article | March 30, 2014
Never be Outsold Again
In my last post, we went looking for your personas. For many, they were not where they should be: everywhere. According to loss calls, missed deals occur because your sellers are ‘selling’ too hard. Outselling your competition requires you to intimately know your customers. One suggested remedy is to conduct insight-driven buyer research. This would improve the quality of your personas and customer engagement. One top method of research is the persona interview. A persona interview uncovers the most critical actions a buyer takes before signing a deal. But how do you create a world class persona interview guide? And how do you enable your team to conduct these interviews?
The Persona and BPM Interview Guide offers a template. By creating a formalized interview process, multiple team members can conduct these interviews. The insights from multiple interviews can be easily consolidated. Download the Persona and BPM Interview Guide today. You will take the first step towards a deep understanding of your buyers. The second step is formulating the questions that uncover key insights in your industry. We regularly walk Sales Ops leaders through the process. To dive into detail, I’ll gladly talk with your Sales Ops team. When I email you your tool, simply respond and we will find a time.
Across multiple industries, that are core interview principles which hold constant. When conducting your persona interviews, be cognizant of these best practices:
1) Use an agile approach: It will take multiple persona interviews to draw valid insights. The objectives for each interview should adapt. As insights are gathered, identify where gaps are in your research. Enhance and alter questions to focus on areas in need of additional insight. The Persona and BPM Interview Guide allows you to track each interview’s approach. It yields accurate and relevant insights that inform the way you engage with buyers.
2) Focus on trigger events: Gather the events that are driving your buyers into the market. With an extensive list of triggers, both marketing and sales can stimulate demand. Identify both long term and short term triggers. A product sunset may be on the horizon for 2 years. A network outage can trigger a buyer to purchase tomorrow. Each will require a defined approach to respond to the demand.
3) Identify reactionary and proactive buyers: Some buyers are actively looking to adapt and stay ahead of the curve. Others only look for new solutions when pushed by an outside influencer. Both buyers need your help. The proactive buyer needs your assistance to build solutions. They need your vision and your strategic guidance. Reactionary leaders need a push. Change is necessary to compete. If you bring a valuable solution they had not considered, you will become a trusted advisor.
Your personas are not used because the supporting buyer research is not useful. The BPMs are not understood because they do not improve customer engagement. Focus on using an agile approach; you will get a holistic view of buyers. Determine an exhaustive list of trigger events and market to them. Understand how your buyers adopt change and cater to it. A Persona and BPM interview done well, will drive adoption of these tools. They will lead to improved close rates and accelerated sales cycles. I look forward to helping you build your guide in the near future.
Download this tool to ensure your sales transformation has mitigated the risk.
Download the Persona and BPM Interview Guide
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A Business Strategy Consulting Company
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