• You know the #1 barrier preventing your salespeople from achieving quota is their inability to articulate value, because this figure is based on a survey by SiriusDecision of sales leaders who are your peers.
  • The reason salespeople struggle to articulate value, according to executive buyers surveyed by Gartner, is that 74% of salespeople talk too much about their product. Buyers don’t want to meet with a walking brochure salesperson, becausethey prefer to do their own research online. Instead buyers want insight.
  • Because salespeople struggle to articulate value and buyers can’t figure it out on their own online, 58% of enterprise sales opportunities end with the buyer decidingto stick with the status quo and not buy (source: SBI).
  • With so much riding on your sales team’s ability to deliver insight and articulate value, ask yourself are your salespeople articulating value on purpose or by accident? How are you helping your team articulate value today?


Imagine if your salespeople could improve their ability to articulate value by shining the light of insight on the customer’s unrecognized value.

Imagine how much more effective your sales team could be at articulating value if you could harvest the stories told by top salespeople and share this tribal knowledge with the rest of your sales team?

Imagine how easy it would be to track and evaluate their progress if your salespeople could use their smart phones to video record themselves delivering these stories?

  • Would your customers then no longer underestimate the cost of the status quo or the benefits of change?
  • Would you lose fewer deals to no decision?
  • Would your salespeople then be able to sell value and differentiate your product?


At the end of the 2-day workshop, salespeople will be able to create and then deliver insights so that they can sell value & differentiate their product to today’s empowered buyers. By improving your team’s ability to articulate value through improved executive conversations, you will achieve higher win rates, shorter sales cycles, and higher margins.

Insight Selling 2-day workshop- learn by doing

For the morning of day-one, we will cover why salespeople must deliver insight to sell value, what is insight, and then we will review the three methods to deliver insight; namely, Customer Scenarios, Provocative Questions, and Teaching with Research (click for examples).

Because people best learn how to articulate value by doing, in the afternoon we will break up into pods of 3-4 participants to create and deliver insights. Each pod will then deliver their customer insight scenario to the group, and then receive feedback from their peers. Based on delivering and then hearing each other’s insight scenario, each POD will then edited their customer insight scenario, and the result is that the ability of each team to communicate value will improve by at least 2X.

The following day we will:

  1. We will convert the insight scenarios into Insight-Based Directed Questions (Discovery Questions Template). This will enable salespeople to challenge the status quo & create value with discovery questions.
  2. When supported by quality third party research, we will convert the insight scenarios into Teaching with Insight.
  3. Discuss how to adjust the story per title/role.
  4. How to listen & document the customer’s new story in a letter to gain access to other key players.
  5. How to process the committee’s buying vision towards agreement to an evaluation plan
  6. How to integrate Insight Selling into your sales process.

After the workshop, we recommend that your weekly sales meeting starts off by a salesperson sharing a 2-minute customer insight scenario. Alternatively, you can deliver the best practice value stories via video role play platform to make sure salespeople practice and manager coach. This is a quick way to continually sharpen the saw so that your salespeople’s ability to articulate value is razor sharp.


  1. Memorable: Customers will remember your insight long after the facts have been forgotten, because your salespeople will learn how to wrap factual insights up in a customer scenario. In a Stanford University study, for example, only 5% of the audience remembered facts, but 63% remembered stories (source: Made to Stick, Chip & Dan Heath, p 243).
  2. Trusted Adviser: In customer meetings, your salespeople will now be able to walk away from their product and enter the customer’s world, because the customer scenarios will contextualize their product knowledge in customer knowledge. The result is that your salespeople will no longer feel like they are selling blind in the customer’s world. With a helicopter view of their customer’s world, your salespeople will now be able to see new patterns and wisely guide the customer through the buying process.
  3. Dislodge the status quo:  Your salespeople will no longer be trying to rescue customers with your product who are only ankle deep in problems, because your salespeople will first deliver insight so that your customers realize that they are actually out in the middle of the lake drowning in problems before your salespeople try to rescue them with your product.
  4. Find and fill value gaps: The knowledge gaps of your salespeople will suddenly be exposed when they tell a customer insight scenario, because the before and after picture of owning your product will be out of focus. But by receiving peer feed-back when they present their customer insight scenarios, the knowledge gaps will quickly fill in, and that’s how your salespeople will increase their ability to communicate value by 2X.
  5. Create Sales Assets to help win future sales opportunities: At the end of the workshop, you will have an edited Customer Insight Scenario® along with Provocative Questions and Teaching Insight for each pod (3-4 participants) that you can then share with the team and use the next day to inspire customers to buy.


Michael Harris is CEO of Insight Demand and author of Insight Selling- How to sell value & differentiate your product with insight scenarios, as well as the author of one of the most read HBR articles “When to Sell with Facts and Figures, and When to Appeal to Emotions.”

Although the training program is based on the principles of the book and the article, the content has been distilled to a few key teaching examples and exercises so that your team is able to apply what they have learned. The success of this program is much more than filling out a template: It’s the quality of instruction and coaching that enables salespeople to deliver insight that inspires customers to buy.

Next Steps

You can start by either training your whole customer facing team, or by running a pilot with a few key executives. Either way, I look forward to discussing with you how we can work together to help your salespeople better articulate value. Call 416 203 7227 or email:


Our Insight Selling clients include such companies as SAP, Hitachi, Epicor Software, Eaton Corp and Transunion Corp (click).