Efficiency and alignment are critical elements of sales productivity. An effective B2B sales process provides a mechanism that drives repeatability, predictability and validation of progress throughout a sale. Most importantly, it allows for inspection and planning – in advance.
Sales is the engine that drives your revenues. You can't assume a great product will simply sell itself. If the value and differentiation isn't clear to the customer, even crafting the best deal will not help your reps in the field.
Here are four ways you can improve your sales organization's B2B sales process.
Consistency in Message
The canned sales presentation never works. Even when sales organizations teach their reps to customize based on prospect needs, many teams still miss the importance of having consistency in that message across the organization. Your reps, even your entire organization (product, customer success, marketing, etc...), need to answer these questions in a way that has meaning to the buyer:
- What problems do you solve for your customers?
- How do you solve those problems?
- How do you do it differently than your competition?
- What's your proof?
If you ask key leaders those questions, would their answers be the same? If not, your customers and the overall marketplace is likely experiencing that same disjointedness. Consistency in the customer message can help drive efficiency and create and capture value throughout the B2B sales process.
Qualification is critical because it ensures reps are spending the right time on the right opportunities and not wasting time on what won't happen. Here are four questions that can help you qualify throughout the sales process:
- What is the pain, has it been quantified, and why do they need to do something about it now?
- What is the cost if the customer does nothing?
- What is the compelling event?
- What loss of revenue, additional cost or impact to the customer will be incurred if a decision is not made?
Developing tools like Opportunity Qualifiers and Pre-Call Planners will help your sales team consistently manage opportunities. Inspecting and reinforcing with these tools will hold sellers accountable to their use. It will also help your managers determine when and where to apply additional selling resources.
Focus on Effective Discovery
One of the most important steps in a sales process that generates strong results is need discovery. Provide your reps with the ability to ask targeted questions that reveal business impact and the negative consequences that are resulting from their current state. Without an effective discovery process, it will be difficult to move an opportunity forward in a way that demands a premium price.
Provide the Proof
Don't make a buyer take your word for it when promoting a solution's benefits. Sales reps need to demonstrate the value of the recommended solution and proof you can do what you say you can do. Customer testimonials, graphs, charts, favorable third-party publications and case studies are other proof devices. Developing a cadence around gathering measurable results from your customers will provide maximum value in your sales process. It's work to gather them, but the impact they have with new customers is incredible. You'll be glad you put the work into creating the process, when those proof points easily sell another deal.