The concept of focusing your sales process on anything but your company may seem backwards at first, but it’s really the best thing for your business in the long run. But if your sales process shouldn’t concentrate on your company, on who or what should it focus?
Your customer, of course.
Every time a customer seeks your products or services, he or she is in the middle of the decision-making process. A successful company strives to understand where prospective customers are in their journeys and accommodate them accordingly.
Forrester principal analyst Lori Wizdo discussed this concept at an InsideSales.com webinar several weeks ago.
“It’s not about our process,” said Wizdo. “[It] must be designed around our buyer’s journey.”
For instance, you shouldn’t suggest a free demo to a potential customer when he or she is in a different place in their buying journey at that particular moment.
Wizdo also mentioned a trend that every business owner should keep in mind: Buyers are more self-educated today. She cited a Corporate Executive Board statistic to back up her point. Business-to-business customers complete nearly 60% of their purchasing decisions before even having a conversation with a supplier.
Your sales staff needs to listen or look for clues as to the prospect’s frame of mind and have the tools to provide the appropriate communication for that stage. This fine art of listening and meeting prospects where they are will make your company’s sales process more efficient.
“It’s not about moving massive amounts of leads through the funnel,” Wizdo said. “The goal is to optimize the process. It becomes focused on individual leads rather than masses.”
She recommends that companies contemplate the following questions to improve their communication:
- How do prospects explore?
- How do customers discover us?
- What’s involved in a prospect’s evaluating process?
- How do customers make decisions?
- How can we improve our digital presence so we’re more likely to be found when customers are in their research phase?
So what should you do to improve your sales process?
“Don’t make it about you – it needs to be about customer and their problems.”
Peter Drucker, management guru and author, put it best years ago when he said, “Buyers rarely buy what the seller thinks he’s selling.” Make sure you don’t fall into that trap. Have meaningful conversations with your prospects, understand their needs, and most importantly, when you meet with them, spend more time listening than talking.
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