Monday, July 02, 2007

Use Cases for Sales Enablement

The sales folks in your organization need to connect with customers by addressing their specific situations and problems. Arming sales with use cases and scenarios can help.

The idea is to document use cases and scenarios for all situations that a qualified lead might face. When a sales person is on the phone with a prospective customer, she then can not only tout benefits of the product, but she make those benefits tangible and clear by applying them to the prospect's situation.

Fleshed-out use cases and scenarios contain the following information that is critical to a sales person interacting with a prospect:
  1. Description of the functional goal of the user. The name of the use case/scenario should convey what the user wants to accomplish. An explanation of the context and the reasons is also helpful.
  2. User interactions with the product. The step-by-step description of how the user will interact with the product to achieve her functional goal.
  3. Preconditions and postconditions. Conditions that exist before and after the user has interacted with the product as described in the use case/scenario. Preconditions and postconditions indirectly capture the nonfunctional behavior (usability, performance, etc.) of the product.
But keep in mind that most of what your sales people should be doing is first asking questions to understand the customers' situation, problems, the implications of those problems, and the need/payoff associated with the problems. Only then can they identify the use cases and scenarios that are truly compelling to the prospect.

Laura Patterson has more on use cases for sales enablement here.

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