Establishing success criteria is an important step in the sales cycle to prove value and reduce the fear associated with a risk of failure. If you are at the point in your opportunity where it’s time to try to establish success criteria, then remember this – success criteria are the mutually agreed upon metrics to be measured over time, in order to determine the effectiveness and value of the capabilities that you intend to provide.
How to Establish a Success Criteria
Set the Metrics
First, you need to identify the metrics to be measured. Then, review your list with the decision makers to make sure that the final metrics that are agreed upon are ones that your capabilities can address, are indeed measurable, and important to the buying organization.
Set the Baselines
Next, work with the buyer organization to set baselines. If you don’t know how they’re performing today, you can’t accurately calculate the value of the capabilities later. Identify who is responsible for providing specific success data – you, specific buyer contacts, third party systems, etc.
Agree on how often that data will be measured and/or provided to you, then reviewed with the broader buyer organization. This is extremely important. You want to gain buyer commitment when decision makers and executives are involved and engaged. The inability to gain access to data and metrics after an opportunity is closed is often the largest obstacle to measuring success criteria.
Make sure to do all of this during the buying process. This is when decision makers are engaged and interested in figuring out the potential value of the solution. Establishing baselines and metrics also helps to build trust and manage buyer risk.
Finally, make sure to follow up and actually track the metrics. Your successes will provide new opportunities within the account and a prospecting tool for finding new accounts, so prioritize tracking success criteria. Use the success criteria worksheet to help ensure that you capture all of the necessary data.