I often hear sales reps and leaders talk about their company and the huge impact it has for its customers. But, when I ask for one measurable example, they stumble. Why is that?  Now, of course, some will come up with a number: ‘X’ savings or ‘Y’ revenue gain. This naturally leads to the question – “How did you calculate those results?” That question is usually met with a blank stare and then the dancing begins.

In storytelling, the best stories are ones in which the listener can recreate the experience for others. This comes from the storyteller’s ability to share specific details. If we’re going to talk about Value (a measurable impact or outcome), you need to Own Your Numbers (OYN) and not just provide general ranges or approximations.

What’s better than knowing the numbers – owning the calculation of those numbers. It is nice to know that one client grew sales by 270% in 12 months, but what will set you apart, is knowing how to calculate and measure that growth. For example, one more win per rep for the year or one more web order per loyal customer per quarter. Know the simple math behind the numbers that demonstrate and illustrate your impact on an organization.

How do you use this data to tell a compelling company story? You can use it most effectively to tell value-based stories about the impact you have had on similar clients. You can also leverage the data within specific Business Value Probing questions where you use the data and calculations to uncover the possible impact for new prospects. For example, at a similar client, we were able to achieve ‘X’ by simply adding one more order per loyal customer per quarter, what would be the impact to your organization if we could do the same?

How well do you know the measurable impact you have on your customers? Are you leveraging this impact in your questions, value propositions and conversations? Take the time to learn your clients’ stories as well as the specific numbers and calculation of those numbers. Then, Own Your Numbers (OYN) by developing, practicing and making the stories yours.

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Carlos Nouche

Carlos Nouche

Carlos has 25 years of experience in the enterprise software industry, including sales, service, business development, creation of partner alliances and business operations. He’s advised companies including Telus, TheLadders, Interwoven, Avaya, VMware, and Stericycle.
Carlos Nouche

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