By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company
There has rightfully been great emphasis on buyer experiences over the last two decades. That said:
Many “buying activities” waste time for both buyers and sellers.
It seems there are many product evaluations in which low to mid level staff research offerings via the Internet and social networking, establish their requirements and before inviting salespeople to get involved.
Upon being contacted, there are several things sellers should learn from the start:
- Have desired business outcomes of executives within the organization been identified?
- Have detailed conversations with Key Players to understand their needs taken place?
- Has an estimated cost vs. benefit shown payback that can justify the cost of the offering?
- Has budget been earmarked?
- Will access be granted for calls on Key Player stakeholders?
When you take a hard look, product evaluations are ongoing in many instances. It makes little sense to spend significant amounts of time evaluating offerings unless or until the questions above have been addressed.
I believe these “buyers” are concerned that sellers will manipulate or influence their requirements and therefore get sellers involved fairly late in their evaluations.
Rather than go along for the ride, competent sellers can do everyone involved (and some that have not yet been involved) a favor by shifting product evaluations to business decisions.
Blindly going along with buyer-driven product evaluations will often end with “no decision” outcomes that mean buyers and vendors wasted resources without realizing any benefits, a losing proposition for everyone involved.