Chapter 12: CustomerCentric Selling®


CustomerCentric Selling® is a sales training and sales performance improvement company with a methodology that enables salespeople to sell the way their customers want to buy. Interestingly, the company was co-founded in 2002 by Mike Bosworth, the creator of Solution Selling®. Bosworth sold Solution Selling®, which was eventually acquired and merged with Sales Performance International (SPI) as its flagship program. CSS® has grown into a strong player in the sales training market with an extensive network of certified business partners and consultants to deliver for clients around the world.


Companies that benefit most from CSS®’s approach are those that sell high-value solutions to sophisticated buyers, and require a high-degree of collaboration between the buyer and seller to drive mutual success. CCS® teaches a salesperson to relate his or her offering to the buyer in a way that will allow the buyer to visualize using it to achieve a goal, solve a problem, or satisfy a need. The approach makes sense for sales professionals who must identify problems and guide the customer through a decision process that will result in the proper solution and value creation.

Featured Clients and Case Studies

CCS® features a number of success stories, case studies and videos, which help describe each client’s challenges, solution and the solution’s impact. Most featured clients come from mid-market companies that sell high-value, sophisticated solutions.

If you work in a mid-sized company, don’t be overly enamored when you see sales training company logo pages that showcase Fortune 500 clients. It is best to find a partner with experience solving similar challenges in similar industries and similar-sized companies as yours, and with an approach that will work for your organization.


CCS® has been named to’s “Top 20 Sales Training Companies” list for each of the past six years, which is an impressive accomplishment.

Core Sales Training Programs

As its name suggests, CustomerCentric Selling® is the company’s flagship program. Participants learn a methodology and skills that align the way they sell with the way their customers buy. The core learning is delivered through customized workshops where participants learn to execute the eight crucial aspects of the CSS® approach:

  • Having conversations instead of making presentations
  • Asking relevant questions instead of offering opinions
  • Focusing on solutions and not only relationships
  • Targeting businesspeople instead of gravitating toward users
  • Relating product usage instead of relying on features
  • Competing to win—not just to stay busy
  • Closing on the buyer’s timeline (instead of your own)
  • Empowering buyers instead of trying to “sell” them

In class, participants first learn the “how and why” of CSS® from their instructor, but spend the vast majority of the time practicing these skills through in-class labs and role-plays. They begin to apply the methodology and tools in an evening group case study assignment that culminates with a presentation to the entire group on the final day of the workshop. This item alone has resulted in an immediate return of the program costs for many companies.

Other Sales Training Programs

CSS® offers several programs to reinforce or build on its core methodology. These include:

  • CustomerCentric Messaging® to better relate to a prospect’s market, level and goals.
  • Sales Process Management™ to enable sales managers to reinforce CSS® behaviors.
  • CCS® - Refresher™ Workshop to drive adoption and advanced CSS® applications. • Prospecting & Business Development™ to refine skills and strategies.
  • ChannelCentric Selling® Workshop to recruit, develop partners for mutual success.
  • Financial Impact Selling to create compelling business cases for executive-level buyers.

Delivery Options

CSS® delivers its programs to clients around the world through live instructor-led public and private workshops and through its extensive network of certified business partners and consultants.

The Full Solution

CCS® helps its clients adopt its way of selling by defining and implementing their organizational sales process, from market awareness to sales techniques to sales improvement and ultimately, sales success. CSS® also offers tools to help make permanent patterns learned from its training, such as My CCS® Coach and My CCS® Coach To-Go.

Guidance for Sales Training Buyers

There are many outstanding sales training companies to choose from. The key is to find the one that is the best fit for you. Look for a company that serves clients with similar characteristics and with similar challenges to what you are trying to solve. Also, make sure that the nature of the methodology or skills will make sense for your salespeople, your customers and your organization. As you vet and screen potential providers, also look deeper at the provider’s clients’ customers to see if they resemble your customers. This gives you another dimension to determine suitability. You should also carefully vet trainers to ensure they can relate to your people and will have unassailable credibility.

You have written an excellent piece. I do not say that lightly

VP of SALES, $3 Billion Revenue Co.

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