Perspective in Selling

Why is Understanding Perspective in Selling important?

The buying process that our customers are going through these days have changed. The boom of many innovations in product/ service development, presentation of information and business processes and structures made purchasing far more complex and challenging. Understanding the customers business environment is the primary step to understanding their perspective.

Let’s get deeper into the factors that make it complex for the buyers:

1. Sales Funnel vs. Customer Journey Model

Simpliefied Sales Process includes gathering leads, qualifying those leads, nurturing leads and then closing the deal.
Simplified Sales Funnel
The consumer buying process includes problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, purchase and post purchase evaluation.
The Consumer Buying Process

The diagrams seem pretty straightforward, but we all know that there are a lot going on behind the scenes. Since we are trying to understand the perspective of our buyers in this article, let’s focus on their journey for now.

Before arriving to one particular point on the buying process, there are few important considerations for the buyer likes to look at hence it should be important for the sellers to focus on those specifics:

  • Online research to support the presentation of the problem to the executives.
  • Solution exploration and the many discussions that is involved in this process.
  • Budget submission and approval.
  • More research (online and offline), feasibility review and consultation with experts.
  • Supplier comparison and demo.
  • Buying group decision (with possible budget cuts)

This is not to mention the back and forth procedures that a customer goes through, dealing with different influencers in problem identification, research for information, evaluation and accreditation of possible suppliers, budget consideration, coming up with a purchase decision and making the ultimate purchase. Although the process does not stop there,because they have to evaluate the product/ service to justify the purchase.

With all these challenges that the customers are facing,what can you to be partner of choice aside from providing the best possible solution using your product/services? Showcasing your understanding of their business environment is your key to making a stronger impression.

2. Influence of Decision Makers vs. the Purchasers

There is an inverse proportion in the number of purchasing decision makers with the number of actual purchases made. Meaning, the more people involved in the decision making, the less is the chance of making the actual purchase. Another perspective challenge for seller.

The more people involved in decision making, the less is the chance of actual purchase.
The more people involved in decision making, the less is the chance of actual purchase. (hbr.org)

In additional to this, the number of departments also play a big role. A research by LinkedIn on "Which Departments Wield the Most Influence Over Purchase Decisions in Your Industry" shows  who hold the most influence over a typical B2B buying decision, in a service industry and manufacturing industry: Note that influences vary from industry to industry and that the number of departments also differ.

Typical B2B Buying Setting

  • Information Technology - 32%
  • Finance - 31%
  • Business Development - 26%
  • Accounting - 23%
  • Operations - 22%
  • Administrative - 21%

Service Industry

  • Operations - 33%
  • Finance - 23%
  • Business Development - 22%
  • Accounting - 19%
  • Consulting - 16%

Manufacturing

  • Engineering - 50%
  • Operations - 47%
  • Purchasing - 42%
  • Finance - 35%
  • Product Management - 34%

3. Information Sourcing

The easier information has become available to us,the more we are likely to have an overload. Sometimes, having too many data to consider can also result in a diminishing return and poor decision. The previous example on the how many departments have influence in the buying process combined by the fact that each of these decision makers have at least four or five pieces of information to support their suggestion must be enough for us to see the amount of available information we have inside the walls of our organization.

The diagram below shows that about 45%of the time, buyers are spending in independent research about a product,service, brand or company. 22% of which is spent meeting with other decision making groups (who must have information on their hands also). And another significant 17% meeting with potential sellers, all of whom will also be presenting more information throughout the interaction.

Distribution of Buying Group's Time by key Buying Activities
Source: View Full Report(https://www.gartner.com/)

The Power of Perspective in Selling

Miller Heiman Group, describes Perspective as : It is knowledge or insight that expands a customer’s understanding of one or more business issues.

Perspective in Selling enables sales professionals to close more deals because they are able to align the sales process with the buyer's expectations.  Understanding the challenges of buyers is one step closer to building a long-term and strong bond with your customer as a salesperson.

Putting perspective at the center of your Sales Process is like empowering all the branches and aspects of that process. Perspective in selling allows an informed solution selling, improves a salesperson & the company's integrity and credibility from the point of view of the customer. Ultimately leading to an improved win ratio and better bottom line.

Ready to take a deeper dive into the powerful topic of Perspective in Selling? Head over to https://www.transdefy.com/events to know more about the Strategic Selling with Perspective Workshop on September 22 & 23 in Dubai, UAE. Sign up your details or drop an email to the sales expert and Miller Heiman Middle East Consultant Leenna Jayachaandran.

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