Today’s customers are doing much more due diligence before even contacting you. With the wealth of information users can search on, it’s critical to understanding how your customers buys in your critical key accounts. Basically, you have to uncover how is the customer going to buy what you are selling them, the customer buying process.
Just because you have sold into this account in the past, doesn’t mean you don’t have to know and understand how they buy now. It’s more critical, you have to know where a competitor can gain traction. Normally during your strategic account meetings, is where you will uncover and update their buying process.
So, ask yourself this basic question: How does this customer buy?
If, you can’t answer, then how are you going to sale to them? Knowing the customer’s buying process and who at the customer is responsible for each process is critical for success.
To uncover their buying process here is a question to ask your stakeholders:
Can you tell me your steps or process you are going to use to make a decision?
In the event they don’t or won’t tell you, this could be a ‘Red Flag’. Now you can work on a mitigation plan, for example is; what other contacts can you reach out to.
Not only identifying all the processes and where in the process they are but who is responsible for each process. It’s important to identify who at the customer you can reach out to, to answer any questions or coordinate any follow-up items.
Here is a sample customer buying process.
- Identify the Problem
- Review Options
- Bring in Top 3 Vendors
- Initial Demonstration and Presentation
- Narrow Down the Possible Vendors (solutions)
- Pilot / Trial Selected Vendor
- Sign Contracts
An important distinction to make here is the customer buying process is very high level and is at the account level. In an opportunity the customer’s buying process now becomes the customer selection process. The selection process has many more processes and details.
Now that you have an understanding of customer buying process and who to contact, you will be one step ahead of your competition.
In the video you will see how using Strategy Mapper it’s easy to capture, update and assign contacts to a buying process.
This video is the second, in a nine part video series, each video is under 6 minutes long. We recommend you watch them in order one through nine.