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Rocket GTM 🚀 - The KDMU
Welcome to the new readers this week 👋
If you haven't already, check out my new podcast 👉 The Search For Growth👈 where I join my co-host Chris Gibson and Founder of Wavelength to discuss frameworks, principles, and strategies to scale your startup and grow your character.
In this week's episode we interview Evan Gelfand, the Founder of Super F*cking Simple, the civic engagement event that discusses contentious topics like the upcoming elections and statewide propositions in a non-partisan safe space.
In today's newsletter however we discuss how to increase your win rate by mastering the key decision making unit.
The Key Decision Making Unit
How many times have you had a deal, which you thought was going to close, only to find out the last minute there was an unknown stakeholder who derails your deal?
It's happened to me a lot.
If the answer is "yes" then you may be making this cardinal mistake.
We often speak about the key decision maker (KDM), the idea that there is one key person who makes decisions that we must convince to win a deal.
The term made sense 20 years ago. Companies used to be a lot more hierarchical. The I.T. manager or budget owner would centralize software purchases so it made sense to go straight to the top.
Today, the buying process no longer looks the same.
There are many stakeholders within a business who have a say on what software gets purchased. The decision is rarely made by one person, rather it is decentralized across multiple stakeholders.
It's time to stop focusing on one key decision maker (KDM) and start focusing on the key decision making unit (KDMU).
Qualification methodologies like MEDDIC break down the key decision making unit into roles like:
In today's buying process, not constructing a sales process designed around this unit will hamper your ability to win deals.
The Buyer Maturity Matrix
Any salesperson worth their salt knows that to win a deal the prospect must:
🔘 know the problem
🔘 know the consequence of the problem
🔘 know your solution
🔘 know the impact of your solution
You can't sell a solution to someone who doesn't think they have a problem.
And it's not enough to be be convinced they have a problem, but they have to be aware of the full consequences of the problem.
But, and here's the big but...
Most salespeople focus on a single person, the champion. They often fail to execute each of the four steps above for each stakeholder in the key decision making unit.
There are many reasons for this, but the main one is: it's challenging to get access to these people. Key decision making units are often protected and hidden by the champion. I discussed how to get the key decision makers in the loop in last week's newsletter.
The Buyer Maturity Matrix
As a sales manager I find it useful to map out the key decision making unit for each deal in the CRM.
Each week we perform pipeline reviews with reps where we go through each stakeholder and understand where each stakeholder is along the "buying maturity matrix".
The common challenge I see are sales people who give deals a high confidence of closing because their champion is fully aligned with the problem and solution, but the problem arises when they realize that other stakeholders may not even be aware of the problem internally.
Understanding the Buyer Maturity Matrix for each stakeholder will help priortiize your next action in the sales process.
For example, it serves no purpose to negotiate price with a champion when the economic buyer is not aware of the problem, nor convinced of the consequences.
This is very typical with end user productivity tools.
The end user (often the champion) loves the tool because it will save them a ton of time.
But when they take it to their manager, they don't care as much.
You have to be able to link the pain to an individual, team, and company level in order to win over the key decision making unit.
🌯 Wrapping it up
Step 1: Problem
Step 2: Consequence of the problem
Step 3: Solution to problem
Step 4: Value of solution
Step 5: Repeat step 1-4 for all stakeholders in the KDMU