When speaking to a chief procurement officer recently, we were reminded of how professional buyers have become. He had a very structured buying process. He invested heavily in educating his team how to handle vendors; counseling never to build too close a relationship with the sales person; using competitive pressures to keep suppliers focused; and managing the communication, to make sure that he could control the process.
And here’s the thing: If you don’t have a sales process that’s mapped to the customer’s buying process, you will struggle to succeed.
To help companies get started on this journey, we created a free resource called Dealmaker Genius that allows anyone to build a sales process for their company.
I will tell you a bit more about that in a minute – but first let’s look first at the steps a buyer takes as they embark on a buying process.
- Identify Need (What’s the business problem they want to solve?)
- Visualize Solutions (How is the problem addressed?)
- Evaluate Alternatives (What’s the best option for us?)
- Negotiate Terms (The details of the deal)
- Purchase, and
- Re-Evaluate (How is it working for us?)
If these are the steps that the buyer goes through, doesn’t it make sense that your sales process should align to the buying process? Let’s map a sales process to the customer’s buying process:
|Buying Process||Sales Process||Comment|
|Identify Need||Qualify||Is there really a funded opportunity that we can win?|
|Visualize Solutions||Requirements||What is the business need of the customer?|
|Evaluate Alternatives||Evidence||How do we prove that we can competitively meet the business need?|
|Negotiate||Acquisition||Not just about price, but more importantly about the terms of the relationship.|
|Purchase||Verbal Order & Contract||Crossing the finishing line.|
|Re-Evaluate||Manage||Building a customer for life.|
In all of the analysis we have done of deals lost, one of the common factors for the loss has been a lack of understanding of the customer’s buying process. There is lots of evidence to suggest that, unless you understand the customer’s plans, their real business needs, and can develop their needs to show your distinct competitive advantage and real business value, success is unlikely. It’s much easier to design your selling plan, if you know the customer’s buying plan.
Our focus is to help sales professionals succeed, and Dealmaker Genius removes one of the critical barriers by enabling anyone, anywhere, to create a high-quality sales process for their business and elevate their performance. Through over two million sales cycles, we’ve seen successful patterns emerge, and that continuously informs our insight. We believe Dealmaker Genius will add considerable value to our customers and sales professional everywhere, and will help raise standards in the sales effectiveness market. And the best news – it’s free, and you can get started now.