sales unknown customerThe fact is that buyers complete 60% of the purchasing journey on their own.  You have to ask yourself the question.  How well does your team know the sales customer?  Who should own it?  More importantly, if you do not address it, will it get worse?

 

In this post, we will talk about how better to understand your customers.  You can also sign up for SBI’s annual research here.  In the session, you will learn how you can engage with your customer’s effectively. Download the Customer Alignment Guide to get started.

 

Customer Alignment Guide

 

Out of Touch

 

  1. Marketing– Poor lead quality and quantity of opportunities can lead to a downward revenue spiral.  Why? If you lack customer insight, you lack content that resonates.  If you lack content that resonates, you probably have a problem with lead quantity.   In addition, you need to connect beyond simple demographics.  Gaining key information about what problems your customers are trying to solve.  Instead of building new websites or spending money on technology; focus on creating great content that engages your customer.  The output of poor lead management is wasted time and money.
  2. Sales – The Sales Force suffers as well.  Why? The selling activities are not in alignment with the buyer’s actions.  Buyers behave and think differently.  Understanding, recognizing, and adapting to these signals effectively is the key to success.  Sellers need to spot the buyer in order to produce an accurate forecast.  Otherwise, they end up using a gut feeling.  Done incorrectly it will negatively impact revenue, deal size, and margins.
  3. Product Development – Below expectations of year 1 revenue goals.  Statistics show that every 4 new products entering the market 1 is a success.  #1 stated reason for the failure rate.  Lack of attention to the real needs and wants of the marketplace.  The additional pitfall is the disruption to the sale force.   What problems does this product solve? Who is your target audience? How do you create awareness to this target audience?  How have you prepared sales to sell the new product of your target customer?  If you do not equip sales, they will get frustrated.  Selling time is wasted on deals that result in no decisions and lost opportunities.  Even worse is the fact that revenue from legacy product will dip.

 

Align with Your Customers What you have to gain?

 

  1. Marketing can collect the information most valuable to sales.  This will generate more sales qualified leads.  Increasing conversion rates and maximizing selling time.
  2. Sales can use this tool to spot the buyer and align selling efforts.  Reducing selling cycles and improving win rates.  All these metrics point to higher quota attainment.
  3. Product Development will produce products that sales can actually sell to a target audience.  New product revenue will be incremental add to legacy product revenue.

 

Here is how you do it:

Personas– Research based representations of your buyers.  Who they are? What they are trying to accomplish? What goals drive their behavior? How they think? How they buy? Moreover, why they make buying decisions?  Once you build these, you can create a customer centric organization.

 

buying process map components

 

A Buyer Process Map– A buyer is on a journey and a journey needs a map. If reps do not know, they cannot sell the way the buyer wants to buy.  In today’s marketplace, your organization needs to have the ability to spot the buyer.  Download the Customer Alignment Guide.  Learn how to build the following key components of a Buyer Process Map:

 

  • Buying Phases – These are a series of phases the buyer goes through in purchasing decisions.
  • Key Buyer Actions – These are the things your buyer says or does.   These actions are critical to spot so you can align your selling efforts.  Being out of alignment means you will prolong the sales and even cause friction.
  • Micro Decisions – Questions the buyer will ask himself in specific phases of their buying decision.  Answer these questions correctly and you are facilitating a buying decision.

 

The most progressive organization put their customers in the forefront of every organizational decision.  Collecting this information and really using it to target specific users; then being able to predict their future purchases.  The result has a real impact on revenue and customer satisfaction.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Urteaga

Helps motivate clients to design and implement new sales and marketing strategies so that they stay on track to make their number.
Learn more about Andrew Urteaga >

Clients describe Andrew as an industry thought leader. He has deep experience as an executive, having served in multiple positions as a sales leader, with a track record of outstanding performance in F500 companies.

 

Prior to joining SBI, Andrew held the position of VP of Sales at Avis Budget Group where he was responsible for sales and marketing leadership. He also held a variety of positions with Cintas Corporation, a Fortune 500 multi-national company, including key quota carrying positions in the sales force from sales rep through to executive leadership.

 

Andrew’s work has included everything from lead generation, campaign planning and sales process to designing complete sales management coaching programs and new compensation plans.

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