Take a moment and think about your sales process. When was the last time it was updated or tweaked? Many reps still follow a traditional sales process despite changing buyer habits. In a post on MTDSalesTraining.com, Sean McPheat discusses the importance of updating your process, noting “if you don’t evolve your sales processes accordingly, you may be left behind when it comes to customer expectations.”
This may sound like a difficult task, but McPheat helps reps get a start by sharing a couple of things to consider. When examining your process, think about these two points from his article:
Buyers have changed how they contact you.
In the past, a lot of the legwork fell onto salespeople. They called prospects, introduced your product or service, and sold it. Now, buyers have more control over access to information, so many have likely have researched what you’re selling and reaching out to you. “So, part of your process that was in place in order to demonstrate the product may now have to change as the demonstration will be based around what results the client will get, as opposed to what the product will actually do,” he explains. The structure of how you sell may have to be altered to better coordinate with buyers who make first contact. Many of your cold calls may now be replaced by warm leads; are you prepared to deal with this change?
ROI outweighs price.
For many of today’s buyers, return on investment will be the deciding factor when buying, not price. While price will likely make an appearance in every sales negotiation, decision-makers are more focused on ROI. “If you are able to show how your return on investment is going to be greater than going for a cheaper price option, they may see your products as being better in the long run for their business,” McPheat writes. Your process should now emphasize value rather than discounts in order to remain competitive.
As he points out, buyers are always changing how they want to buy. Not to mention, markets and industries are also evolving. If your sales process is the same as it was five years ago, you aren’t going to be aligned with buyers’ wants and needs today.