Microsoft Moved from 'Product-Centric' to 'Customer-Centric' Selling
Microsoft was struggling with an increasing number of dissatisfied customers, mainly due to poor interactions with account managers who did not demonstrate an understanding of their business, situation and pains. Sellers were perceived as “new product pushers” instead of trusted partners and problem solvers. As a result, an increasing number of account managers were failing to meet the sales quota as they lost customers and sales opportunities and the company knew they needed to make a change. They came to Richardson Sales Performance, previously Richardson and SPI, to ensure their account managers could better understand the business, situations, pains and needs of different customer and stakeholder types. They were looking for the account managers to lead the conversation and buying process forward, and tailor the customer dialogue to the customer’s situation and to where the customer is in the buying process.
We partnered with Microsoft to do an analysis of customer buying cycles to identify pains, needs, and critical touchpoints. We built and implemented a global Solution Selling training program for over 10,000 Microsoft sellers, marketers, and partners to address customers' pains and priorities and how better prepare for customer meetings. We implemented a question-driven sales meeting dialogue model to recognize customer pain points and priorities. Finally, we created and implemented a sales process based on objective customer verifiers to ensure alignment with the customer’s buying process.