The Deep-C Buyer Enablement Framework by Garin Hess, CEO of Consensus

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“Selling is Hard, Buying is Harder”: How Buyer Enablement Drives Digital Sales and Shortens Sales Cycles 

Enabling your buyers doesn’t just create a great buyer experience - it also increases your sales win rate and shortens your sales cycle. I talked to Garin Hess, CEO & Co-Founder at Consensus, during our recent PreSales Leadership Collective Symposium to talk about his approach to making buying better for everyone. 

The Need for Change

Buyer behavior is changing, and so our sales behaviors need to change as well. Changing the way we do things often seems to be risky, but it’s often riskier to keep doing what we’re currently doing. Companies who figure out how to make buying B2B software pleasurable, easy, and fast shorten the sales cycle and win more deals. According to recent research, more than ever buyers want content from vendors that is “rich in technical detail” and “not easily faked. That means PreSales is the key.

A Better Buying Process 

Difficult sales stems from difficult purchase processes. PreSales and sales, while not always process experts, are still in charge of the buying process because they know how to guide people through the buying process. PreSales leaders need to help their teams shift how we approach selling by being buying coaches instead because the buyer needs to sell to their other stakeholders. 

Our teams have run this process time and time again so we need to learn to be prescriptive rather than reactive. Discover what stakeholders need early in the process and give it to them - that’s buyer enablement and that’s how you shorten the sales process. Focus on making the buyer’s tasks needed to get the purchase done easier  to get better results. 

Buyers put themselves and their careers and reputations at risk when they buy. They need to believe their results and emotional ROI will be worth the risk. You’re disrupting their status quo, their work-life balance, reputation with peers, and more on the line when they advocate for your solution. They need to believe their reputation will grow, that current projects won’t be at risk, and that buying won’t hurt outside relationships or projects. Fix this by charting the buying process for them and talking honestly about implementation so they can weigh their ability to take risks.

What sort of resources do buyers need? Research suggests the number one thing buyers want are demos, followed closely by case studies and ROI analysis tools. The research also reports that buyers want rich, interactive technological details that can’t be faked. And again, that means PreSales.

As of 2018, the number of people involved in the buying process for an IT purchase averaged 13 to 14. Often in PreSales, we think this group is smaller than it actually is. We may not be as aware of all the stakeholders in the buying process. Plus, in the same deal, there are so many different perspectives from stakeholders we need to understand so we know how to help them. 

DEEP-C™ Framework for Success 

Discover -

Make the buying group map. Ask for different product lines, segments, and personas who get involved. Share that map with the champion as early as possible, and ask the champion to identify who they are. Identify what your buying process looks like for your buyers, and share it with them. This helps build trust and confidence. 

Engage -

Buyers only spend 17% of their time with vendors. How do you get them engaged in between? The main thing buyers want from vendors is demos, so make sure the champion has a digital form of demos that they can share with other stakeholders. Technology can help with chameleon digital assets that educate and adapt to different stakeholders and personas, penetrating and engaging between live convos.. This reduces unqualified live demos and buyer lag time to get a demo. 

Equip -

The resources you give your champion should empower them to make powerful points to their peers while staying on-message.. Types of content include demos, social proof, and financial ROI help. Your content should connect their vision and how the solution gets them there. Buyers want to verify the solution will work for them. 

Personalize -

You’ve got to do more than make sure your case study fits their use case. Larger buying groups mean diverse (and sometimes conflicting) priorities. Message to the title and, if possible, to the individual. Traction comes not from getting a stakeholder everything they might want, but in giving them nothing they don’t. . 

Coaching -

Establish your credibility. Recommend something strongly to your champion, and ask them to commit to it. Assure  them that you’re going to help them to be successful. Buyers don’t know how to sell - you need to help them. 

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Sorry, this content is available for Leadership Collective Members only!

The Leadership collective is a group designed for PreSales leaders in a management capacity (Manager+ title) who are looking to network, grow professionally, and actively participate.

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