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Sales Process: Make it the Buyer’s Idea
Blog / Sales Management / Jan 14, 2014 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 5356 

Sales Process: Make it the Buyer’s Idea

Sales experts have been saying for years that the more the buyer is convinced that the purchase was his or her idea, the stronger the opportunity is for the close.

The degree to which this happens during the sales process is, most of the time, up to the sales rep. Salespeople, especially new ones, can make the mistake of thinking that they must make themselves irresistible to the prospect, and make the pitch the centerpiece. This is far less true today with the vital necessity of insight selling.

Building a Sales Process FlowDon’t Be a Star

While you might be very good at sales and at times be viewed as a sales star, the time for the enjoyment of that reputation is behind closed doors at your company, not in front of the prospect. Seasoned sales veterans have learned that in the salesperson-prospect relationship, the true star must be the prospect.

This means that in that conversation, you’re not trying to put the attention on yourself or on your pitch. You’re gently but firmly making the prospect the focal point, guiding him or her (or them) further and further along in the realization that your product or service is the solution to their issues.

Inviting Participation

Part of guiding the prospects along such a path is inviting their participation in the sales process. This would mean asking them questions that are devised to increase understanding on their part. For example, if your solution is an automation system for the manufacturing process, you could ask a question such as, “What would be the impact on the company bottom line if you continued without a solution such as the one we are offering?” or “If implementation is relatively simple, what might be the advantage to putting it in sooner than later?

Note that they will probably answer some of these questions with the information you already know, or had already surmised. The thing not to do at that point is to try and make yourself look smart with a statement such as, “Yes, I’d already seen that and figured it out.” Let them believe that they thought of it all on their own.

Make sure you utilize this type of behavior with each contact at the target company as B2B sales, in most cases, has numerous contacts.

The more you are able to make the purchase the “prospect’s idea” as opposed to yours, the more they “own” it and the more responsibility they will take for seeing it through.

Building Relationships

The better you are at making the buyer the center of understanding and responsible for making the purchase decision, the more you will build your relationship with target company. In the end, they will consider you more of a partner. And if you have done your job well, you will truly be so.

Need for CRM Solution

One thing to keep in mind as you proceed in this fashion: this won’t be the only company you are dealing with and not the only sales cycle you are ushering along. There will be many, and you will need to be able to save and retrieve the vital details you gather with each and every one. You will need to be able to instantly access such information on the fly if you are to be a success in today’s lightning-fast business climate.

The only way that’s to happen is with a leading-edge CRM application—one that is intuitive and flexible.

Today it’s all about insight selling. A very key component to insight selling is, make as much of the sales process as possible the buyer’s idea—and win a higher percentage of your sales.

Find out what kind of CRM solution it takes to track details such as those brought up in this article. Sign up for one of our free webinars.

About Author

A 30-year veteran of the computer industry, Nikolaus has founded and run several software companies. He and his company uptime iTechnology are the developers of World-Check, a risk intelligence platform eventually sold to Thomson Reuters for $520 million. He is currently the founder and CEO of Pipelinersales, Inc., developer and publisher of Pipeliner CRM, the first CRM application aimed squarely at actually empowering salespeople. Also a prolific writer, Nikolaus has authored over 100 ebooks, articles, and white papers addressing the subjects of sales management, leadership and sales itself.

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