“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” – Zig Ziglar
Are you a sales leader looking to understand the difference between enabling prospects to buy and selling to prospects? Well, here at Criteria for Success, we've made that our mission. Literally. Read on to learn how to enable buying with preparation and a true sales process.
Enabling Prospects to Buy: 5 Steps to The Close
Excellent preparation begins with building solid trust with the buyer and happens long before the sales executive ever meets the buyer.
Anyone in sales worth their salt is familiar with the 5 basic stages of the sale:
- Needs Assessment
Today, this traditional sales model is not enough for enabling prospects to buy.
That's because we need to build trust to sell. In order to build trust, we must add a stage in our sales process before we even being to prospect. Many in our industry fail to grasp this stage and this is what enables prospects to buy in the first place.
1. The “Awareness” Stage
Gone are the days of outbound selling and the traditional cold calls and cold emails. Awareness begins with inbound sales techniques that are cemented in well thought out content.
To further enable buying, sales teams need to work closely with marketing.
It is crucial for sales to work with marketing and operations to create the online content needed to attract buyers. This content include blog posts, newsletters, webinars, free guides and whatever else will attract visitors to your website.
It is this content that will give the buyer clear and compelling insights into what you offer and provide them a reason to meet with you.
Don't forget: engagement = opportunity
Today, buyers want to know that your mission, vision, values and even your products and services align with their goals. Using this methodology is a sure way of creating a positive image of both yourself and your company.
See the importance of awareness? You can't successfully prospect without having built it!
Now that you have built strong awareness, it’s time to start engaging the other steps of the sales cycle on your way to the CLOSE!
In each of the sections below, we are going to give you the things you need to do to be successful in each area. Of course, we always recommend adding your unique take to each area. Don't forget, no two sales processes are the same!
- Read up on current developments in your prospect's industry.
- Look at their competition – see what the next guy is doing!
- Search for referrals.
- Know their buying cycle.
- Network – use social media to your advantage.
- Choose the right method of contact.
- Ask for an introduction.
- Lead with stories.
- Know when to contact – timing is crucial.
4. Needs Assessment
- Know what they need before they do.
- Utilize advanced analytics.
- Lead with insights.
- Ask the right questions to the right people.
- Know how the buyer prefers to receive information.
- Customize sales decks: use a precise, data driven, usable format.
- Emphasize the buyer’s agenda, objectives, and timeline.
- Offer free trials or demos.
- Have fun!
And Finally – the Close
- Timing is everything: know when to ask for the sale.
- Know the mode for closing: direct or softer approach.
- More information may be needed: keep the conversation going.
- Be clear on next steps.
- Get the signature – SUCCESS!
Enabling prospects to buy leads to greater success.
It is of paramount importance that each sale be a memorable one, enticing the buyer to want more of what you have to offer. This will create a bond between you and your prospect that will keep them wanting more and prevent them from looking at your competition.
Enabling your client to buy rather than forcing them to buy, puts you in the driver seat of the sales experience. Remember sell smarter, not harder!