Seven Steps to Securing More B2B Sales
When you are planning your outbound marketing strategy, it can't be done in a vacuum.
The differing forces that affect sales are predominately from the customers perspective. We are no longer in a market which is sales driven, rather, it is driven by the consumer every time.
These Seven Steps to Securing Sales will help you to understand the importance of alignment, i.e. your activities and those of your prospects.
With Social Media being so prevalent and wide-spread, the slightest aberration in the service, delivery or presentation of your product or service can be highlighted to the masses or at least to anyone who wants to find out!
So how is the best way to enthuse our potential customers?
- To begin with, we must recognise and understand the thought process that we all go through when we buy something - The Buying Process
- Then evaluate the acquisition of new business, the way we think the process works - The Sales Process
- What do you do to align your Marketing Process to fit in with above two processes?
Marketing has changed! It's not that you need to change what you say, but what you do.
There is a defined sequence of events that, individually don't mean a great deal, however, when combined, they add up to establishing a picture of your prospect and the path they're following to naturally conclude the sale.
The Problem Revealed
The above illustration begins with a prospect becoming aware of a problem within his or her business. This leads to a realisation that your type of product is needed. In order to fulfil the business persons desire to solve this emerging problem, they will start finding out about solutions.
At this stage, if they're interested in you and your product or service, you have to match their "movement". It’s at this point that you need to ask for permission to market to them. Without being invited to maintain contact you are not "congruent" and are existing on opposite paths.
The next phase establishes that you may indeed be able to help the prospect, but don't be tempted to jump in a contact them direct. They haven't agreed to that, not for a while to come.
As they become more educated and conversant with their defined problem and possible solutions they become more adept at sourcing more information including analyst’s reviews, attending exhibitions and so on.
Don't Scare Them Away!
Depending on the scale of the problem they have, the MAN (Money Authority Need) may become more involved with other solution seekers. Forums, Seminars and blogs are where these character types will hang out and you can provide these types of facilities and attractions on your web site. But be careful not to get involved in this process from a selling perspective as your prospects will sense the ulterior motive and you'll "scare" them away!
Once you've established exactly how much contact your prospect has had with your business, your discernment will dictate if you feel the time is right to contact your prospect. Think about it. Would you feel comfortable with a cold call after you've spent hours in the company of a prospective supplier, be it online or at exhibitions and seminars/webinars. I know I would, especially if the contact processes kept me engaged and I could sense that there was not a sense of urgency but a sense of calm and customer service.
Perhaps now would be a good time to see the product through evaluation or speak to another business who has experienced the "solution" first hand.
By this time, so much investigation and justification has been confirmed, that the natural conclusion would be to buy the product.
Finally, having completed a sequence of defined steps and processes the sales is made. However, the point of this exercise is to illustrate that the more effective your marketing process is, the more credible is your sales process.
When this process is aligned with the psychology of buying you are able to concentrate on honing your marketing efforts as they lead to a natural conclusion.
- Can you Survive without Salesmen and just install more marketing technology?
- Why buying and selling are linked to our marketing future
About the Author
Nigel is the Founder & Managing Director of salesXchange and has been helping SMEs for over 25 years to develop their marketing, technologies and infrastructure to generate more profits, more efficiently. His recent book book "Integrate! The Essential Business Technology & Marketing Handbook" can be downloaded from Amazon.