Is your sales force experiencing increasingly stalled business, extended cycle times, and inaccurate forecasts? If so, it’s time to revisit your sales process and take a hard look at how your customers buy.
Traditionally, companies have taken an inward approach to developing their sales processes—they typically only consider internal senior management requirements that make management and forecasting easier (or so they thought…). Unfortunately, the glaring problem with this approach is that it does not take into account where customers actually stand in the sale.
For most reps, following the traditional sale process is all about providing certain tools and information to the customer to quickly move them to the next step in the sales funnel. However, reps miss a key step here–they take for granted that customers are ready to move on and often end up outpacing them in the deal. As a result, many companies find their reps’ books of business bogged down with deals stuck in limbo.
Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) recognized this problem and created ‘Buying Made Easy,’ a tool that blurs the lines of distinction between the sales process and the customer’s buying process. The tool links selling activities in each step of the sales process with certain reciprocating customer buying activities.
These “Buyer Signals” as ADP calls them, are customer verifiers–stage gates in the sales process that signal customers’ readiness to move forward in the sale. A rep proceeds to the next step of the sales process only when a verifier is present, that is, when the customer indicates their readiness to move forward.
By focusing on customers’ buying process and the right customer signals, ADP not only improved conversion rates, but also realized a 500% ROI in reengagement of stalled opportunities.
SEC Members, to learn more about Buying Made Easy, read excerpts from our conversation with the creators of the tool on how they mapped out their customers’ buying processes, how they built the tool, and how such a tool can help improve your sales function.
Also, be sure to check out the Deal Verification toolkit which can serve as a foundation for the types of customer verifiers to develop to match your sales methodology and reflect how your customers buy.