Goal: Develop a Teaching Pitch
Corporate Executive Board’s Executive Director Matthew Dixon and Managing Director Brent Adamson have developed an insightful technique to help organizations develop a customized pitch. This Commercial Teaching approach enlightens customers on a problem or value that applies to their needs, making them realizing how they can benefit from your product. In their book, The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, the authors describe the SAFE-BOLD Framework: a diagram created by Neil Rackham and KPMG that helps develop compelling pitches. With its stimulating organization, you can brainstorm ideas based on four categories – Scale, Risk, Innovativeness, and Difficulty – to design a strategy that will capture your customers’ attention and increase your sales.
Pass out sticky notes and pens to your players. This game should be played with members of both the sales and marketing teams, as it is necessary that they work together to perfect the Commercial Teaching strategy. The marketing team can provide the insight for reps to use as teaching material for their customers, and the sales team can ensure that reps have the skills required to use the insight to its full advantage. Next, draw four linear scales and label them as follows:
Scale 1: Scale
Left – “Small” = ideas that do not make customers curious or intrigued; customers have probably already thought of these
Right – “Big” = ideas that customers see as far-reaching
Scale 2: Risk
Left – “Achievable” = ideas that are not risky
Right – “Outperforming” = ideas that are risky and innovative, push customers out of their comfort zone, and show that you can help them get ahead of their competitors
Scale 3: Innovativeness
Left – “Following” = ideas that are used, dull, not innovative
Right – “Leading-Edge” = ideas that ask customers to take a risk by adopting your ideas
Scale 4: Difficulty
Left – “Easy” = ideas that customers can implement without your help
Right – “Difficult” = ideas that are hard for customers to implement, so they will have to hire your company to help them
Ask your players to write ideas on what can be included in the pitch and post them along the spectrums in their designated areas. Once all the notes are on the chart, work as a team to negotiate the locations and descriptions. Those that are closer to the “BOLD” end of the continuum are more compelling and effective. Try to transform or add ideas so they will be BOLD enough to achieve sales.
How It Works
This game’s visual organization and simple scales provide the organization needed to effectively brainstorm sharp ideas that will teach your customers of a new problem, be tailored to their business needs, and allow reps to control the sales situation to change customers’ thought processes and behaviors. By developing a provocative Commercial Teaching pitch that is big, risky, innovative, and difficult to implement, you can demonstrate your knowledge of your customers’ problems and provide a unique solution while separating yourself from your competitors.