Got into a discussion with a couple of sales people the other day and they kept raising the issue of how do we keep the buyers and decision makers engaged in the b2b sales process with so many distractions and competing priorities.
Well, these comments and questions got a huge amount of air time, so I felt it would be a good thing to share some the ideas with you today.
So, here are 8 ways to engage your buyers during the b2b sales process…
- Get Conceptual Buy-in Early
Remember the equation – Involvement equals Commitment – get your decision makers involved early and have them assist in the creation of the desired outcome. The conceptual or “big picture” coupled with verbal agreements regarding key factors will make your b2b sales process run smoothly.
- Align Your Solutions with Their Business Goals
If you only “pitch” your solutions with no thought relative to how the solution matches up with the desired outcomes, goals and objectives of the buyer, then you will have a major problem. No to mention you will lose the interest of the buyer to listening to anything else you may have to offer. Your credibility just took a major hit.
- Provoke Thinking with Targeted Questions
One of the best measures I have used when working with clients is when they tell me – “man you really make me think about my business!” That is music to my ears. It tells me I’m on track with engaging my clients to think and discuss all the important issues or concerns they may have about their business.
- Show Value with Any Suggested Changes
Here is the opportunity to show value or a return on investment. In most cases this is how you build the desire for action on the part of the buyer. Without value – any cost or expense is too high in the buyers mind. Show the value – either growth in revenues or overall lower costs – which lead to higher savings and value added.
- Have Multiple Decision Makers Involved
Look, the days of a single decision maker calling the decision is over – particularly in the large corporate accounts where shared decision making is the rule. In fact, on many occasions with a person who had the authority to say yes – would challenge me to get buy-in from others on the team. Multiple decision makers are the norm today, so get as many of them involved early in the b2b sales process to win them over and get additional buy-in.
- Uncover any Objections or Critical Issues
When you have good to excellent rapport with the buyers or key decision makers, you want them to have an objective dialogue about problems or critical issues – involving them in the solution. Many times by opening up the discussion about critical issues, the buyer will suggest solutions or ideas you might have missed. Again, buy-in always helps you the most.
- Use Your Creativity and Share Your Knowledge
Beware of the Status Que, it loses the attention of the buyers. Use your creativity to think of new and different ways problems can be solved – even ones unrelated to what you sell. Think about being the expert who helps the customer in many ways. Also, it never hurts to share your knowledge about best practices or ways others have solved problems your buyer may have today. Be different in a good way by always helping your customers improve their position – both personally and business wise.
- Keep it Simple and Easy to Say Yes
This has to be brought up. It should be based upon common sense, yet, many b2b sales people or sales managers get to carried away trying to be cute or complex. The rule you must follow is to keep it simple. Making it simple and easy to do business with you – wins more business in the long run.
There you have eight ways to engage your buyers and decision makers in the b2b sales process. Use them every time and you will be more successful and join the ranks of the b2b Sales Superstars.