There has undoubtedly been a shift in recent years in buying behavior. The Sales Executive Council and Sales Benchmark Index have discovered that today’s customers will complete 57-69% of their buying process prior to contacting a supplier. Sales leaders who have adapted their strategies to better meet the expectations of these better informed customers have a 67% chance of success compared to those who spend their time on out-dated sales tactics.
One important element to matching the new buying processes is to develop your own Buying Process Maps. A Buying Process Map (BPM) is a sales tool that maps out different decision making processes that are used to purchases a product or service. This blueprint allows your sales team to align their services better with the needs of your market to get into deals earlier to give them a competitive advantage.
As a leading seller, you have to get into deals early and with more force by creating reasons why buyers want to meet with you. Doing so will keep the competition from being able to. A BPM lays out exactly what you need to know where the deal is and how that particular buyer wants to be approached.
There are three main components of a BPM:
- Buying Phases – Not in the market, stimulated, problem definition, options, evaluation, preferred recommendation, final approval, implementation
- Key Buyer Actions – Observe trends, problem surfaces, identify and involve stakeholders, explore promising options, conduct research, finalize, submit final decision, implement decision.
- Micro Decisions within each step and following implementation
You should always be aware of how your buyer buys, and to help you understand this you should clearly define answers to the following questions:
- Was each step in the buying process covered and to what extent? Why were the steps covered and what happened within each?
- What changes, if any, took place and why?
- Are there any new findings that should be added to your ideal market profile and/or Buyer Persona?
- How did you create new value for your customer?
Get a good understanding of how prior customers bought and apply their process to better anticipate and understand how future customers will make their purchase decisions. The key to a successful BPM is to have multiple created to account for the many different types of buyers within your market.
This is the third in a four part series based on the “How to Make Your Number in 2014” Report. See our other topics here:
Make Your Sales Numbers with a More Modern Sales Process
Make Your Sales Numbers with New “A” Players
Make Your Sales Numbers with Social Selling (coming soon)