice the way we can. The fact that we can capture the buyer’s voice the way we do with such detail and depth and then give that voice unfiltered to decision makers changes the conversation.”