Change can be a difficult to manage, especially in B‑to‑B selling. It’s something that often escapes the
minds of sales teams when they interact with potential clients. In fact, David Dodd points out in his article, “Why You Need to Understand More Than the ‘Buying Process’,” that the buying process of a sale is actually only a portion of a larger change management process. Prosci, a change management firm, defines this process as the steps a company needs to take in order to balance a change with existing operations so that everything continues to flow smoothly within the company.
So, why is change management something that we don’t think of often? Dodd believes that it’s because the process is all about the potential client and each client is going to handle it differently. While you are focused on your company and what you can do for your client, your client is thinking over how his or her business can handle what will have to be done to accommodate the prospective change.
This is why it’s important for you to be prepared to not only sell what you have to offer, but also to take the time to address the internal worries of your client. Until your client is sure that the necessary changes can be made smoothly, how can they be expected to commit to the sale?
Dodd also gives some recommendations for how salespeople can provide more than just a prospective sale. He recommends issuing an assessment that can help the client determine the possible financial implications of his or her needs. A case study would also be a useful tool to have available since it could demonstrate a desired outcome and show that your client would experience little change or disruption of day-to-day goings on if they adopt your solution.
So, before you go to make your next sale, ask yourself, “How will this change affect my client?” and plan ahead. This will put your potential client more at ease and make the selling process significantly easier for everyone involved.