This blog post is a continuation / reply to a blog post by Salesforce about Outcome, where they’ve interviewed a guy called Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter. In short, Mark talks about how customers don’t buy features or benefits – they buy outcomes. There’s a 2 minute video, and the blog post itself takes about 2 minutes. Highly recommend spending the time on it.
Why a blog post on a blog post about Outcome?
Well, I found the piece interesting, odd and “sales gimmicky” at first. (It just another word for the same right?). Let me explain. I’ve been talking about Benefits selling for some time, in a manner that was somewhat interchangeable to what Mark calls Outcomes.It’s about what my product is going to achieve for my client, how it is going to help them succeed, what it is going to improve. etc.
To investigate why I thought that “outcome” was a bit “sales gimmicky” at first, I looked up some core definitions of the words:
Definition of Outcome:
1. a final product or end result.
2. a conclusion reached through a process of logical thinking.
Definition of Benefit:
1. something that improves or promotes
2. advantage or sake this is for your benefit
Just looking / comparing the definitions, especially 1 vs. 1, it becomes strikingly clear, that there is a big difference. I mean, you could be thinking of somewhat similar things when thinking of benefits, as when thinking as of outcomes. Yet, imagine yourself being asked to describe the benefits of a product vs. the outcome of it. To me, there’s a clear difference – outcome immediately wires my brain to think about much more concrete, and I’d even say tangible, in lack of a better term, results. And that what it’s really all about.
So in summary, I do believe whenever you hear someone talk about selling the benefits of the product. Comment and ask them this: “Well what about Outcome? what about the end results?”. I personally believe that Outcome is a much better word to help guide New Sales Reps, Senior Sales, Product Developers, Clients, Prospects etc. in talking and thinking about the same things.
Mark Hunter, thank you for providing this difference in words, to help sharpen me and my organisation’s focus within sales.
To see the difference, compare with my 18 months old blog post on Benefits Selling.