The art of selling is making it easy for a prospect to buy from you.
So often we see businesses failing to align their actions to a clients buying approach.
They often unsuccessfully push through on a standard sales process rather than tailoring their approach to match the buying approach. This not only reduces the chances of success, but it can leave the client frustrated that you have not understood their needs fully. Whilst this mindset change is subtle, it is an essential starting point on a journey towards a more consultative sale.
It is best not to overly complicate the buying journey and we would argue that a b2b buyers’ journey differs little from one sale to the next. The core elements of the journey are consistent, although certain stages may require more or less work depending on the specific opportunity.
The three stages are shown below;
We hope in this series of posts to give some of the thinking behind our Buying Process, starting with the concepts.
The objective of the Why Buy stage is to change the perception of the buying team. A shift from steady state (where no change is deemed necessary) towards a situation where there is momentum for change.
The buyer needs to have both a clear desire to make a change and a willingness to invest resources in order to do so. For this to stick, the change must be linked to an agreed performance gap in their organisation (this may be a problem that needs fixing or an opportunity they need to pursue). Either way the benefit case must be clear.
Once they have a accepted a need to change, their attention will turn to the various ways in which this change can be realised. In the technology world for example, a client could build a solution in house, they can buy a product and tailor it, they could implement a solution as a service, outsource the whole lot or indeed another approach.
The Solution stage is related to the evaluation of the various possible options and your goal should be to be a trusted adviser. Help them to evaluate the available options and in the process influence the buying criteria in favour of your solution. Ensure that your solution is a great fit to the needs of the client and demonstrate your points of difference.
Once the client has decided on which of the possible approaches works best for them, attention will turn to finalising a supplier.
This final Why You stage is focused on the risk : reward balance and supplier choice. After all they know what they need and how they might realise this change. Now they explore the benefits offered by each supplier and balance these against any associated perceived risks of doing business with that organisation. Your focus is in reinforcing your value proposition, proving capability and de-risking this choice.
In subsequent posts we will delve a little deeper into each stage but in the meantime we would be interested in your feedback.
Is this how you approach selling in your business?