Revenue Collaboration & Governance Objection Handling Conversation Intelligence

3 Ways to Inspire Buyers to Take Action and Break the Status Quo

Headshot photograph of Lynn Powers, Enterprise Sales Director at Clari

Lynn Powers
Enterprise Account Executive, Clari



Ready to take your revenue to new heights?

Three people working on a laptop and tablet
Three people working on a laptop and tablet

Sales is all about momentum.

Wins beget wins. Rejections (can, unfortunately) lead to more nos.

As sales professionals, our job is to ... sell ... to introduce prospects to our product or service and convince them why it’s a must-have.

However, the real challenge is often helping that buyer break free from the status quo – the “comfort zone” mentality that’s tethered them to their current technology.

Sellers at the top of their game don’t simply present their solution as a mere alternative. Instead, they prove their solution is a substantial improvement that saves time and money, improves efficiency, and increases accuracy.

Let’s look at three strategies that transform challenging 'nos' into resounding 'yes-es' and win more deals.

#1: Identify and articulate the problem

You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know you have one.

Step #1 is to convince your buyer they have a problem.

Kevin “KD” Dorsey, SVP Sales at Bench Accounting, says to do this, you have to get really strong problem agreements early and often. If not, your buyer won’t ever state their problems. 

“Without a problem,” says KD, “there's nothing to sell. Reps often ask me what I want. That's not a problem agreement. You never got me to agree to something being wrong with the status quo. If you're only selling on a better future, you're going to miss.”

You must first “unsell the now,” as KD says. “You need me to agree that what I'm doing now is not working.” 

That’s the foundation.

Here’s how: 

  1. Ask probing questions to dig deeper. Reps often ask “hope” questions.“What systems do you currently use?” is a surface-level question — one you hope buyers answer with, “We don’t have one,” or “We use spreadsheets.”

    Asking, “How can you accurately track forecasts?” surfaces the problem and may solicit an answer such as, “Hmm. I don’t know what’s going on with my forecast!”

  2. Seek emotional impact and consequences. Once the buyer vocalizes the problem, a strong response could be, “Yikes. Well, that sucks, doesn't it?” Or, “Wow. That has to be frustrating!”

    You are identifying with their pain, showing empathy for their problem. 

    Be sure to label your buyer's emotions using sensory language like:

    It sounds/seems/looks like you…. 

  3. Prompt prospects to articulate the problem in their own words. Good: The seller states the buyer’s problem. Next level: The buyer articulates the problem in their own words. Now the problem (and the associated pain) really sinks in.

    Uncovered the problem: Check. 

    Buyer stated back problem: Check. You say it in their own words.

Next: Share how your product or service will help alleviate that problem.

#2: Convey the benefits of a better future

Discuss what breaking out of the status quo will look like.

Some tips: 

  1. Define the desired outcome (say, more accurate sales forecasting) and show how your solution helps. This is the “grass is greener” on the other side.
  2. But don’t feature dump —  spit out a long list of features – before understanding the buyer's needs. Doing this is overwhelming and unhelpful. Move beyond product and feature-focused discussions to break the status quo. 
  3. Paint a picture — illustrate the impact of a better future for the prospect. What would it look like? How would this new future positively impact their job?
  4. Incorporate emotional elements — empathy, trust, curiosity, respect, confidence, inspiration, and so on — to create a compelling vision.
  5. Show them the money. Tie ROI and long-term value to the status quo conversation. How will ditching the “easy” this-is-how-we’ve-always-done-it approach turn into real revenue? 

A better future must be not just about saving time, but also saving money (or increasing the top line).

#3: Enhance visibility and efficiency

This brings us to the third way to beat the status quo — specific to forecasting, in this case:

Show how your solution will enhance visibility and efficiency across the board.

Accurate and precise sales forecasting is the single most important business process in the entire company. As we’ve said before, “Accurate forecasting leads to confident investment and growth. The opposite creates mistrust, indecisiveness, and an inability to confidently invest in the future.”

In order to do this effectively, we train our sales team to: 

  • Address the pain points of manual processes: Spreadsheets. Spreadsheets. Spreadsheets. Prone to human error. Hard to read. Never updated in real-time. Chock full of hidden costs.
  • Highlight the importance of data quality and accuracy: Bad CRM data can cost you 10% in annual revenue.
  • Showcase how Clari provides improved forecasting capabilities and pipeline visibility: Having a clear view of the sales pipeline is essential for every aspect of your business. 

Obviously, your sales training will change depending on your product or service.

It’s time to beat the status quo

Use these tips to inspire buyers to take action and break the status quo.

But don’t leave your pipeline to chance by having limited visibility into how those calls are going. 

Clari Copilot is a conversation intelligence platform that arms sales reps and managers with the tools they need to efficiently and effectively compete. 

With Clari, reps can identify and then stop revenue leak and close deals more quickly.