An effective sales process maps to and facilitates your customer’s buying process. Don’t assume that one size fits all. It’s likely that your market has different segments of buyers, and these segments have different needs. As a sales leader, make sure that your sales process is on target to align with the needs of your buyers.
Think Like a Buyer:
How do you get inside a buyer’s head?
We compiled some key questions that your buyer is likely thinking throughout different stages of the sales process.
It may seem obvious, but recognizing this shift in buyer mindset improves the alignment between your sales process and their buying cycle. Consider the buyer mindset throughout the ongoing vendor/customer relationship:
Before the Sale:
- Is now the right time to purchase this solution?
- Is there a compelling event that requires me to take action right now?
- If I don’t take action right now, what are the negative consequences?
- If now is the right time, what makes your solution different from competitors?
- What will the positive business outcomes be if I choose your solution?
After the Initial Sale:
- Did the solution deliver on what was expected?
- Has this solution impacted my business in a positive way?
- Do we need additional support from this vendor?
- Should we renew the contract?
- Should we expand on their services?
These questions should get you thinking like a buyer.
Articulate and demonstrate the value of your solution throughout the sales process by attaching to the buyer’s largest business problem and differentiating your solution from your competitors. Here are some key takeaways to remember as a seller:
- Always think like your buyers
- Use skilled questioning in order to uncover the buyer’s pains
- Differentiate yourself from the competition and link your differentiation to the buyer’s pains
- Provide proof that you can live up to your commitments
An effective sales process enables a sales team to effectively align their actions with your customers. Developing the tools that make that process repeatable creates the positive business outcomes that create measurable results:
For the Sales Team: the sales process enables more wins in a shorter period of time. That’s because the sales process was specifically developed to align with the way customers want to buy.
For Sales Management: the sales process enables predictability in the forecast, in the pipeline and in your day-to-day sales language. It is also a key ingredient in getting new hires productive as quickly as possible.
For Executive Management: the sales process provides an unrestricted line of sight into the performance of the sales organization. And ultimately, it impacts key sales metrics like deal margins.