At the beginning of my sales career one of my first sales managers assured me, “Andy, selling is simple. It’s not easy. But, it is simple.”
Well, sales should be simple. But, usually it isn’t.
The most effective way to simplify your selling is to make sure that you truly understand your buyer’s desired outcome for their buying process. And, then, make certain that your selling processes are aligned to those outcomes.
For your buyer, their buying outcomes are not the same as their desired business outcomes.
Buyers will have defined certain desired business outcomes from the use of the products and services that they are evaluating for purchase. These outcomes are desirable because they will provide your buyer with a competitive advantage in acquiring and retaining their own customers.
Among the many possibilities these could include outcomes such as increasing market share, reducing GTM time, improving the productivity of certain operations, improving their profitability by reducing their costs of goods or achieving a certain level of ongoing costs savings.
At the same time your buyers will also have defined desired outcomes for their buying process (during which they will evaluate the solutions that can help them achieve their business outcomes.)
First among these is quickly making a purchase decision at a low cost. Why is this important? Because the ability to quickly make purchase decisions at a low cost is a competitive advantage for your buyers.
To achieve this competitive advantage, your buyers need to quickly gather and make sense of the data and information that they require to make an informed purchase decision. However, there’s more to it than that.
There’s a cost to making a purchase decision. For your buyers their largest cost in gathering the information they need to evaluate the purchase of your product or service is the time and attention of their people. Every minute of time and attention they invest in their buying process is time that they could invest in other business activities that could contribute to the growth of their top or bottom lines.
This means your buyers have to quickly gather and make sense of the information they need to make an informed purchase decision with the least investment of their time and attention possible.
This is where you come in. If you want to simplify your selling, and increase your chances of success with your buyers, then you need to align your selling process to help them achieve their buying outcome (which will accelerate achieving their desired business outcomes.)
This means that you, as a salesperson, need to strip away every extraneous activity or interaction from your sales process that doesn’t deliver value to your prospects and directly contribute to helping them move faster to making a decision.
Salespeople have to be prepared to deliver the maximum value each and every time they interact with their customers (irrespective of the method that they are employing – phone, email, social, text, video or in-person calls.)
And, instead of implementing sales processes that are designed for their own convenience, sales managers need to focus on how the customer wants to buy. This means defining and implementing standards for responsiveness and follow-up that have the customer at their core and that maximize the value their sales teams can deliver with their experience, expertise and insights.
Make the extra effort to align how you sell with how your customers make their decisions, and your world will get a little simpler. And a lot more productive.
Bestselling author of Amp Up your Sales and Zero Time Selling, Andy Paul is #8 on LinkedIn’s list of the Top 50 Global Sales Experts to follow. With more than 170,000 followers, Andy is a highly sought-after speaker and sales sage who interviews the world’s foremost sales minds and extraordinarily interesting people to bring you strategies and insights that you can use to generate epic wins and massive value.