It is clear that customers looking for business-to-business solutions often do not know how to define their specifications. It is common to close a sale only to reopen it during the delivery process because the customer forgot certain requirements. 

I advise my clients to always assume that the client-provided requirements are complete and accurate. Collaborating with clients to gather requirements and not rely on them to define them is the first role of decision architecting. The second role is helping clients prioritize what they want and why, another area of customer weakness.

The evolving sales role requires guiding customers through the decision-making process, preventing mistakes, and focusing beyond the purchase order signature. It involves asking different questions, structuring requirements gathering, and prioritizing mechanisms. This is the new expertise and value salespeople can bring to the table to knowledge-empowered customers who are clueless about how to make the decision.

During my workshops, I emphasize the distinction between technical and emotional specifications. The first is what the customer states, the second is what the customer really wants. Technical specification may lead to completed implementation but not necessarily to customers’ success. The latter requires a radically different process to achieve it and it needs to be led by the newly, redefined decision architects (formerly known as salespeople).