Salespeople love attention grabbing figures. So here’s one. In 2020, less than 50% of B2B salespeople are likely hitting sales targets.
There’s no hiding. Sales has got a lot harder.
On average, today’s clients are having to justify their purchasing decision to 6.8 other stakeholders. That’s 6.8 people who will hold them responsible if they make the wrong call. That’s a lot of pressure.
The way people buy has changed, but the way many people sell hasn’t. If you want to smash your sales target, you need to shift your perspective and consider how B2B clients make decisions and then make it easier for them to do so.
Sitting in the shoes of your client
Most salespeople who want to boost sales do so by increasing the numbers of potential clients they engage with. When they do, they focus on shouting about their products in the hope of getting the client to ‘choose’ them over others.
But this isn’t addressing the root of the problem. Clients want to minimise risk and it’s easier to stick with what they know than make changes. You aren’t necessarily competing against your business rivals, your competing against your client’s status quo.
You must give your potential client a compelling reason to change their approach, before you can truly sell them on choosing.
The new sales process
A good sales process should make it easier for clients to buy. Your sales process should be reimagined to become a client buying process that looks like this:
Most salespeople jump straight to step two and don’t offer any support for step three. But results will be far better if you focus on the way your client thinks about their situation and the how they can secure better outcomes.
Step one: Change
Help your client understand the challenges they face and why their existing approach will not solve matters (or might be creating the challenge in the first place).
Some clients may be fully aware of the problems they need to overcome but aren’t sure how to respond. Others may be unaware they could be doing things more efficiently, at lower cost or with better results. You must open their eyes to new options and inspire a ‘lightbulb’ moment within them – shining a light on the persuasive reason for them to take the risk of changing things.
The best way to do this is to create a narrative that not only illustrates the reason to change, but gives them the confidence to take what can be a nerve-racking first step.
Step two: Choose
For a salesperson, the ‘choose’ step is the most natural part of the process. After realising that their approach is part of the challenge they face, this stage should be relatively plain sailing. Your product should clearly be the opportunity that opens up a better way of working.
Step three: Champion
Once the client has decided to choose you, their role in the decision-making process hasn’t finished, it’s just begun. They now have to sell their choice to multiple internal stakeholders – an average of 6.8 people.
Your client isn’t a salesperson and won’t have your knowledge of the product or recall of facts and figures. You have to help them champion your product by giving them a narrative that communicates across all stakeholders why there is an urgent need to change.
The challenges faced by a company’s sales director are vastly different to that of a CEO. The narrative you create at the ‘Choose’ stage should present the features and benefits of your product to each stakeholder in a way that cuts through, giving them their own individual lightbulb moments.
Make change welcome, not feared
People don’t like change. But the Change – Choose – Champion model maps your approach to the client’s buying process and will have a dramatic impact on your sales revenue.
The B2B world has changed, are you ready to change with it?
Help your sales team reach the next level by downloading our free white paper on Sales Excellence and Benchmarking.
For more content on hitting sales targets, follow us on LinkedIn.
Sales kick-off meetings: How to use the momentum to power long-term change
17th May 2022
Drive retention and performance through a sales academy
9th March 2022
Call AI: The sales coaching technology you need in 2022
22nd February 2022
Drive real results from sales training in 2022: Why the traditional model doesn’t work
2nd February 2022
Sales Engagement Summit – Hosted by Raoul
16th December 2021
How business development reps can give buyers the confidence to say yes
3rd December 2021
The biggest mistake sales development reps make (and three things you should do instead)
9th November 2021
Five myths you need to know about customer success teams
11th October 2021
The four levers you can pull to increase sales velocity and how to make an impact
1st September 2021
Outcome Based Selling
3rd August 2021
Why most sales training doesn’t work and what to do about it
1st July 2021
3 reasons why writing a proper proposal is worth your time
18th March 2021
How to win a sales pitch…
26th February 2021
Sales Professionals: Why you shouldn’t assume you’ve got remote selling nailed
15th January 2021
Is your sales team ready for 2021?
4th January 2021
Selling Virtual Events
26th November 2020
Why salespeople must be ‘long-term greedy’: A five-step approach to winning more sales
13th November 2020
Closing skills: Why the pandemic has made it even harder to close that deal and what to do about it.
1st November 2020
Post Covid: How to fill your B2B pipeline with customers who do want to speak to you?
5th October 2020
3 steps for monetising virtual events
15th July 2020
18th May 2020
5 tips for closing in the crisis
4th May 2020
Using audience insights to engage with customers
20th April 2020
Biggest challenge of leading a remote sales team
15th April 2020
“Clients don’t want to engage with me”
6th April 2020
The world has changed – what should I sell?
31st March 2020
Leading remote sales teams
30th March 2020
Selling in a crisis
25th March 2020
Proposal writing research: Why your proposal doesn’t work
17th March 2020
How to accelerate your sponsorship revenue
17th February 2020
How selling to the individual increases your chance of them buying by 2x
7th February 2020
New Year, new rules. How to deliver sales training that actually works!
2nd January 2020
Half of B2B sales people will miss their 2020 targets. It’s time to shift perspective.
18th November 2019
Questions that drive more sales
15th November 2019
How to speed up prospect decision making… PART TWO
21st October 2019
How to speed up prospect decision making – PART ONE
14th October 2019
The biggest mistake salespeople make… and how to avoid it
26th July 2019
You have the right to demand more ROI from your sales training (and here’s how you get it)
16th May 2019
How to grow customer accounts this year
22nd March 2019
5 big sales mistakes from this year
23rd December 2018
How to turn the marketing trust crisis into sales opportunity
5th October 2018
Why is it so hard to find great business development talent?
21st September 2018
It might be hot outside but you still need a SCARF.
12th July 2018
The Peter Principle: Great Salesperson, Crap Manager
25th June 2018
The ‘great deal graveyard’ and how to avoid it
8th June 2018
The secret to selling in today’s market: Old-school to New-school
22nd March 2018
Why people DON’T buy from people they like
28th February 2018
What salespeople can learn from Nike
5th February 2018
Why “yes” doesn’t mean YES
26th January 2018
Take charge of your sales career in 2022
15th January 2018
How sales and marketing must work together to deliver results: tips from the front line of B2B selling
20th July 2016
6 facts and stats B2B sales people cannot ignore
26th May 2016
The amazing power of stories and 5 ways to make them sell
15th October 2015
The trouble with Blitz Days and how to increase their effectiveness
7th October 2015