Trigger Buyer Accelerators To Obtain Client Commitments And Close More Deals

Aligning sales processes to the actual progression of buyer readiness is an entirely new way to think about improving sales engagement and performance.

Getting customer commitments

Question: Has your Sales Organisation designed your Sales Engagement Process to obtain the commitments needed from customers at every phase in the sales cycle, and are your sales executives uniformly effective in obtaining the required customer commitments at each phase of your Sales Engagement Process?

The reality 

According to our research at ThinkSales Global, only 39.6% of Sales Organisations have designed their Sales Engagement Process to obtain the commitments needed from customers at every phase in the sales cycle.

In addition, 20.8% of companies rate their confidence as Outstanding that their sales executives are uniformly effective in obtaining the required customer commitments at each phase of their Sales Engagement Process.

The ‘customer commitment’ problem

Most sales processes are internally focused, plotting the stages of the sale based on activities to be completed by sales executives. This one-sided view tells less than half the story. Sales organisations that fail to align the stages in their sales cycles with the specific actions and outcomes required from the buyer’s camp are putting their revenue targets at risk.

For instance, if a sales executive has landing a meeting with a prospect and delivered their presentation, that step will be ticked off on the CRM system as done. However, there is no measure for assessing whether the buyer has yet acknowledged a need or challenge, and has agreed that the risk of not tackling this issue is so great that they need to move forward in looking for a solution.

If that mind-shift and commitment by the buyer has not taken place, the likelihood of the sales executive’s presentation resulting in a deal is slim.

The degree of alignment that your sales process has with your customer’s buying process – and the ability of your sales executives to obtain customer commitments at every stage of the process – will directly affect sales, revenue acceleration, cost of sales and growth.

Build an engaging buyer experience

Sales leaders and sales managers must structure their Sales Engagement Processes to eliminate the misalignment between what customers want and how they buy, and what the sales team does to create a more engaging buyer experience.

Each lead evolves through the buyer’s cycle. This will either result in a sale, a lost deal or a stalled deal, depending on how buyer accelerators and buyer inhibitors are handled.

Sales managers must be able to track the status of a lead through the sales cycle in a buyer-focused way.

To start, you need to know:

  1. Buying Behaviour
  2. Buying Accelerators
  3. Buying Inhibitors

In each of these areas the buyer goes through stages that move them from an inquiry, to a lead, to a qualified opportunity and then finally to a customer (or to a lost deal).

Buyer behaviour tends to follow a standard process: The buyer reviews their various options and forms a shortlist. They then research their shortlist, take action by buying and potentially become a long-term customer.

During these phases, your team can positively influence the sale by fostering buyer accelerators and mitigating buyer inhibitors.

Buyer accelerators

In the option forming stage:

The buyer recognises the cost / risk of not solving the problem – has the sales executive helped them to reach this conclusion?

In the research phase:

The buyer reviews which solutions are available – has the sales executive provided them with all the information they need on your solution and its differentiators?

In the action and buying phase:

The buyer acknowledges this as a priority, understands that the risk of maintaining the status quo is greater than the risk of change, commits a budget and rallies internal support for approval, they also know, like and trust your solution – has the sales executive given them all the information they need to prove ROI to the other stakeholders involved?

In the renewal/repurchase phase:

Positive customer service experience and value received from the solution – does the sales executive follow-through after the sale to become a valued advisor within the customer’s organisation?

Compare this to what happens when there are buyer inhibitors in place:

Buyer inhibitors

In the option forming stage:

The buyer does not recognise or acknowledge that there is a problem – has the sales executive failed to adequately prove the cost of the problem using data?

In the research phase:

There is a perceived risk or cost without a compelling upside, resulting in low value in switching or buying. The pain of staying the same is less than the pain of changing – has the sales executive failed to provide a compelling and urgent reason to change?

In the action and buying phase:

Lack of priority, budget and an approval, process stalls the deal; compelling competitors muddy the waters and there is a lack of trust in your system – has the sales executive failed to build trust and rapport with the customer and display industry expertise?

In the renewal/repurchase phase:

Unable to evaluate or validate the value of your solution, the buyer does not buy.

Sales leader’s toolkit

As a sales leader in your organisation, consider what actions must be taken in each stage of your Sales Engagement Process to encourage Buyer Accelerators and discount Buyer Inhibitors?

These actions should be formalised and followed, with key metrics assigned to each. At every stage, there should be a buyer commitment that takes place to move the buyer’s cycle.

Assess the health of your sales organisation

A Sales Engagement Process that is designed to obtain the commitments needed from customers at every phase in the sales cycle, and sales executives that are uniformly effective in obtaining the required customer commitments at each phase are two of 322 measures of a world-class Sales Organisation.

ThinkSales Global is a specialist revenue engineering consultancy.

We assist our clients to deliver market-defying results through strategic and tactical intentions within a Sales Organisation Maturity Model that addresses the five key pillars of high-performing Sales Organsations, namely:

  1. Competitive Strategy
  2. Customer Engagement
  3. Sales Talent
  4. Sales Management
  5. Sales Enablement

How does your Sales Organisation stack up? Find out by taking the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.

This first-of-its-kind 360-degree gap analysis report enables your Sales Leadership team to assess its strengths and detect weaknesses and impediments to revenue growth across the five pillars.

Click here for more information on the ThinkSales 5 Pillar Strategic Sales Assessment™.

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