Getting, Keeping and Growing Customers: Could Design Thinking help startups to increase sales?

Research shows that 42% of start-ups fail because there is no market need for the product or service developed. The good news is, this can be solved!!! There is clear indication and research that has been done to prove that applying Design Thinking techniques in organizations results in increase and improvement in sales. Falon Fatemi, in her article on Forbes, explains clearly how Design Thinking translates to improved sales. Below are a few points from her article (https://www.forbes.com/sites/falonfatemi/2019/01/15/why-design-thinking-is-the-future-of-sales/#339da4cf4683).  

Relationship between Design Thinking and Sales:

Empathize: developing a deep understanding of the end-user’s needs, through empathy and deep listening. Research has found that, according to buyers, the number one way for salespeople to create a positive sales experience is to listen to the needs of their customers.

Define: Clearly articulating the problem you want to solve. Only by defining the buyer’s problem can salespeople determine whether there is a lucrative fit.  According to one analysis of 519,000 discovery calls, there’s a clear relationship between the number of questions a sales rep asks a buyer and his/her likelihood of success.  

Ideate: Creatively generating ideas for potential solutions. Research from the Aston Business School, a highly-regarded business school in Europe, revealed that sales professionals who were more creative generated higher sales than their less creative counterparts. Another study by Adobe found that companies that foster creativity are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers in terms of revenue growth. 

Prototype: Developing prototype(s) to test your solutions, and testing those solutions with the target end-users. Involving tangential stakeholders in the solution process goes a long way in terms of making them feel valued and invested in the final solution. 

Testing: Engaging in a continuous short-cycle innovation process and using feedback from end-users to improve your design. Research has revealed that top-performing salespeople are up to 10 times likelier to use collaborative words and phrases, as compared to their low-performing counterparts. 

 

Design thinking—which is especially well suited for solving ambiguously defined problems—is key to establishing a genuine connection with customers and engaging them throughout the sales process. It’s key to sales success.

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