Take a look at your sales process. Is it a 12-step program? Does it have so many steps, you need a FitBit to measure it? Does it rest on the foundation of 1980’s sales theory?
It’s 2017. The way buyers buy has changed dramatically (See my earlier blog post called “Your ‘Cliff's Notes’ Guide to The Challenger Sale”). With that, your sales process has to change with it. And, for it to be scalable & repeatable, which is typically the purpose of a documented process, it must rest on a foundation of simplicity & intuitiveness. If a rep needs a 10-slide PowerPoint deck to know where they are and what they need to do, two months after you force-march everyone to learn it, you’ll have less than a 10% adoption.
How do we change the process to fit today’s buying environment, and keep it simple & intuitive?
Simply put, keep it under five steps, and structure it around recognizing and driving buyer behavior…not seller behavior.
Here’s a simple place to start. Think about your sales process with three sections, which match how a buyer buys:
Section 1: “Why Change?” To start, you want the buyer to decide that their status quo is no longer sustainable. At the end of this section of your sales process, you & your prospect should be able to mutually answer the question, “Why change?”
Section 2: “Why You?” Once the buyer has been triggered for change, the focus now is around why, if change is necessary, change with your company is the best path forward. Mutual discovery intensifies…and at the end of this section of your sales process, you & your prospect should be able to mutually answer the question, “Why (insert your company name here)?”
Section 3: “Why Now?” As the buyer has opted for your company as the one they will partner with going forward, this section is now a chase to the finish line…focused on mobilizing the prospect to act now versus later. It’s focused on finalizing terms, securing final approvals and signing contracts. The risk in your sales cycle is always more present at the end of the cycle…when approvers who haven’t necessarily been involved ask that same question…”why now?”.
Think about your sales process. Is it buyer centric? Does your sales team need a 10-slide deck to understand it, or can they recite it in their sleep because it’s so simple & intuitive?