White Paper: When the Selling World Isn’t Flat
Selling to Multiple Decision Makers
Traditional sales training programs make the assumption that you need to arm your sales force with a bunch of questions, a great company story to tell, and a slew of features and benefits that show the customer why your product or service is a great solution to the customer’s needs. That’s all well and good.
Here’s the dilemma: 85 percent of selling situations are complex. That is, we have multiple buyer types to deal with and a selling process that involves several steps or milestones. So, at what points in our sales process do all those questions get asked and all those features and benefits get presented? How do we tailor them to the buyer types we are calling on? And, if our commitment objective for a sales call is something like “gain agreement for a meeting with other decision makers,” how do we structure the questions, features, and benefits so that we are effective at selling a meeting instead of our product?
Do the math. Let’s say that there are three different buyer types in your selling environment: End User, Specialist, and Ultimate Decision Maker. Now suppose that you typically have six key Milestones in your sales process (things like an initial call, needs-assessment meeting, demo, pre-proposal meeting, additional-decision-maker meeting, and final-proposal meeting).
That gives you at least 18 (3 X 6) potential iterations of your sales process. But wait. If there are multiple decision makers in any or all of your sales calls, that gives you more potential combinations.
Because you must present differently based on the Milestone of your sales process and the type of buyer you are calling on, significant challenges arise to prevent you from making sales calls that are perfectly tailored to your selling situation.
Sales training companies are certainly aware of the complexity of selling in a world that isn’t flat. But none have provided a solution that is easily taught, learned, and used in the field.