The Sales Executive Council and Sales Benchmark Index have released reports saying that over the past 4 years, a typical customer will complete 57-69% of their buying process before ever even contacting a supplier. Modern buyers are redefining their buying process. As a supplier, it is important to embrace this trend and spend more time and resources focusing on sales strategies that put you front and center in the buying process. Sales leaders who have adopted such strategies have been found to have a 67% chance of success compared to those who spend their time on yesterday’s sales tactics.
An important element to matching the new buying process is to modernize your sales process. A sales process in this sense means a customized approach to selling your product or service in a way that allows your sales team to sell in a way that your customers want to buy. So what does this mean to you and your sales reps? With the use of a sales process that is tailored to your particular business, you can achieve higher close rates and reduced cycle times.
There are five steps to build a custom, modernized sales process:
- Buyer Process Creation – Map out how your buyers make their purchasing decisions in your industry. Understand what consumers want and how they want to be communicated to by answering critical questions relating to the updated buying and selling processes.
- Field Testing and Validation of a Prototype – A prototype is the output of your buyer process creation map. Once that is created, it is time for your field team to take it for a test run. The goal at this step is to find out what works and what still needs to be tweaked to better fit your market.
- Leadership Validation and Testing – After any final changes have been made, it is time for the process to go to your leadership team. Here, the front line sales leader reviews and makes sure that the version works. Finally, the process receives validation from the executive team.
- General Release – Now it is time to begin training your sales team on the new process. It is important to build confidence and make sure that everyone is on board to ensure a consistent sales experience.
- Adoption – Without full acceptance of the entire process by not only all of your sales team, but executives can be the difference between success and failure. This is a team effort.
This is the first in a 4 part series. Check back weekly for more techniques to help you reach your sales goals this year.