⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️
In this edition, you’ll be able to understand the power of using a maturity model by thinking like a designer.
→ Read this in <5 minutes right now
→ Snag the template below before lunch
→ Create your own maturity model this afternoon
→ Begin confidently positioning larger deals tomorrow
Selling without a maturity model cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost commissions – it’s likely doing the same for you
Back in 2017, I was selling to large enterprises for a late stage startup out of San Francisco.
The only problem…the company didn’t have a model for showing a large brand how to go from A to D, and thus, my annual earnings consistently hovered around $150K. I sold purely on experience and emotion, and it was not enough to land massive deals.
In 2018, I made a switch to sell for an enterprise-first company, and in less than two years, I was earning $1.5M per year.
The catalyst that 10x’d my earnings was being able to leverage these 3 key things:
- A distinct industry point of view (the what)
- A catalyst for needing to change (the why)
- A blueprint for the transformation (the how and when)
All three are key pieces you need in order to sell transformational deals. Most sellers can nail 1, a lot get 2, but nearly all fall short on 3 (the maturity model).
If you are unfamiliar with what a maturity model is, it’s used to show “how capable an organization or system is of achieving continuous improvement.” They are commonly used by strategy consultants in the business world and often missed by sellers, particularly in early stage companies.
Let’s deconstruct an effective, but simple, maturity model formula (and in the next edition, I’ll share how you can put it into action to accelerate large deals).
The key is to get your prospect or customer to think big, but then act small.
Structure and Key Components
Keep it clean and simple. I like using no more than two slides to anchor your conversations to something the audience can easily wrap their head around.
I’ve seen various styles used, but I’m a fan of using a “stair step” model like this:
Key components to include on slide 1 (click here to download the slide templates):
- Status Quo – You need to baseline around where they are today. This is something you engage deeply with them about, and when presenting the maturity model, you talk about their current status and keep this as a visual marker to highlight there’s work to do together. Bonus tip: Instead of calling it “status quo,” many organizations label, with their own terminology, when they are struggling in a department or on a project. Can you uncover that in your engagement and label that here?
- Lighthouse Workshop – This will be a true design session (the catalyst for change) your team and their team will conduct to co-design the ideal state using the maturity model as a guide (more on this in the next edition).
- Phases – A typical maturity model has 4 or 5 phases a company can benchmark against. This is where you’ll want to work deeply across your org and understand what each phase looks like for your most mature, optimized customers.
- X/Y Axis – Pretty simple – more value is gained as they undergo deeper levels of the transformation. Value is what you unlock during the discovery phase to support your business case (remember to go deep with curiosity to unlock powerful insights). You’ll continually discuss the value to be gained across each phase in every conversation you have.
Key components to include on slide 2 (click here to download the slide templates):
- Phases – On this slide, you get a bit more into the specifics of “the how.” I like outlining 5 things they need to keep in mind (this helps you to start creating budget) – 1) Tech (what products or solutions, integrations, etc.), 2) Operations (how will they be operating differently), 3) Workstreams (who needs to be involved), 4) Business Outcomes (what can they realistically expect at each phase), and 5) Risks (what can go terribly wrong). Bonus tip: Don’t avoid the risks part (be open and discuss when things went wrong, on your side and the client side). This helps build a ton of credibility. A good example is private vs public cloud storage…if there is a large enough deal, the customer may need to purchase their own private cloud instance to avoid continual crashes (be transparent!).
- X/Y Axis – As they progress, the more complexity they will encounter on each of the 5 components listed above, but so too will be the positive impact they make.
In the next edition, I’ll break down how to bring the maturity model to life and use the Lighthouse Workshop to accelerate the large deal.
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
- Get the exact system I’ve used to go from earning $200K to over $1M a year in SaaS sales without burning out here. (1,800+ students)
- Join a community of Purpose-Curious™ sellers in the Make More Hustle Less Club where we develop a personal operating system together here. (300+ members)
- Book a 1:1 coaching session to up-level your performance here. (Limited spots available)