Are you in sales? How do you sell? What would you say you do there? Really, what are your daily, weekly, and monthly sales activities? How do you approach each new prospect, potential customer, and existing customer? The answers to the first question are things that are very trackable in your CRM and other sales tools. The answers to the second question are very different indeed. If you’re “selling” in relationships, you’re doing it wrong.
Solve the Customer’s Problem
When you’re in sales, you’re selling a product or service that (supposedly) solves a problem for your potential customer. Communicating that value is a conversation:
- Do they have this problem?
- Does your solution fit their needs?
- How many / how much do they need?
That gets you to a very qualified prospect; however, that point is just the beginning of the sales process. In B2B sales, the rest of the process is far more complex than the specific qualification of a prospect. Here are three usually obvious obstacles that you, the salesperson, must work through:
- How does this company make such purchases? Procurement is a complex process at most medium and large businesses. It’s your job to figure out how it works at every one of your prospects’ organizations.
- What does their budget and spending timeline look like? Procurement is about how companies usually make purchases. What you’re looking for here is how could they make a purchase. Here, it’s all about how the contract or sales agreement fits within their financial organization. It’s your job to find out those details.
- How do they adopt such products/services into their processes? Onboarding is often taken for granted because the sale is already made. But getting people to change the way they do things is very difficult. Nobody likes change. The status quo may suck, but change is perceived to be worse. It’s your job to solve this problem.
You are not solving the problem that your product or service solves. You’re there to crush the obstacles that stand in the way of your contact making the purchase.
Never Sell Again
When you do it well, you’re not selling. You’re knocking down obstacles that stand in the way of your product or service making someone else’s lives better, easier, more efficient, or more productive. If done well, the “sales process” turns your customer into an advocate. When you’ve earned an advocate and a fan, that person will tell others how you helped them solve certain problems.
Would that help you with your next prospect?