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4 Questions To Align Your Sales Process With The Buying Process
by Peter Rathmann on September 22nd, 2013

No matter what you offer as a product or service, customer buying habits have changed and organizations are becoming increasingly frustrated by a lack of market understanding, conflicting strategies between marketing and sales departments, and a lack of understanding about buying decisions. These frustrations are leading to unfocused selling efforts and wasting precious sales time and marketing dollars.

To combat this, organizations must align their sales & marketing process to answer key questions in each stage of the prospect's buying process in order to convert market opportunities into sales. A good exercise is to place yourself in the shoes of your potential customer and ask the following questions of yourself:

1. Why do I need to solve this problem?
The customer is looking to learn from you and you should teach them in the way that they can learn. Connect your teaching to something they're passionate about but remember to be polite and keep it relevant.  Help change their assumptions and get them to think differently about their business using information that they do not have access to.

2. Why do I need YOU to solve this problem?
The customer needs to make a decision so you need to become a trusted advisor by creating relevance, building credibility, demonstrating value, and being honest about limitations.  Help them understand what is at risk for costs and profits if they do not make changes and stop selling the ROI of just purchasing the product or service from you.

3. Why should I buy from you now?
The customer is looking to commit so you need to motivate them by providing reasons that will make their decision easy.  You can achieve this by eliminating perceived risk and providing success stories about companies that have already implemented the changes you are suggesting.  It will also help to reiterate what they are at risk of for costs and profits by continuing with the status-quo.

4. How do I get the most out of my purchase?
The customer is looking for affirmations so you will need to show them how you will support them after the sale, teach them and their team how to get the most out of the product and service,  make yourself available to answer questions as they arise, and most importantly give them the mechanism to measure success.

By placing yourself in the customers' shoes and answering these four questions, you will be able to align your selling process to your potential customers' buying process.  This will help you will shorten the sales cycle and utilize your marketing dollars more effectively because your efforts will be focused on what the customer is needing to hear and not what you are typically wanting to say by not answering these four questions.  

Stop making your customers figure out how to benefit from your product and service and starting teaching them how to lower costs and make more profits by using your product and service effectively.

Please contact us if you need help integrating this best practice into your selling efforts.

Posted in Sales Engineering, Sales Optimization, Opportunity Generation, Customer Retention, Sales Coaching, Sales Skills, Selling Activities, Selling Skills, Business Strategy, Sales Training    Tagged with Sales Process, New Sales, Increased Sales, Sales Skills, Sales Coaching, Sales Management, Sales Cycle, Sales Training, Buying Process


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