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PODCAST 38: Why Selling to Your Customers Stated Needs is Completely Wrong W/ Munya Hoto

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This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we talk to Munya Hoto, Digital Marketing Director at Foundry and a Founding Member of the London Revenue Collective.  

Munya is an accidental marketer who comes to marketing from an economics background and who has helped develop unique insights into how to expand the market opportunity for growing companies.

If you missed episode 37, check it out here: PODCAST 37: What Are the Key Foundational Elements of Challenger Sales W/ Brent Adamson

What You’ll Learn

  • Why selling to your customer’s stated needs is doing it wrong
  • How to uncover the 80% of opportunities where buyers choose to do nothing
  • Why loss aversion is 3x more powerful than gain seeking
  • The 3 types of unstated needs your customers face
  • How to size and scope a marketing message to compel action
  • Why “In Conclusion” are the words that wake up your brain dead prospect

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Show Agenda and Timestamps

  1. Show Introduction [0:10]
  2. About Munya Hoto: An Introduction [5:34]
  3. Why You’re Losing to the Status Quo 80% of the Time [16:18]
  4. Motivating People Involves Uncovering Their Unconsidered Needs [18:21]
  5. The Four Blockers to Change [27:46]
  6. Creating Demand From the 80% Who Choose to do Nothing [39:49]
  7. Sam’s Corner [48:38]

Sales Hacker Podcast—Sponsored by Aircall and Outreach

Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, it’s Sam Jacobs. Welcome to the Sales Hacker podcast. Today on the show, we’ve got one of the founding members of the London Revenue Collective. Munyaradzi (Munya) Hoto, from Zimbabwe, is a digital marketer, has an economics degree and background, and brings a lot of really interesting insights about how to think about selling to people. Munya teaches us in this episode how to move beyond what people tell you their problems are and teach them about what their problems actually are.

Now, before we get started, we want to thank our sponsors. The first is Aircall, a phone system designed for the modern sales team. They seamlessly integrate into your CRM, eliminating data entry for your reps and providing you with greater visibility into your team’s performance through advanced reporting.

Our second sponsor is Outreach, the leading sales engagement platform. Outreach triples the productivity of sales teams and empowers them to drive predictable and measurable revenue growth by prioritizing the right activities and scaling customer engagement with intelligent automation. Outreach makes customer facing teams more effective and approves visibility into what really drives results.

Without further ado, let us listen to Munya Hoto, who’s an amazing marketer. This should be a great interview.

About Munya Hoto: An Introduction

Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, we are really excited today to have somebody that’s been influential in how I approach the world of marketing. His insights on marketing are unique and incredibly helpful when you’re thinking about messaging. His name is Munya Hoto.

He describes himself as a Zimbabwe-born accidental marketer. Currently, he is the digital marketing director at Foundry. Prior to Foundry, he was on the founding team at Ideo, it’s a content intelligence platform where he learned the skill and the craft, and began to apply some of his ideas to marketing. Munya, welcome to the show.

Munya Hoto: Sam, thank you very much for having me.

Sam Jacobs: Excited to have you. Tell us what is Foundry. What do you do there? How big is the company?

Munya Hoto: Foundry is a producer of visual effects software, mostly focused on the movie, gaming, and episodic TV industry. If you’ve watched a movie or a TV series in the last 20 years, you’ve probably seen some of our toolkit in action. Nuke, our flagship product, has become the de facto industry standard within the movie industry for compositing, and actually won its own Academy Award at the Sci-Tech Awards at the Oscars.

Why You’re Losing to the Status Quo 80% of the Time

Sam Jacobs: How do you help the prospect (or the customer) get maximum value, and how does that impact the marketing messaging you bring, to market, as a company making a product?

Munya Hoto: It’s a fantastic question, Sam. When I think about prospects and customers, the basic premise is to think about how the brain is operating as they encounter the messages we put in front of them. Customers are three times more likely to move away from a pain than to move towards a gain. It sits in stark contrast to a lot of the messaging that you’ll encounter, particularly in B2B, where a lot of the solution providers are talking about how much they can improve certain outcomes, but that’s not actually motivating the customer or the prospect at all. It’s actually reinforcing their decision to do nothing rather than to actually make a decision to change.

The hurdle that most businesses face is not about being selected as one of the solution providers in a competitive bake off, but it’s actually getting customers to change in the first place. Most of us who are selling software to customers are losing to the status quo more than we’re losing to the competition.

RELATED: Objections… Symptoms of a Broken Process

Motivating People Involves Uncovering Their Unconsidered Needs

Sam Jacobs: How do you motivate people to change?

Munya Hoto: The first thing that most sales and marketing people do, when we’re meeting customers for the first time, is we ask them to tell us what their problem is. What are you struggling with? What’s hard about your job at the moment?

Those are their stated needs. Those are the things they know to tell you. The issue with asking about those things, is it actually reinforces them stay in their current way of working. That set of circumstances–somebody in the organization came up with a strategy, came up with a plan that has engineered them into that position. Even though they’re telling you that it’s a problem, they’re actually not minded to change very much.

In the very beginning, we’re trying to figure out what are the unconsidered needs that the customer is not discussing, or not revealing, in those conversations. The unconsidered needs come in kind of three types.

  1. The undervalued, unconsidered need – the thing where they feel like it’s a problem, but they haven’t identified the size and speed of that problem in their organization, and as such they think they can limp along with it quite comfortably and not have to change.
  2. The unmet, unconsidered need – where the organization has created a workaround. They’ve got a hack, they’ve got a manual process, that they’ve put in place, and they’re quite comfortable with that way of working. They know it’s not best in practice. They know it’s not perfect, but whose perfect?
  3. The unknown, unconsidered need – where they don’t even know they have that problem.

The Four Blockers to Change

Sam Jacobs: How do you operationalize this concept? What are the tools you give to the salesperson to help them instigate this kind of conversation?

Munya Hoto: First of all, you have to go a layer deeper in terms of understanding what are the blockers in our way. What is stopping the prospect from even making the decision to change? There’s about four things that every salesperson, every marketer should know before they launch that SDR discovery call. These are the things that, if you don’t confront these in your sales deck, on your website, in your editorial, content strategy you’re not going to be successful.

Preference stability

80% of qualified opportunities end up choosing making no decision and that’s because the customer has retreated back to their current way of working. The first thing we need to be telling our salespeople is be aware that you’re going to confront somebody whose preferences are so stable that you have to come with a provocative and unique point of view that makes them think that there is a flaw in the way that they’re approaching their current business process.

Anticipated regret

Anticipated regret is “What if this doesn’t work? I’m the one who’s on the line here as the sponsor of this deal.” How do you help your prospect feel comfortable that the cost of change is less than the cost of staying the same? They’ve got this anticipated regret if they make all of these investments, and it goes wrong, somebody’s gonna be on the line for that, “and that person looks like me.”

Perceived cost of change

“How do I get the organization, as a whole, to come with me? How do I get my fellow decision makers to come along with this?” We don’t often equip our salespeople to have that conversation that empathizes with our sponsors to say, “I want you to know that this is hard. I see a lot of people like you and it was hard for them, as well, but we gave them a structured and methodological step through to help them go from being in this position that you’re in today, to being this successful hero to the organization.”

Challenge of selection

The reason why the prospects often also fall away from doing the deal is because they’re confused. They’re overwhelmed with choice overload because initially we talk about what we’re capable of doing and then we lay down all these value-added services because we’re trying to get the deal done, but actually it’s more important to be very, very clear how you are a resolution to the unconsidered need that you’ve surfaced.

Creating Demand From the 80% Who Choose to do Nothing

Sam Jacobs: How do you take these ideas, not just from a content marketing perspective, but from a sales process, and put them into action?

Munya Hoto: As it pertains to the the 80% who choose to do nothing, in those situations, I want to partner with the sales organization carefully. I like to go along to sales meetings. I’m trying to get to the heart of the matter of why somebody took the meeting in the first place. What is actually going on in their organization that means there’s a compelling need for change that we need to articulate together. If I can figure out a formula of how to consistently get salespeople to tell me with confidence they may not choose us, but they’re definitely going to choose somebody. I was able to articulate value to them and to show them a serious flaw in the way they’re currently approaching their process, that they are now going to make a change in their business.

If we can make that repeatable across our SDR and marketing, and demand gen functions then we will be growing business. You’re creating demand for the first time. You’re not just double-clicking on somebody that’s already made the decision to change that’s in vendor selection mode.

Sam’s Corner

Sam Jacobs: Hey everybody, this is Sam’s Corner. Munya Hoto has a lot of really insightful ideas about marketing, and I hope it got your head spinning a little bit, and that you’re thinking about the concepts. Let me walk you through a couple key ideas.

We all love inbound leads–it means that they have decided that they have pain and they’re actively seeking to remedy that pain. That’s okay, but it means that you’re probably not the only person that they’re seeking to remedy that pain with. That’s why outbound is valuable, because you’ve decided that they are a fit and you can control the experience in a way that you can’t when they’re an inbound lead.

Munya pointed out stated needs, right? When you ask what’s your day-to-day like, what’s keeping you up at night? Just remember they are saying the same answer to the market, to everybody. That means that they’re already putting you in a box and that box is a commodity box. You have to be provocative and teach them something new about their business that re-frames their world.

You have to move into the undiscovered needs, right? The unknown, undiscovered needs. That’s where 80% of your CRM is lost. The 80% with undiscovered needs and choose to do nothing. Change your win-loss rate by using messaging that makes that addresses undiscovered needs rather than stated needs.

Don’t Miss Episode 39

Finally, thanks to our sponsors, Aircall, the advanced call center software, complete business phone and contact center, 100% natively integrated into any CRM. And, Outreach, a customer engagement platform that efficiently and effectively gauges prospects to drive more pipeline and close more deals.

If you wanna check out the show notes, see upcoming guests or play more episodes from our incredible line up of sales leaders, visit www.saleshacker.com/podcast-subscribe. You can also find the Sales Hacker podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

If you wanna get in touch with me, please do it, a lot of people have been reaching out to me and it’s fantastic. Please tell your friends about the podcast, please share your feedback. I will see you next time. Thanks for listening to me talk.

This is a sponsored guest post from a Sales Hacker partner.

Sam Jacobs

Sam Jacobs is the Founder of Aqueduct Revenue Advisors and the New York Revenue Collective and regarded as one of the top start-up CROs in the tech community.

He has has over 15 years of experience scaling companies from post-revenue to ~$300M, has helped raise over $400M in institutional capital, and has helped companies of all sizes achieve an average annualized revenue growth rate of 48% over the last 15 years.