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Understand Your Buyer, Part 1
Blog / For Sales Pros / Sep 4, 2018 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 1719 

Understand Your Buyer, Part 1

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The Tunnel that Meets in the Middle

The Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland is, at 35.5 miles, the longest tunnel in the world, and an incredible feat of engineering. It took over $9.5 billion dollars and 14 years to complete.

Tunneling is an exact science. If such a project were begun from two sides, and either side was just a half a meter off, they would never meet.

Selling is likewise an exact science. For our purposes, we can say that the buyer is tunneling from one side, and the seller from the other. The seller wants to find the right buyer, and the buyer wants to find the right solution. How can they meet and avoid costly errors themselves?

Buyer Profile

Another, more specific way of asking would be: what can the seller do so that the buyer seeks the seller out? It’s very simple: have an exact buyer profile. The seller must keenly communicate in the language of the buyer—not in the language of the seller. If you don’t walk in the buyer’s shoes, sit on the buyer’s side of the table and understand the buyer’s cycle, you as a seller will never succeed.

To understand the buyer, you have to think like the buyer. This is not a terrifically hard exercise, because in actuality we’re all buyers! Just walk into any store—99 9/10% of the people in any Home Depot, Walmart, Ralphs or Albertsons are buyers, not sellers. Think for yourself: what kind of inputs are you getting from the products? There might be better products on the shelf. But you don’t see them; you don’t have the time or energy to search for them because you’re being bombarded with information. You’ll remember the messages that got through to you and addressed you as the buyer.

The Buyer and Need

What’s the buyer looking for? Well, the buyer has a need. Sometimes the buyer doesn’t totally understand their need and require assistance to clarify it, which you should be ready to provide.

In our case—Pipeliner CRM—the buyer generally knows they need to solve a problem. In the digital world, without a digital product for their processes, a company cannot function.

A CRM doesn’t solve every problem, so we must define precisely what our product does—and so should you. If you’re not clear about what exactly you’re offering the buyer, you’ll never address the right target group. They’ll never know you can take care of their need.

An Example

In our case, the ideal buyer is the sales manager or someone at the C-level (CEO, CMO, CSO, CFO, etc.) of a company. The company itself should have 10 or more salespeople. Why? Because our software solution is created for teamwork. The more people you have, the more Pipeliner CRM shines in pipeline management, activity management, account management and more. That doesn’t mean that smaller companies cannot use and greatly benefit from our product—many do. But our messaging is generally aimed at a sales manager with a team of 10 or more.

There are other qualifications as well. For example, a company might have 10 salespeople, but sell over-the-counter. Such a company might not even have a sales process in place because it’s not necessary. In that case, we’re not a fit because we’re definitely process-oriented.

Pain Points

So what message can we clearly put out there so that the buyer—in our case the sales manager—finds the right product (ours)? The answer would be: a message that contains the pain points that they live every day, that our CRM totally handles. We phrase our message in different ways—for example, what drives us? The mission to enable sales teams (not individuals), because we believe that completely visual contact management truly empowers a sales team.

A powerful, advanced mobile CRM solution is needed by a sales team because they are mobile and must totally rely on it. They are enabled by a robust reporting system, which is easy to learn and easy to use. They are greatly assisted by the dynamic instant visualization of their sales process and activities. Our artificial intelligence alerts them of opportunities and situations that they can immediately address. Salespeople are primarily focused on their target, which is why the target is so prevalent throughout the Pipeliner application.

At the same time, a company is out to minimize risk in every possible quarter. Pipeliner addresses this factor through the elimination of the need for a full-time CRM administrator. Administrator training takes a few hours, with our non-technical drag-and-drop configuration, so if the company loses that person, it’s not devastating: another can be rapidly brought up to speed. No programmers or consultants (as in the old days of traditional CRM) needed! Minimal business interruption!

So in our case, we have created the right messages for our ideal buyer. Those messages then go into our SEO and marketing efforts, so that when the buyer goes looking for their ideal CRM, they find us.

And just as with the Gotthard Base Tunnel, we perfectly meet in the middle of the mountain!

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 Pipeliner Sales, 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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