Aligning the sales process to your buyer
In the last class, we defined the buyer’s journey. Hopefully you’ve had some time to think through the optimal buyer’s journey for your prospects. The next step is to build your sales process.
Unlike legacy sales teams that build the sales process first, inbound sales teams build the sales process after the buying journey has been defined. Inbound sales teams build a sales process that supports the buyer through their journey. As a result, the salesperson and the buyer feel like they are aligned rather than at odds with one another through the buying and selling process.
In order to build your sales process, ask yourself what your salespeople can be doing at the Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stages to support the buyer. We recommend the following framework for your sales process: Identify, Connect, Explore, and Advise.
Inbound salespeople identify “strangers” who may have goals or challenges they can help with. These “strangers” become “leads.”
Inbound salespeople connect with these “leads” to help them decide whether they should prioritize the goal or challenge. If the buyer decides to prioritize the goal or challenge, these “leads” become “qualified leads.”
Inbound salespeople explore the goals or challenges of these “qualified leads” to assess whether the salesperson’s offering is a good fit for their context. If the salesperson’s offering is a good fit, these “qualified leads” become “opportunities.”
Inbound salespeople advise these “opportunities” on the ways in which their offering is uniquely positioned to address the buyer’s context. If the buyer agrees the salesperson’s offering is best for them, these “opportunities” become “customers.”
The Identify-Connect-Explore-Advise framework should guide you as you develop your sales process. Similar to the buying journey framework, you may alter this framework for your business. You may change the names of the stages. You may add a stage. However, you want to make sure you stay focused on supporting buyers through their journey.
In the next class, we’ll take a deep dive into the Identify stage of the inbound sales process. See you tomorrow!
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