Last Wednesday (29/05/13) was the first instalment of our ‘How to get on your buyer’s shortlist’ roadshow which is taking place in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane over the next two months.
The roundtable took place over lunch for just 15 handpicked people from the B2B ITC sector and was led by Bruce Rasmussen, Founder and Managing Director of Carpe Diem Consulting.
If you would like to attend the next roundtable, please register here. You can also download our relevant whitepaper ‘“5 tell tale signs your sales team don’t know how buyers buy” or talk directly to one of our expert consultants about our sales training courses.
1. We don’t sell how buyers buy.
The most effective way of showing how out of sync the sales process is with the buyer’s journey is this useful visual diagram we put together in 2011 which has only got more relevant as time has gone by.
How to tell if you / your company is not selling how buyer’s buy:
1. Lower margins and win rates based on late engagement
2. Not enough “fresh” opportunities
3. You provide solutions to problems that may be misdiagnosed
4. You rely on building relationships to win deals
5. Marketing generates leads – and throws them over the fence to sales
2. Identifying sales triggers
“Sales triggers” are the events that happen to buyers that move them from “calm” to “loss of status quo”. This generally signals the start of a new buying journey.
Top 3 triggers:
1. Bad experience with current supplier
2. Awareness of need to change – to avoid a problem
3. Change of company or job role
Download some free chapters from the book that defined “sales triggers” here.
3. Listen for sales triggers
If we can “listen” to hear when a buyer has experienced a sales trigger, then we can reach out to help them – well before our competitors.
There are an array of tools and methods to listen to for sales triggers:
1. Bad experiences
• If people are unhappy with their current supplier – they talk – people love to complain when things aren’t going well!
• You can watch your prospects / clients on Twitter e.g. search for complaints such as “mobile phone network rubbish!” or “printing company sucks” etc.
2. Awareness of need to change / problem
• When buyers first recognise they have a problem, they will generally type their problem into Google – to see who else has that problem, to find out how to fix it etc.
• We want our websites packaged with the keywords used when customers type their problems into Google – we want them to land on our page (SEO).
• Customers will also often share their problems with their peers in online groups and forums – we need to be there listening and ready to help.
3. Change of company or job role
• Interestingly buyers often buy something when they have a new company and/or job role
• Keep an eye on your prospects and clients so you never lose track of where they are
• IKO-System accesses your LinkedIn profile and sends you an alert every time someone on your “watch list” moves company or job.
4. Sales profile types who can create sales triggers
Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson from the Corporate Executive Board report in their book that there are 5 main types of sales people. Which one can you identify with?
The hard worker
• Always willing to go the extra mile
• Doesn’t give up easily
• Interested in feedback and development
• Always has a different view of the world
• Understands the customer’s business
• Loves to debate
• Pushes the customer
The relationship builder
• Builds strong advocates in customer organisation
• Generous in giving time to help others
• Gets along with everyone
The lone wolf
• Follows own instincts
• Difficult to control
The problem solver
• Reliably responds to internal and external stakeholders
• Ensures that all problems are solved
Only one of the above can truly create sales triggers – the Challenger. These sales people focus on pushing customers' thinking, introducing new solutions to their problems and illuminating problems customers overlook. Instead of listening for sales triggers – Challengers create them.
5. Shattering the status quo
Be different - TEACH
- Offer insight that no others can
- Communicate – and foster communication
Be knowledgeable - TAILOR
- Know what the customer values
- Know what drives the customer’s success
Be assertive - CONTROL
- Discuss the money
- Keep the customer moving
If you want to know more about the buyers journey and other topics raised in this blog, register now for our ‘How to get on your buyer’s shortlist’ taking place in CBD Sydney July 30. We are bringing the roadshow to Brisbane and Melbourne in July too, so if you’re interested in attending or co-hosting, please email me.
Carpe Diem Consulting has a range of training and consultancy packages based on all of the topics raised in this blog. Our model has been tried and tested hundreds of times with some of Australia’s leading ITC companies such as Microsoft, Optus and CA Technologies. Some of our most popular courses in 2013 include:
Contact me for more information on any of these training courses.