Now that football season has returned, we’re back to being bombarded by loud, flashy advertisements about trucks, TVs, grills, and other “manly” things. To me, those advertisements get old quickly.
They say, “I know you, Mr. American male, and I know what type of person you want to be. You need this product to be that person.” I get pretty annoyed having my football game interrupted by a macho voice telling me to buy a Ford f-150 so I can have the “towing power and smarts” to change the world.
What’s more annoying is I know those ads work. Ford does know its audience — it’s just that I’m not it. The ad does its job by reaching the many consumers who can actually benefit from additional towing power and a military-grade steel frame. For consumer goods and big name companies, the scattershot advertisement is proven and effective.
The same can’t be said for smaller businesses with a B2B sales focus. The needs of your buyers are more complex, the solutions are harder to define, and you have no name-recognition with Joe-Schmoe off the street.
That means as a sales manager at an SMB business, your first order of business should be to pinpoint the pain points that your customers will turn to you to solve. Next, put boundaries around the market you sell to, understand the buying process your customers expect to follow, and align your sales approach to match that process each step of the way.
The success of your company rests on your sales reps’ ability to close business efficiently and effectively, and they can’t do that if they spend half their time chasing the wrong prospects, and the other half of their time delivering the wrong messaging to the right prospects.
Aligning the Sales and Buying Processes
To ensure your sales team is pursuing the right prospects and delivering the right sales messaging at each step of their buying process, sales and marketing leaders have to get together and conduct a thought experiment.
That experiment consists of mapping out your ideal customer’s buying process to understand what motivates them to purchase your product, who is typically involved in the buying decision, and what levers your sales team can pull to facilitate their decision-making process.
The end product of that experiment is a sales funnel with a series of steps that match each phase of your ideal customer’s buying process. This funnel is the recipe your team can follow to maximize its productivity by meeting client expectations as quickly and completely as possible.
Download the template below to learn the right questions to ask as you begin assessing (or reassessing) who your target buyers are, and establish a process that is well-matched to their behavior. It’s a vital first step to long-term sales success. This three-step guide will:
- Show you how to map out your buyer’s decision-making process
- Give you the questions you need to ask to establish your sales process
- Explain how to match your sales and buying process into an effective sales funnel