Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: The Softer Side of Business Fit

At the heart of the IMPAX NxtGen(tm) Sales Process is the concept of Business Fit. We define Business Fit as "how two companies, working together, can support the customer in driving critical business outcomes". These outcomes typically pertain to the customer's critical business objectives, key strategies, and pivotal issues. As such, business fit statements like these feature key metrics that can often be translated to financial terms:

  • "Drives improved profitability"
  • "Supports focus on increasing market share"

On the other hand, people often use "soft" business fit ideas that are more difficult to quantify, such as:

  • "Leverages a strong foundation"
  • "Builds on a set of common values"

Although these statements may be more difficult to quantify, that doesn't mean they lack value - it means the presenter must paint the picture of their significance.

As an example, what is the business benefit that comes from both companies sharing values?

We need to identify the common values, understand the benefits associated with them, and share this message with the customer. If a common value is "safety", it isn't enough to say,

"Both of us have a core value of Safety".

We need to take this further, saying something like,

"Both of us have a core value of Safety, and we believe that, working together, we can uncover and share safety best practices that help both of us to hit key targets and do a better job of protecting our team members. Here are a few of those things we could do together [...] We believe that together, we can get closer to your "Zero Accidents" vision."

By painting this picture more clearly, we illustrate the value to the customer in working with someone who knows what they care about and can help them get where they want to go (even if it's tough to quantify). 

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