A Modern Sales Process for Sales Teams in a Customer-Driven Economy
There is no secret that having a well-defined sales process will enable you to accelerate your sales cycle. However, what we often find is that most sales processes are developed with little consideration in regards to how customers buy. This is a problem. Sales teams and sales processes are too far removed from the actual customer buying process which can ultimately hurt sales performance.
In today’s customer-centric economy, it’s essential that sales teams and processes re-align with the customer.
Focus on the buyer journey
Sales processes are essentially the road map for a sales team. These processes outline how, when and why to engage with a prospective or existing customer. However, they are often developed without the most important part of the equation: the customer’s buying process. Any effective sales process must anticipate the buyer’s journey and what steps the customers go through when considering any purchase. When sales teams understand this, they can more effectively insert themselves in the customer’s buying cycle at the right time in the right way. Even the most sophisticated sales process will eventually fail if it does not effectively map to the customer’s buying process.
Where do you begin? It all starts with a deep understanding of the customer.
- Who are your customers?
- How do they buy?
- How do you engage with them?
- When do you engage with them?
In a recent article by Forrester, buyers said that the buying process was just as important to their decision as the solution itself. Understanding what matters most to them, when to engage, and what they need in those interactions during the various sales stages will enable you to provide the ideal customer buying experience.
Once you have a solid understanding of your customer’s buying journey, here’s a sales framework to help re-align your sales process with the buyer’s journey:
- Outline sales activities that will meet the needs of the buyer
- Build an engagement plan around desired touch points that directly align to your buyers journey
- Detail assets and sales enablers that will support key activities and engagements
- Define the milestones and gates needed to win
If you are looking to accelerate sales, take a look at your sales process and determine how well it maps to your customer’s buying process. If it’s not aligned, start talking to your customers and let the sales process re-engineering begin!
Interested in learning more about effective sales organizations? Check out our infographic on the death of the sales funnel.Tags: B2B, B2C, buyer journey, sales, Sales Performance, sales process, sales teams