Critical Factors to Uncover in Your B2B Sales Process
Categories: Sales Process
If you are selling in complex B2B sales, you know there are critical factors in every opportunity that could influence whether or not you’re able to close the deal. Improve your ability to control the sale. Make sure you're uncovering key information in your sales conversations through effective discovery and a value-based sales conversation. It may sound basic, but consistently uncovering the right information from your prospects requires discipline. Be sure you focus on these five sales drivers in every opportunity.
Five Critical Factors to Uncover in Your Sales Process
1. Key Players
Who will play a role in the buying decision? As you mature in your sales career and/or start in a new organization, you will likely shift to selling bigger enterprise-level contracts that involve more decision makers. Do you know who will be part of the buying decision? Are you audible-ready to articulate how your solution can impact their component of the business? To win opportunities and close at a premium, you will need to expand your reach to decision makers higher, wider and deeper in your buyers organization. Refine your approach to ensure you can repeatedly gain access these decision makers.
Once you get in front of them, ensure you can make an impact. Consider each decision maker as a new discovery opportunity and prepare to be relevant to their needs. Ensure you're equipped to align your solution and sales conversations to their component of the business. The reason "key players" is number one on our list is because each factor below will need to be identified for each key player in your buyer's organization.
2. Compelling Event
What is your prospect currently experiencing that has compelled him/her to seek a vendor? Identify the pain or the compelling event that has your buyer (1) calling you for a solution or (2) taking your call. An effective discovery process will help you uncover the current situation that's fueling a purchasing decision and potentially elevate the conversation to higher-ups in the organization. We have great resources on executing effective discovery, leverage them in your upcoming conversations to ensure you're capturing all the necessary information to propel your deal forward with urgency.
3. Negative Consequences
Negative consequences play a major role in getting economic buyers (someone with power and influence in your buyer's organization) to take action. Once you identify the key problems a buyer is trying to solve, you need to understand their business impact. Is it a half million-dollar problem? A million-dollar problem? Whatever it is, find the impact. Remember, there is no value without a customer problem. Identifying the negative consequences will help you better articulate the value of your solution, and how it can help alleviate the current or future negative consequences that your buyer wants to avoid.
Improve your ability to make economic buyers articulate the negative consequences of a business problem that will demand an urgent solution. Easier said than done. Selling to an economic buyer is always challenging and often different from one deal to the next. John Kaplan covers this topic in depth on this episode of The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast. Listen to the feed below to hear John's break down of the three key questions you need to answer for your economic buyer in order to propel a deal forward.
4. Positive Business Outcomes
Do you know what your buyer's positive business outcomes are or how they vary from one decision maker to the next? If you've identified specific PBOs in your current opportunities, can you say for certain that they address business-level goals or are they lower level in nature? Are the specified PBOs compelling enough for an economic buyer to re-allocate discretionary funds? Deals stall all the time, not because the product can't provide a significant PBO, but because salespeople aren't attaching to big business outcomes in a way that's meaningful to high-level buyers. Avoid this fate and avoid leaving money on the table.
Ensure you're helping your buyer's define specific PBOs. Execute effective discovery to uncover high-level PBOs and fully understand the complexity of the problem. The more you understand the PBO's and what's driving them, the better you'll be able to leverage that information to put together an enterprise-level business case for your solution and validate a premium price.
5. Solution Requirements
What needs to be in place to ensure your buyer will adopt your solution? These required capabilities are where the technical and business worlds come together. Helping your buyer define these solution requirements will enable you to effectively steer the deal in your favor and ensure long-term adoption within each account.
Help your buyers specifically define and rank their solution requirements. Most buyers will likely have a desired future state in mind, but not necessarily a defined way to get there. Filling this gap is where you have the opportunity to trap the competition around your solution's differentiation. The most elite sellers leverage this gap by guiding their buyers in defining their own decision criteria, and in doing so, influencing that criteria with their solution's competitive differentiators.
Regardless if the economic buyer has solution requirements in mind or not, you’ve got to be able to ask the right questions and get them to come to their own conclusion on what their final solution requirements should be. Make it essential for your buyer to rank their requirements (which can help to remove competition from the running). After all, people don’t argue with their own conclusions.
Be Audible-Ready to Align With Critical Buying Criteria
Elite salespeople prepare to uncover these critical factors in their deals and practice the skills they need to execute on them. Remember, when you're working with multiple decision makers to close enterprise-level accounts — this criteria can and does shift often. That is why we often say you should always be discovering. When you hear something new, prepare to be audible-ready to respond in a way that will improve your ability to uncover key criteria. We cover these sales fundamentals in depth on The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast. Tune in today to get tips you can apply immediately to critical opportunities in your pipeline.