The processes sales team presents to a customer and guides representatives to walk them through the deal. These are often unmanageable, inaccurate, and disregard the buyer’s needs. This is because they are created to highlight the steps needed to secure the sales, with little evidence available to predict the likelihood of sales. Prospective companies are often derailed from the final purchase because of all the detours in the buying process.
To address this issue, reps should focus on guiding the buyer through the process and shift the sales funnel; to a buyer enablement model. This coaches the customer through buyer-centric sales because that is where selling should start.
What is Buyer Enablement?
The buyer enablement model approaches the sale from the buyer’s perspective. The goal is to understand the multiple stakeholders involved and their different viewpoints. Understanding them will allow one to speak to those viewpoints, eventually making the purchasing process more straightforward.
Why Coach Buyer Enablement?
A report in the CSO Insight’s 2019 Sales Enablement mentioned that using a formal coaching approach with the customer buying process significantly improved the random approach to sales coaching. You can achieve a faster purchase decision by focusing on the needs of the buyer and the required outcomes. This will lead to a decrease in the team’s wasted efforts and a measurable increase in sales.
Buyer-Centric Sales Model
This model has different phases from Kevin’s model. Let’s take a closer look at it. In the Need Phase, there’s change and discontent. In the Learning Phase, there’s research and comparison. Next in the Buy Phase are fear and commitment. Finally, in the Value Phase are expectations and satisfaction.
Switching to a Buyer-Centric Sales Model
Unlike the usual sales model, buyers can move through the steps since it is nonlinear and fluid. This works by assigning a buyer action instead of a sales step to each section. Defining the process will require discovering why they are looking to change, and this is because the reason could be different than their solution need. Understanding these is vital to defining the journey and assigning exit criteria. The measurable actions will indicate when they move from one process to another. The coaching strategies and sales funnel are designed around this exit criteria.
Example of Buyer Exit Criteria
Here, we have one example of a buyer’s exit criteria in eight steps.
- The first is acknowledge the existence of the problem
- Share inside information
- Allow access to others
- Review proposals with the sales reps
- Share concerns
- Ask for the terms
- Share performance data
- Provide referral or references
With this, it is easier to move from one buying stage to the next, which means a salesperson can identify when a buyer is stagnating in a stage. That way, they can intervene and coach.
How to Coach Buyer-Centric Sales
Deal coaching is more effective and simpler after defining a buyer’s journey. Evaluate the buyers’ patterns and train the sales team to look and ask for those actions. This will drive customer focus, and with the evidence derived from asking questions tied to the buyer-centric sales model and their efforts, you can predict sales.
Start by determining what specific actions were already made in the buying process. You can track your team’s progress with definable steps and help those struggling. That way, you can coach them in a specific phase and know what change to implement to improve the numbers.
By putting on the shoes of your buyers, your sales team is sure to stand out. Implement a focused sales coaching around the buyer on top of identifying the exit criteria and coaching strategies, setting call objectives, designing sales funnel, and asking buyer-centric questions. All these will make buyer readiness easier to predict and increase win percentage, and it can also eliminate buyer frustration and unnecessary sales effort.
Suppose you want to learn how to deliver a better buyer experience and are looking for a buyer enablement tool. This infographic can help.
Download this infographic.