How to Sell the Way Prospects Buy
Inbound sales is a personalised, practical, recent sales methodology. Inbound salespeople focus on their prospect’s pain points, act as a trusted adviser, and adapt their sales process to the buyer journey.
This post outlines six tactical steps to get you started.
1. Define your buyer’s journey.
Legacy sales teams build their sales process around their requirements, not their customers’. Legacy salespeople concentrate their strength on “checking the boxes” their sales manager laid out for them instead of listening to the buyer and assisting them through the purchasing process. As a result, the seller and customer feel misaligned. Furthermore, this self-serving process delivers minimal value to the buyer. Buyers don’t want to be prospected, demoed, or closed. If salespeople cannot score amount beyond the information customers can find on their own, the customer has no reason to interlace with salespeople at all.
2. Develop a sales process that supports your buyer through the journey.
Once the buying journey is established, the next step is to develop your sales process. Unlike legacy sales teams that design their sales process first, inbound sales teams make a sales process following the buying journey has been established. This inbound sales process encourages the buyer through their purchasing journey. As a result, salespeople and buyers feel aligned through the buying and selling process, not at odds with one another.
3. Define your “Identify” process.
During the Identify stage, legacy salespeople are ignorant of which buyers are active in a buying journey. Instead, legacy reps identify buyers they believe are a considerate fit and start calling those buyers randomly.
Inbound salespeople can divide active from passive buyers, so they focus their time on buyers who are already in the awareness stage of the buying journey. These buyers may have lately visited the business website, filled out a questionnaire, opened one of the salesperson’s emails, or dropped a clue of their need in some other way.
4. Define your “Connect” process.
During the Connect stage, legacy salespeople concentrate their prospecting efforts on cold emails and cold messages. These cold outreaches highlight the same general elevator pitch and strive to attract buyers with suggestions to see a presentation about the salesperson’s product. When legacy salespeople get buyers on the phone, most of the effort is spent restricting them on the size of their budget and their authorisation to spend it. However, modern buyers do not rely on messages from salespeople to learn about products and services. This information is readily available online. They want to have two-way communication with a specialist who can help them express their goal or challenge.
5. Define your “Explore” process.
During the Explore stage, legacy salespeople transition into display mode the time a buyer shows interest. But legacy sales team do not recognise the buyer’s context well enough to deliver a value-adding offering. Because the buyer context is weak, legacy salespeople revert to general presentations, planning information buyers already have access to.
Inbound salespeople transition into an exploratory mode when a buyer displays interest. Inbound salespeople understand they do not have the level of trust and understanding with the buyer to deliver a personalised presentation.
6. Define your “Advise” process.
During the Advise stage, legacy salespeople present the same presentation and same case studies to all buyers. Legacy salespeople might make some light research around buyer requirements, just enough to know there might be interest. Then, they revert to autopilot and deliver their generic presentation.
However, modern buyers have already seen the content of this generic presentation online. They struggle to correlate the company’s generic value proposition with their specific challenges, and legacy salespeople fail to help the buyer make these connections.
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