Do you remember that last significant sale you made? Do you remember the buzz you felt from the exhilaration of closing? So what did your buyer feel at that stage? Do you know precisely why they felt the way they did? If you can not tell me for certainty, the real reason they finally made the decision to purchase, then maybe this article could help you close significantly more sales.
Sellers generally sell Forwards
Unfortunately most sales people focus on the contract signature or the close date. This is normally due to pressure from their bosses, Commission plans or indeed outside investors.
Sales people and business owners need to make quota. And in many cases their entire focus is on the close, the contract signature.
So they are selling forward to the contract signature. Most sales methodologies also seem to focus entirely on the close. This is how most compensation plans, where sales people get a percentage of the sale have their focus.
Have you ever watched a high board diver? They go through a series of complex manoeuvres and manage to finish entering the water without a ripple. The perfect outcome to a great dive!
Having spoken to a high diver, I asked them what they focused on during the dive, was it the finish?
The way a good salesperson would focuses on the process of a sale the diver focuses on the individual stages of the dive. Each movement must be carefully choreographed and accurately undertaken. It is the combination of all properly executed actions that leads to the perfect finish.
If the Diver was to focus solely on the outcome, he might miss one of the crucial link points in the whole process, and thus blow the finish. The exact same is true in the sales process.
It is essential for the sales person to focus on all of the stages in the sale as they relate to the purchaser’s buying process. By concentrating on the end-point of the contract signature, they could miss one of the steps and more importantly their focus will have been considerably different to the buyer’s intent.
Buyers generally buy backwards
The buyer on the other hand is thinking about taking ownership. The contract is just one of many steps that they must undertake before they actually obtain that which they are hoping to purchase.
As opposed to the sales process the buying process would have the following key steps:
- The buyer becomes aware of a need, want or pain
- They look for ways to meet their criteria
- They identify a number of possible solutions
- They evaluate each of the identified solutions based on criteria such as:
- Fit for purpose
- Value over a period of time
- Previous experience, either their own or another owner
- Relationship to the seller
- They create, normally with the seller, a plan for ownership and eventual use
- They agree to make the purchase
- They implement the plan, including any other actions, in addition to the specific purchase that need to be completed
- They make use of their purchase
While these are very generic steps, I am sure that you can see how they could be applied to nearly all purchases.
Does your sales process take into account what the buyer wants?
Do you have any opportunities in your pipeline that could be closed faster with a different way of approaching the customer’s needs? Our Sales Pipeline Valuation Service, which is part of the execution phase of the 3R™ Success Framework, will help you pinpoint and deal with blockages in your sales. This could lead to you and your team closing sales faster with higher revenue and profit for your company.
Once we work with you to identify how your sales funnel can be turned into revenue, you might be interested in ensuring that you have the right sales processes and methodologies in place. Once you have the team singing off the same hymn sheet we can ensure consistency of performance with our coaching and mentoring for both the executive team and the sales team, to ensure you continue to achieve superior results.
This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing - www.3r.ie. For previous articles like this, visit 3R’s Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles.