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Sales and The New Buyer’s Journey
All About CRM / Dec 4, 2014 / Posted by Alyson Stone / 328 

Sales and The New Buyer’s Journey

You ever notice how software companies over-promise (a lot) with features based on coding complexity and what their developers think is really hard to pull off? Well, I’m not a coder, and my guess (given our audience) is that neither are you. So, what I’m about to say is biz, busy, business-centric to the core.

So, with only a modicum of humility, the new Pipeliner CRM Buying Center feature is the best 2-minute investment you’ll ever make in a sales opportunity (and we think we can prove it)! Read on!

It Takes a Village… (And What Does Your Village Look Like?)

How many B2B sales have you made where there was only one person involved in the sales decision?

Right, zero.

Virtually every B2B sale involves more than one person. You’ve recognized that in your own organization. Straw poll — What’s the average number of people involved in any opportunity you pursue???

Ours is 5.7.

So, with that in mind, we’re debuting a feature that makes it easier to manage and address the needs of all the players in your prospects’ buying organization — The Buying Center.Buying Center

Look above– the Buying Center maps (visually) every opportunity around the buyer’s organizational structure. Powerful, eh? But wait. There’s more… With such a view, you can see that the I’s have it:

  • Insure that no decision maker is overlooked

    • Who’s the Budget Holder? What about the Decision Maker? Or the Naysayer?

  • Include the right people at the right stages

    • Who’s the consultant that can blockade or gate a deal in initial meetings?

  • Insights gleaned about the roles each person plays in your sale

    • What have you learned about each person during the sales process? Who’s qualified as a Good Fit for your product / service?

  • Inspires  your team to address needs sooner, more gracefully

    • Buying Center + Sales Engineers, Sales Managers, C-team = Same Page.

  • Informs where you focus on what matters most

    • The CEO said IT has the final say… And your last sales stage is with???

  • Immerse your team with the knowledge that now, because it’s visual, they tacitly join you in absorbing EXACTLY what the norms are.

    • Obviously Eric is the top influencer — and has more associations with the other decision makers… Wasn’t that easy to spot?

…And now we know what the village looks like. For every deal. And so does everyone else on your team. But you’re skeptical. This story is multi-fold and not your typical narrative. Because I want to raise the stakes.

How can you sell to those you don’t understand?

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Trying to sell without insights is a bit like the six blind men trying to describe an elephant by feel –lots of bumping– WATCH OUT for that girth. And no, there’s no tree, rope, wall, fan, spear or snake in this deal.

In Sales, knowing the players is the most important intelligence you can have. Yet we’ve been doing without most of our careers. There was no Pipeliner CRM and no Buying Center until now. How does the proverbial old dog learn new tricks?

Mindset

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Your insights and knowledge of your buyer is an unparalleled strategic advantage. You need to know everything about your prospect’s ecosystem.

Put differently, anything you don’t know can hurt you. Sins of omission usually show up in lost deals with little clarity as to why they died. And a database view of the world means your brain won’t (can’t?) actually pick up on subtle roles, or even try to define them.

 

tabular tired.jpg

 

When you are looking to “see” the role that each person plays in a sale– you are synthesizing information at a great speed, naturally, without conscious effort.

 

Team

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And when your team has access to that knowledge base, other miracles occur. You:

  • Augment your sales meetings.

  • Amplify your team’s understandings (everyone on the same page with same view).

  • Advance sales — visually (almost through osmosis).

  • Automatically empower management to draw immediate inferences (conclusions?) about both the buyer AND the sales force.

    • For instance, has sales rep Luther created the Buying Center for his new Opportunity? If not, what the heck is the matter with him?

  • Authorize  ultra-customization of the roles your buyers play

You Decide: Worth the 2-Minute Investment of Your Time?

It takes just a few minutes (patience, patience) to become familiar with the Buying Center and how to use it. It’s drag-and-drop, which makes it quick and satisfying to create the visual map. You’ll be punching over your weight class in no time at all.ballot checkbox.jpg

Once you have the people in the Center, it’s time to identify their roles (pick from the dropdown or create  your own label) and snap their lines of influence into place. It’s easy.

Add a new person…their righthand aide or gatekeeper… snap the lines.

The Buying Center dictates behavior in a positive way. First you do research you need to do in any event, and then you put it to use for everyone.

Upping the ante

Anyone that wants a no-waiting demo of this feature, to decide for themself whether or not this Pipeliner guy is pulling their leg… Step to the front of the (digital) line:

1-888-843-6699

sales@pipelinersales.com

So, there’s the challenge, should you accept your demo call. Or take a free trial?

*Disclaimer: Real Life Example (Names Changed to Protect the Guilty)

Once upon a time (okay, last month),  Company X was selling software to yours truly. I was interested. I got my team interested. I got other teams interested (cross-company). The pitch was pretty good. The demo was flexible and not all about product. I liked what I saw. I could even see us using the software at some point.

I took a 30-day free trial.

I made sure the sales representative knew that I would be an influencer in the sale, but the real decision-maker, budget-holder and key individual buyer was a very specific person in our organization and even mentioned his and a few of his team’s names. I took the time to point these things out as part of an Evaluator’s role in the sales process (on the buy-side). Side note: Marketers like me play this role in a great many companies.

Recently, I get an email asking for the sale. Repeat, I get an email asking for the sale. Opportunity: Now cloudy… Um, did you not hear me? When I painstakingly pointed out next steps???

I like it when people respect my time. BTW, I’m still waiting for the email I was actually expecting– the one to connect the key individual.

Chances of this scenario occurring in any sales organization,  even using other CRM’s (I asked, they were using a well-known brand that rhymes with Divorce)? Pretty darn high (Given that I/we were probably 1 of maybe 75 Opportunities this particular rep was actively working).

Chances of this scenario playing out had this rep been using Pipeliner CRM’s Buying Center? 0.0%

This salesperson probably won’t learn from losing this sale —  because he doesn’t even know where he faltered. His sales process is in the ditch and the trust gap is wide. Revenue lost. A Buying Center like ours would have made it nearly impossible to have stumbled so badly.

Proof enough?

About Author

A wordsmith all her life, Alyson is typing as fast as she can.

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