How to Use Design Thinking in Sales to Create Credibility

How to Use Design Thinking in Sales to Create Credibility 


Every sales leader has at least one terrible story. The time they were in a meeting with one of their sales reps when the buyer asks “so what, who cares?”. Aka where is the value and why should I buy now?

This conversation can go in two directions.

Very Bad: The sales rep reverts back to “features and functions,” price discounts or other sleazy sales tactics.

Very Good: The sales rep has a real understanding of that buyer’s business, can articulate real business value and become a trusted adviser.


We are being asked more and more to help sales teams create more personalized conversations and speak the same language as their customers. This is important because it has a significant impact on delivering their value proposition that actually resonates with an executive and leads to better relationships and project outcomes.


One tactic we often coach is implementing a design thinking mentality while doing research about your customers. A straightforward way to do this is to go through the buying process of your customer as if you were going to use their products or services. Download their mobile app, visit their website, call their 1-800 number, visit a retail location, whatever you can do to live the life of their customers.


Now you have real examples of what their customers go through, what was great and where you saw room for improvement. Bonus points if you have the grit to do it for a couple of their competitors as well. This will undoubtedly point outcome consistencies and even perhaps some opportunity cost.


The best part about this strategy is how you can be very authentic, very personalized in delivering your value proposition to your buyers. You will be confident in that you are not guessing on your value points and will make your “what if” statements carry weight. Additionally, this will help you network across the business as some of the challenges will undoubtedly run across a couple of business units.


We know that delivering a personalized message to your customer significantly impacts your relationship with them. When you can start to throw in real-world examples, you will find that you will set yourself apart from the competition and become a trusted adviser to your customers, not just a sale guy.


Up Next: Is Your Sales Playbook Customer-Centric or Internal-Centric? Understand the Differences and How they Impact Sales

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