January 08, 2009

The Sales Persons New Role: Helping Buyers to Buy

One of the hottest sales topics in the past number of years has been the issue of sales process.   That is because all the research suggesting that organizations with a defined sales process outsell their counterparts by 10-20%.

But just as most organizations don’t have a defined sales process, many buyers don’t have a formal, or structured approach to buying.

The sales person wants the buyer to make the right decision and select the best solution (which hopefully is his/her), but even if the solution is right and the lack of a proper buying process can result in the wrong decision.

The job of the salesperson is to help the buyer to buy; that is not just to influence the buyer, but also the buying process.  That is key to setting him/herself up for success.

That means the salesperson’s job is to help the buyer to determine and clarify; requirements (explicit and implicit), information needs, selection criteria, business case, key stages in the buying process, etc.

The ideas is that the right buying process, criteria and the information, maximizes the chances of the right decision for both the sales person and the buyer.

A friend and mentor of mine, in spite of a long and very successful sales career, was fond of proclaiming that he was ‘a poor sales person’’.  He elaborated ‘I am a poor salesperson - that is why I have to make it easy for the customer to buy’.  A wise approach indeed.

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