In b2b the sales and buy process alignment is key. In recent posts we have looked specifically at the buying process but how does this relate to the typical B2B sales process?
The sales process for your business should reflect the way you sell. Some important observations on this alignment for you to consider.
Understand the Why Buy – Do not head straight into Solution
For commodity selling the early stages of create opportunity, qualify prospect and prepare bid should be relatively quick for the sales teams. Often this opportunity creation is done by a marketing campaign or similar activity not related to sales. But please ensure that this activity is done properly and your campaigns address the concerns of the buyers at the Why Buy stage. Do not ignore this area of the process to maximise your exposure to buyers. This is about making your offer relevant to the buyer and also help them to see the potential value associated with their case for change.
This is maybe less likely to happen for those of you with a more consultative proposition. Your success often comes when you invest time in these early stage discussions. Your value proposition is often leverages your intimate knowledge of the customers you deal with. With robust analysis tools to help you complete this early stage engagement, you’ll be less likely to miss the real value of change. It is worth investing time here to understand the specific aspects of your clients business case for greatest success.
Focus tailored solutions
When preparing your offer your choice of Solution, and it’s alignment with the requirements of the customer, should be based on the specific needs identified in the Why Buy stage. If you have assumed these needs, check whether your assumptions are based on the prospects situation. Craft your solution to satisfy their true drivers and needs. Often companies spend a great deal of time here “pushing” products and services at clients but for many complex solutions this will fail as customers fail to see the value of change.
Don’t forget the Why you
Make sure you address this vital Why you stage in the process. Having a compliant solution means you have a chance, but it wont secure the win. You win when you are the best option for the client and for most companies this requires that you understand the risk:reward equation. Prove you have the best solution, prove you are a low risk option and prove you are the best people to work with. This will make the negotiation and close stages of your sales process much easier to navigate and maximise your chances of success.