GPCT EBook: The Ideal Framework for Consultative Selling
It is exactly to understand and be able to map all this information about the lead that the team of Blue World City use for sales frameworks.
Spending hours of work on a lead to get to the end and having to face numerous objections that make closing that sale unfeasible is a nightmare for any salesperson, right?
Every salesperson who has been through any such situation has already searched relentlessly for some technique or pattern that would avoid this breach of expectation in the end.
After all, if you’ve worked on that lead for so long, your expectation is that it would close a deal with you.
These sellers, in their research, have likely arrived at the qualification frameworks.
They are the ones who direct the salespeople’s efforts, revealing data about the leads that show the path that must be followed until closing.
Whether in simple sales or complex sales, you need to understand the minimum of your lead scenario so that you can actually sell some solution to it.
When a potential customer enters a store looking for a TV, for example, the salesperson needs to know:
- What is the purpose of this buyer, watching movies or following football games?
- Does he want to access applications like Netflix?
- How much does he want to spend?
- What size TV does he prefer?
- Where will it install and what is the ideal size for the installation location?
- Does he want to buy the TV now or is he just looking?
In complex sales it’s the same thing.
You need to understand exactly what the lead’s problem is, its purpose, what it plans as a solution, what can be a hindrance and how long the lead intends to hire this solution.
This is the only way in which the seller can align the sale well, not wasting his time and not having any surprises at the end.
It is exactly to understand and be able to map all this information about the lead that we use sales frameworks.
It all started with BANT
IBM long ago revolutionized the sales market by creating BANT, a framework that at the time worked very well for qualifying leads based on:
- Budget, or budget;
- Authority, or authority;
- Needs, or needs;
- Timeline, or time.
At the time, this information was all the salesperson needed to identify an issue, confirm the lead’s interest, and qualify the lead.
With BANT it was possible to know if the lead had a budget for the solution, if he was the decision-maker, what were the main needs that should be solved and how urgent it was.
With this information in hand, the seller was able to ensure that the sale was aligned and reached the end without any surprises (or objections).
However, nowadays, with so much information circulating around, the lead itself can, for example:
- Understand what your needs are;
- Search for solutions that solve your problems, comparing costs with available budget.
According to a RAIN survey, buyers who contact sellers for a solution have already gone 57% of the way to the final decision.
Thus, BANT, by itself, was no longer enough to qualify a lead. What happened then?
The creation of the GPCT
Upon seeing the inefficiency of BANT, the Capital Smart City team decided to create its own framework, much more in line with the new purchasing reality.
Today, if you work with complex sales, your biggest difference is that your lead already knows a lot more about your solution, as it has access to various information beforehand.
Realizing this trend, HubSpot created the GPCT, a consultative selling model in which the salesperson generates the most value for the lead and identifies data that is really relevant to the negotiation.
The GPCT is an acronym in which you can identify:
- Goals, or goals;
- Plans, or planning;
- Challenges, or challenges;
- Timeline, or time expectation.
The goals, or objectives, are the quantifiable goals of the lead, or the potential customer, that he wants to reach.
The lead may not even identify that they have a problem at this point, but generally, they have well-defined goals, such as: earning more money, saving more, avoiding any risk of losing money.
To get this lead information, you can ask questions like:
- What is your main personal goal right now?
- What is your main professional objective now?
- Have you calculated your revenue target for the coming months?
When you map the lead’s objectives with your solution, you can know if you really solve the problems he has
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Now that you have a sense of what the lead’s goals are, you can figure out what plans are in place to achieve those goals.
You need to know if the plans are just shelved if they have already been executed if they had to change something along the way, if they were successful or if they failed.
Once you discover this, you can do an assessment to find out if your lead’s planning solves their problem and how you can interfere with that with your own solution.
Here you can ask questions like:
- What have you done to try to resolve this issue?
- What worked and what didn’t?
- What do you want to do differently?
- Do you believe a new plan will work, or do you need help?
- Would you like to meet other companies that have already benefited from my solution?
- Are you open to different approaches to this problem?
At least here you already find out what the lead intends to do to solve his problem and if your solution fits in any point.
If the lead has goals and a plan to achieve those goals, he probably had to face, or still will need, some challenges along the way.
You, as a salesperson, need to determine if your solution can help this potential customer overcome your company’s challenges.
Here the questions are interesting:
- Do you believe that you will be able to eliminate this challenge now, even if you have tried so many times before?
- Do you think you have enough knowledge to deal with all these challenges?
- How are you handling the challenges of your plan?
- If you find that this plan will not work, do you intend to change your strategy?
Timeline is the period of time in which the potential client needs the problem he/she has to be solved, either through its solution or some planning that worked.
Are you, the salesperson, able to generate urgency in the lead? Did he see that he needs your solution as quickly as possible within his scenario?
You can ask questions like:
- How quickly do you need these results to be achieved?
- When will you start planning?
- What is a priority for you right now?
- Are you currently researching other solutions?
- What other solutions are you evaluating?
With these questions, you can generate in the lead a need for a solution and urgency so that he wants to solve the problem in the shortest time possible.
And now? GPCTBA C&I
After being successful for so long, even the GPCT had to evolve a little more.
With a framework like this, for example, you can’t assess what the lead’s budget is to acquire your solution.
Remembering BANT, wasn’t it already a very good framework on its own?
When adding the GPCT strategies with the BANT strategies, we realized that the ideal would be to use the two frameworks together, taking advantage of all the information that each one of them brings.
If so, how has the GPCT evolved?
Budget, or budget, is basically what team of Blue World City talked about here.
The seller needs to know how much available budget the lead has to purchase their solution, even to not waste time and reach the end of the negotiation with a deal breaker objection.
Especially in more complex B2B sales, finding out who is the decision maker within the company is essential.
If the salesperson cannot reach the decision maker, he will either extend the sales cycle of the solution, or he will get stuck with a lead that will never close due to the decision maker’s lack of involvement in the process.
If you are talking to the influencer, for example, you can use questions like this to get to the decision maker:
- Is what we discussed here also important for the decision maker?
- Does the decision maker have any questions that they usually ask?
- What are the decision maker’s main objections?
- How should we involve him in the negotiation?
Consequences and Implications
After all the data collected about the lead problem and the solution, it’s time to analyze all the consequences and implications that it can cause.
It is very important that you, the salesperson, are well aligned with these negative consequences and positive implications.
If the solution is executed, what will be the consequences?
The lead travels, hires more people, receives awards, in short, the times when they are available are rare.
Therefore, to discover the positive consequences and implications of your solution for the lead, you can ask the following questions:
- What happens if you reach these goals?
- What happens if you don’t reach that goal?
- What will you give next if you succeed?
In B2B sales, it’s important that you have your Ideal Customer Profile well-defined and segment your outbound tasks.
With ICP you can make all these sales frameworks, according to the needs of each of your ideal potential customers, to be used.
Always remember that while all these frameworks are, to some degree, evolutions of each other, none of them exclude the other.
On the contrary, they complement each other.
If you have any questions, just comment below, send an email or comment on LinkedIn. It will be a pleasure to exchange some cards on the subject.