Want To Sell More? Help Them Buy. Here’s How to Get Started:

You represented yourself and your product/ service well. The prospect wants it. They told you they need it. You know they can benefit from it. You bragged about this one being a slam dunk in last couple pipeline reviews.

Now, the prospect has gone dark. Your estimated close date has come and gone (twice). What the heck? You know your sales manager is gonna ask about it next review period. What could you have done about it? Where did it go wrong? Great questions to ask. However, there’s a chance it wasn’t you. Read on:

Blog 6 of 7

Over the last few weeks we have been discussing the six sales imperatives- Things that simply don’t change because in sales because they are so important to customers. This week’s is dedicated to learning why we must help buyers buy. Just selling to them is not enough. Unfortunately, internal complexity, matrix management, and more collaborative workplaces have changed the way people buy. It changes the way people get approval to buy. If you are unclear about the hoops your prospects must go through in order to make an approved purchasing decision there may be a whole bunch of ‘behind the scenes’ blockers you aren’t even thinking about. If you want to make that sale, you’ll have to help your prospect navigate their own internal buying process.

A recent study by CEB (now Gartner) showed that the average number of buyers involved in a sale went from 5.4 in 2015 to 6.8 in 2018. If you’re in B2B sales, you’ve probably experienced this trend, much to your chagrin. Not only does selling to a team take longer, but it’s more likely to stall out and end in no decision. 

If bringing others in is likely to delay a company’s initiative–or worse, stop it in its tracks–why would your prospect involve others at all? You might think your prospect would be motivated to push through a purchase on their own. Why the increase in team buying? 

Never lose alone. Making a large investment of company dollars is risky. If the initiative fails, your prospect doesn’t want to be the one holding the bag by alone. It’s easy to fire one person, but it’s not easy to fire the entire team of leaders that collectively made a bad decision. Safety in numbers.  

Another reason for involving others is to increase the likelihood that the initiative will succeed once the purchase has been made. If a decision is made by  a single leader, but it impacts many departments, the others will likely feel like the change was thrust upon them. They are more likely to be resistant, or prioritize that decision behind the initiatives and purchases they were pursuing on their own. 

What does this mean to you?

Oftentimes purchases are delayed because the person that first sets out to find the solution doesn’t know who should and should not be involved. They may invite peers into the process, even if the initiative only has tangential impact on their departments. 

Another reason the deal slows or stalls out is because an entire group has a hard time coming to consensus. It’s easy to agree to not move forward. It’s difficult to agree to making an investment. 

Chances are this could be a new team, and they are purchasing this service for the first time. Do they all agree now is the time? What must be in place for it to be a go? What happens internally once your prospect makes a decision? Who else must see it? What are deal-breakers for each stakeholder? What features are must-haves versus nice-to-haves? Can you help them come to agreement about how they come to agreement? 

To truly be a trusted advisor, this is a valuable place to advise. You know your product and the stakeholders that should be involved in the buying decision. You know which departments and roles will be impacted by making this change. You can help them bring the right team together. 

Whether they decide on you, a competitor, or working with what they’ve got, they need to agree, believe in it enough to move forward, and to hold themselves and each other accountable. Look for ways to offer help and advice. Remember, you are the pro here. You’ve seen many of these deals. You likely already have valuable insight that can help your prospect buy. Call them and offer it up. Maybe then you’ll have some good news to share in your next pipeline review.

If you’d like to see the rest of the series or read more blog posts from The WinSource, you can find them here.

Please subscribe to receive future posts directly to email.

Ideas, comments, and questions are always welcomed! Happy Selling!

Know Your Business So You Can Help Theirs. Here’s How:

Blog 5 of 7. 

Over the last few weeks we have been discussing the six sales imperatives- Things that simply don’t change because in sales because they are so important to customers. The rapidly changing business world and the swirl of technology can distract us and make us forget about these imperatives. Letting that happen will have consequences.  Here’s how to prevent it:

Imperative number 4: Know your own business so you can help their business.

Why do buyers buy? It’s an age-old question with a surprisingly simple answer. They believe that what they are buying will help their business. While there are many personal motivations that can contribute to why someone makes a buying decision, that one essential reason, helping their business, is almost always present. There are different ways to help a business and is it your job as a salesperson to determine which reason is most important to the buyer. In order to help their business, however, you need to know your business. Specifically, in what ways your product or service can help a business. 

The primary goal of all for-profit business is exactly that, to make a profit. There are four fundamental ways, however, to increase profits: Increase revenue, reduce cost, increase quality or reduce effort. Depending on the role and responsibilities of the person or people making the buying decision, one of the four ways may be most important to them. If your buyer is in sales they may be most concerned about revenue, if your buyer is in purchasing they may be most concerned about cost, if your buyer is in marketing they be most concerned about quality, if your buyer is in production they may be most concerned about reducing effort, or if your buyer is the CEO/CFO/Business Owner they may not have a preference on how and just care about increasing the overall profit of the business.

In order to make a sale you will need to demonstrate how your product or service aligns with what is important to the buyer. In order to do this, you must understand how your product/service impacts the overall profitability of the business through each of the four profit components. 

Increase Revenue– How does your product or service help a company make more sales? Does it increase the effectiveness of their sales efforts? Does it increase awareness of their product or service? Does it add a feature/benefit that is more attractive to their customers? 

Reduce Cost– How does your product or service help a company reduce their cost of doing business? Does it reduce the cost of materials? Does it reduce headcount/overtime? Does it reduce distribution costs? Does it reduce maintenance costs? 

Increase Quality– How does your product or service increase the quality of the company’s product or service? Does it provide them with better materials? Does it help them provide better service? Does it help them find better people? Does it provide better education/training?

Reduce Effort– How does your product or service help a company be more productive? Does it help them reduce downtime? Does it help increase output? Does it help reduce waste? Does it eliminate procedures/steps? Does it help make them faster?

Increase Profit– Which of the above components does your product/service impact the most? What delivers the most positive impact to their bottom line? 

Most likely your product/service does not impact all four profit components equally. You need to understand how your product or service impacts each profit component so you can show value to prospective buyers. For example: let’s say you sell high-end copiers and you’re dealing directly with a prospect’s purchasing department. You discover through conversation that their primary motivation is to reduce costs. So, while your copiers are better quality and easier to use, with this buyer you need to be able to demonstrate how you can reduce cost. Because you understand your business, you explain that while your copiers are more expensive upfront than the competition, they break less and the reduction in maintenance costs means the prospect will actually save money in the long run.  

Again, by knowing your business you will know how you can help a customer’s business.

If you’d like to see the rest of the series or read more blog posts from The WinSource, you can find them here.

Please subscribe to receive future posts directly to email.

Ideas, comments, and questions are always welcomed! Happy Selling!

Join WinSource @ Sales 3.0!

The Sales 3.0 Conference, Las Vegas will provide executives in sales and sales operations with key insight and strategies to drive improved sales performance and revenue growth.

Check out the agenda here.

As sponsors of this awesome event, we have bene given a limited number of spaces to offer to our network. Coming as our guest means you can get 30% off a standard admission. ($995)

The WinSource Team will be attending the event and will have a booth set up. Please consider joining us.

If you are a sales or marketing leader these sessions could be helpful in planning through your actions for next year. It’s also a great place to talk with some cutting edge technology partners. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to invest in yourself as a sales leader this year, this is your chance.

Amazing group rate of $189 at the Four Seasons Hotel available until Aug. 24th.

If you are interesting in joining us or would like more information, visit our website @ http://www.winsourcegroup.com and drop us a note.