I had the opportunity to work with some great B2B sellers and sophisticated process driven buyers over the past month from London, Brisbane, Dublin and New York.
While working with them, we noted a number of key insights that can help sales teams deliver real value and increase their chances of accelerating the sale.
1. Your value must be valued
Does your solution help every opportunity in your pipeline, deliver some strategic value or meet some business case that will deliver revenue, efficiency, performance improvement or productivity to the buyer business? Do yourself and your customer a favour and walk away if your value isn’t valued.
2. Customers are busy
Do we always reward them for their time? Assuming the answer is “yes”, we need to be patient with our customer. B2B buyers inevitably have to deal with internal politics before they can proceed with a project. As sellers, we need to be sure we reward the customer in each encounter. The buying process is often a lot longer than we think. If we are accelerating it, remember: buying process trumps the sales process.
3. Voice mail: Are they heard?
One buyer told us he had 22 voice mails alone last week. He said if the call was urgent the person would call him back. Moral of this story for us all: don’t assume people listen to their voice mail.
4. Keeping the pipeline real
A sales person who has reached 100% of his quota for the past five years puts some of his success down to his final act of the week; a weekly review of each opportunity.
The focus of the review: the case the customer has for moving to the next step of their process and the coverage the sales team has across the buying team. He told us “the end of week pipeline review puts the focus where it should be on the customer’s process. Keeping the pipeline real ensures focus and drives the right action in our sales engine”.
5. Getting the customer to jump over the cliff
A great question asked late on a Friday evening during a review of a €350,000 proposal: “How will I get this customer to jump over the cliff and buy?” The answer provided:
- A compelling business case that has taken account of the buyers benefits, costs, risk, compliance and strategic rational for the purchase
- A clear view of the customers buying process and the new realities of modern buying
- A good sponsor and a map of the buying team
Accelerating sales growth means working together with the tools of the modern day customer: their buying process, their business case and their buying team. Are you?