by: Scott Swanson
Buyers of your product are looking for a solution to a problem they’re experiencing, but instead of thinking about how to shoehorn your solution into their problem, align your thinking to theirs and build a marketing and sales process aligned to the buyer’s perspective. Something roughly like this:
- Awareness: The buyer realizes they have a problem.
- Consideration: The buyer defines and socializes the issue, researches options to solve it, and gains consensus that it must be solved and suggests solutions.
- Decision: The buying committee agrees to the right solution.
Prioritize buyers that are active in a buying journey. Build trust by participating in the buyer’s research journey through content like blogs, case studies, whitepapers, solution studies, and other various pieces of helpful advice. (Much more on content shortly.)
Begin the first conversation by developing rapport.
Then transition from advice into problem-solution exploration when there is something of substance to talk about. The Challenger Customer uses the phrase, “lead to the solution, not with it.” Understand your buyer’s timeline and adjust the sales process to match. You want to deliver the right educational content to your prospect at the right place and time.
A successful sales cycle will often bear these elements:
Buyer-Centric: Base the entire sales process on the buyer, rather than the seller. Sales conversations provide advice on the buyer’s challenges.
Personalized: Tailor your sales content to the wants and needs of your prospect. As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs.
Advisory: Inbound sales is about building trust with your prospect. Salespeople should help people make buying decisions, instead of just focusing on making a sale.
Sometimes, even often, your ideal customers don’t even know they have a problem yet. If that’s the case, you can still find them, but that buying cycle is longer as you need to introduce yourself by solving problems that they do know they have.