This is the seventeenth in a series of articles for e-learning for Advanced Sales Training for IT and High-Tech Sales
Sales Strategy - Sales Conversation a) The Sales Journey
We have already looked at the buying cycle in previous articles. The buying cycle is the journey the buyer executes to achieve their goal. Remember, your client is not trying to buy a product, a service, or a solution, they are trying to improve their business results, so your goal is to sell that outcome.
The phase “buyer’s journey” can make it sound like the buyer is making the journey alone. They are not, you have previously covered the ground your client is now trying to navigate, so you have the knowledge to guide them.
Your buyer may or may not know what they need to do to achieve their goals. There are almost always some gaps in your client’s knowledge or experience to know what problems they may encounter along the way or what is needed at each stage of the buying journey. Your role as the salesperson is to tailor your sales journey and help your clients at each stage in their buying journey, recognising the different choices they might consider, what trade-offs they may make between investments and results, and what they’ll need to execute the solution that will deliver their target outcome.
You create value for your client by recognizing where they are – or are not - in their journey and aligning your sales conversation with their needs, providing the insights and context needed to make good decisions at each stage.
Ultimately, the insights you share will show them what they’ll need to consider as they explore a solution, how they should weigh certain factors against others, the different ways companies deliver results, clarifying what they need from a partner and what they must do to execute an effective solution.
Each person in the Buying Centre will have their own journey. Your objectives from the sales conversation are to learn individual preferences, feelings, pain points, challenges, goals, expectations, likes and dislikes, and decision-making factors, to deliver tailored insights and sales conversations for each individual.
You might ask the following questions at each stage:
· What are this person’s goals?
· How do they align with the company goals?
· What emotional and logical criteria must be met to accomplish their goals?
· What can you do to help that person reach their goals whilst supporting company goals?
· What supporting resources will this person need and expect to find along the way?
Your first principle as a consultative salesperson and trusted advisor is to help your contacts make the very best decisions for their company, and then focus on helping them understand how best to achieve those results by building a selling strategy around each stage in the journey.