If the OSS sales process is broken, does this narrative help to fix it?

Yesterday’s blogged posited that the OSS sales process – of joining a customer and a vendor to form a sales contract – tends to have serious flaws.

Whilst deals still get done (you can see enough of them by clicking on the “News” category here on PAOSS), I’ve yet to see a deal where both parties were ecstatic about the whole process, notwithstanding the excitement of actually closing out an important deal. In my experience, each party has never been able to get to alignment on Simon Sinek’s WHY (see yesterday’s blog for details).

This post from Andy Raskin entitled, “The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen,” provides some food for thought in relation to getting alignment between OSS buyer and seller as well as providing a five step plan for getting there.

It takes the approach of building a narrative that can be delivered consistently by all sales agents in an organisation, but more importantly, starts with two steps that help the sales agents to immerse themselves in the customers’s WHY.

Here are the five steps of the approach, but I recommend you read the whole article for greater context:

  1. Name a Big, Relevant Change in the World (of the customer)
  2. Show there will be Winners and Losers
  3. Tease the Promised Land
  4. Introduce features as “Magic Gifts”
  5. Present evidence you can make the story come true

Sounds like a simplified version of The Hero’s Journey doesn’t it? Perhaps it forms the basis of The OSS Hero’s Journey?

Zuora (on which Andy Raskin’s premise is based) isn’t as multi-dimensional as OSS, so instead of one pack, OSS might need some slight refinements for each customer’s big relevant change.

Now let me pose another thought for you in relation to why a story / narrative is more effective than a set of dot-points in a presentation or selling based on a vast list of features / capabilities. The concept is courtesy of the Freakonomics team:
It’s purported that The Bible has sold more copies and is by far the most widely read book in existence. Within it, there is a list that is one of its most famous concepts – the list of the 10 Commandments.

Can you recount each of the 10 Commandments? [not many people can apparently] But even if you’re not a Christian, can you tell the stories of Noah, Moses, Sampson, Adam & Eve, etc?
It seems our brains are wired to remember stories, not lists.

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