As we have discussed before, one of the major changes since the downturn in 2007 is that discretionary budgets and experimental budgets went out the window.  Buyers now buy more methodically than ever before.

We sell using a process that is customized in selling to buyers the way they want to buy.  Our system is designed to quickly capture the specifics for our clients in where they fit and where they divert from what we are outlining below.   What we are sharing below is obviously not etched in stone.  Each client works in a different tempo but the general beats remain the same.  In building a sales machine you need to put a stake in the ground because if a machine works 80%, 70% or even 60% of the time you will win. You win because you learn faster, sell smarter and because selling to a process is a great deal cheaper than selling differently every time. Below is how we see it.

Prologue

Executive Establishes a Need –   Gone are the days when you can expect (or even want) to get a technical buyer to champion something upstream for you.   You may find 2 out of 10 that are willing to take a shot and you will be lucky if 1 out of 5 of those are successful.  We have stopped selling to technical buyers unless an Executive Sponsor is upstream of the conversation.  Below is our map of the buying process.

Step One – Business Buyer – Generally an Executive or Senior Manager – Accountable for P&L

A.      Identify the Pain – There is a current situation that is causing some sort of Business Pain that needs to be addressed.   Generally around loss of profit, decreased revenue or need to increase revenue.  (Awareness – Sales and Marketing Stage)

B.      Set Objectives – Around those pains (Consideration – Sales and Marketing Stage)

C.      Set Strategy – For addressing those objectives around that pain. (Consideration – Sales and Marketing Stage)

Step Two – Technical Buyer – Responsible for hitting specific targets on P&L and implementing

A.      Exploring The Options – What Vendors are out there that will help to execute to the strategy that came downstream?  Can we do this internally? (Awareness – Sales and Marketing Stage)

B.      Set Vendor/Internal Selection Criteria – How will vendors map to the objectives that came downstream and/or can we do it ourselves (Consideration – Sales and Marketing Stage)

C.      Short List or Make a Recommendation – Scoped and toss back upstream to the Business Buyer for the final approval. (Preference – Sales and Marketing Stage)

Step 3 – Business Buyer

A.      Finalizing the Scope – Takes the recommendation and finalizes the scope.  Decides on need for a Proof of Concept or a Pilot (Preference – Sales and Marketing Stage)

B.      Set Final Hard Success Metrics – What are the Return on Investment metrics.  How will hit the P&L (Preference – Sales and Marketing Stage)

C.      What are the Soft Success Metrics – What are the other benefits to the working with this vendor and how will we measure.  (Preference – Sales and Marketing Stage)

We hope this overview has been helpful in understanding the new rules of engagement.  If you would like to know more about how Gabriel Sales can help you leverage this information in your B to B Demand Generation Strategy, please contact us.