So where does a prospect’s buying process and the continued emergence of the internet and social media leave your sales process? What is your sales process? Do you have one? If you’re a sales leader, are your people following one?
For our generic prospect buying process, allow me to suggest a sales process to match it. The proposed sales process is highlighted in bold.
1. Unaware of any need and blissful.
a. Develop strong interest-gaining statements
b. Find and execute on effective lead generation programs
ii. Lunch and learns etc.
iii. Social media, social media!!
2. Starts to realize a problem or challenge.
a. Engage in real discovery
i. Probe and listen, probe and listen
ii. Probe in a way that is not offensive or overwhelming for the prospect
iii. Gather as many stakeholders as possible – KEY!
iv. For b2b, make it personal, make it face-to-face
3. Determines a need and begins to evaluate solutions.
a. Gain an understanding of the following:
i. Compelling business reason to buy/change
ii. Decision-making process
1. Players and roles in the process
2. Solidify your internal Coach
iii. Competitive landscape
iv. Budget (ok if it’s not there –it’s your job to create it!)
4. Performs research on potential solutions.
i. Start to “lay traps” for your competitors
ii. Begin to match your features to the client’s needs and begin to build the benefits of buying your product/service
iii. Provide more case studies
5. Interviews potential providers.
a. Craft and present your solution
i. The more company resources with you, the better
1. Bring a SME or sales engineer on this and/or step 3-5. Mandatory on this call
ii. Proposal and presentation first impressions are key (more on that later)
6. Makes a selection.
a. Bring in negotiation experts, i.e. procurement, in the background. Leave the boss at home but keep him/her informed
b. Craft and implement a negotiation strategy with internal management
c. Present a final pricing model
d. If proposed pricing is originally rejected, perform a “give-take”…i.e. “If I could …….then would you…….”
e. Escalate internally as required
7. Finalizes contracts.
a. Work with the delivery team to ensure a complete and satisfactory delivery of product/services.
i. Introduce the new client to the delivery team
ii. Be there when product/service is delivered
iii. Follow up after delivery
So now that you’ve mapped your sales process to the prospect’s buying process, do you feel more comfortable? Can you see that it will result in more predictable and successful results? Not only will you have better results, but you will have a much more satisfied client on the other end of this sale, one who is likely to buy from you again. Have you ever bought from a salesperson even though you despised their approach, only because you found a need for his/her product? I have. But I never went back again.
2 years ago