Customer Success | 6 MIN READ

What Is Outcome-Based Selling and Why Is It Important for Customer Success?

Outcome-based selling for customer success is the go-to need of the hour. Outcome selling in companies will help increase retention.

Niyathi Rao
Apr 15, 2021

Outcome-Based Selling for Customer Success

Outcome-Based Selling for Customer Success

Are you selling the product or selling the outcome? As a business owner, sales manager, or a customer success manager, you might wonder what the best way is to market the product. Organisations have traditionally focused on how to sell instead of serving the end goal. One of the best ways to make a difference in the lives of the buyer is through outcome-based selling. This is necessary for customer success and long-term company success. Your product needs to fulfil the requirements of your target audience, build trust and accountability.

What is Outcome-Based Selling?

Outcome-based selling or outcome selling is one that enables conversions by keeping the customer’s desired outcomes at the centre instead. It goes beyond just the sale to cover customer success and customer satisfaction at the core. It means having a customer-focused mindset and helping customers win across their journey.

This means delivering personalised experiences to customers so as to ensure customer success. The main thing here is to classify what the outcome is. Outcomes are the gains from the product. The outcomes are what people sign up to achieve with a product. This outcome is what is important to ensure customer success.

It is in the interest of the vendor to ensure customers attain success. This needs two needs-

  • Companies need to be crystal clear about achievable business outcomes.
  • Do everything to make sure customers reach that success point or outcome

Benefits of Outcome Selling or Outcome-based Selling

Business Value Increases

Business value grows with customer success. This will help your company reach customer goals and provide value. This in turn increases business value and improve outcomes.

Customers become loyal

Outcome selling is when clients are listened to properly. Their conversations are the base for strengthening customer relationships. This will increase loyalty, keep customers invested and have better outcomes.

Deals close faster

Isn’t the main goal for any business to close more deals? Outcome selling will help product great results and close deals faster. There are more chances of better deals as opportunities increase.

Elements of Outcome-based Customer Success

Structure

The structure of outcomes is made of

  • Core business outcomes: This is the single core outcome of the product you provide.
  • Contributing outcomes: these are outcomes to be achieved at every level which contribute to achieve core outcome.
  • What you need to unlock your outcomes: processes, people, skills and resources needed to achieve outcomes.
  • Technology, tools, methodologies, guides that will help you get to the outcomes easily.

Outcome Process

This is customer-based and deals with the lifecycle of the customer.

  • Customer journey
  • Outcome cycle
  • Engagement cycle

Why is Outcome selling important for Customer success?

Value-based outcomes is what customers look for in products. These are measurable and prescriptive product adoption milestones that help achieve value for customers. Outcome selling means ensuring customers know the outcome beforehand. This will help them have some milestones in mind they need to check off. For the company to scale and effectively, there is a need to find a way to deliver value to customers.

With an outcome based selling strategy, your customers get what they want. This leads to them staying longer with the company and ensuring customer success. Research by Gartner has proven that 86% of customers found it easier to purchase from vendors with a prescriptive approach.

How to Design an Outcome Selling Strategy for Customer Success?

To effectively achieve outcome selling, you need to create a strategy that will harness the value fo the product. Here are some pointers to keep in mind for that.

What are the customers strategic goals like?

Knowing what customers are looking for is helpful in creating products that serve their needs. The first step in your outcome-based selling strategy is to know customer goals.

What are the jobs to be done for these customer profiles?

It is impossible to create outcomes for every customer differently. Customer profiles are thus created to help understand what a bunch of customers looks like. This will keep their strategic goals in mind, map it with their jobs to be done, and deliver value accordingly.

What are the features or functions of the product?

Tracking your company’s products and functions versus requirements is a great way to meet customer outcomes. Does your product meet the requirement? Is it the latest version that can compete with competition? What can you do differently to make your product stand out amongst competition?

How will your sales team address customer queries surrounding the product?

Noting that your sales team needs to be equipped to handle customer queries is important. Your sales strategy needs to include customer questions, doubts, and issues. What if your customer is someone who has churned once due to a bad experience? How do you ensure they don’t do it this time with the value outcome?

When customer outcomes are the priority, one needs to distribute weight across teams to ensure there is optimal delivery. For example-

  • Marketing teams need to focus on conveying the right information, creating the right brand image, and ensuring that the value point is well explained.
  • Product teams need to ensure that customer value is highlighted and given a strong footprint. The product needs to have features and designs that will excite customers to give it a try if it solves their needs.
  • Sales teams need to ensure that customers know about the product and its value in the right sense. Means there needs to be less ‘fake hype’ about the product. The outcome needs to be communicated well.
  • Customer success teams also need to know about the outcome of the product. This is what is important to ensure that customer achieve it. CS teams need to know the outcomes so as to deliver as per requirements.

Maintaining a relationship between the teams is important to ensure outcome-based selling works.

Bottom Line

With customer experience taking new roles with COVID-19, it is essential to sell customers the outcomes. This will be helpful in customer success, create opportunities for a long relationship, and establish a good customer experience.

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Originally Published April 15th, 2021, Updated April 15th, 2021

Niyathi Rao

Niyathi is an experienced content marketer with a love for SaaS tech products. She reads a lot (mostly fiction) and is a huge news junkie. Niyathi loves exploring different forms of inbound marketing and taking on challenges.

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