A customer stands to benefit the most from a qualification process for a complex purchase. This claim makes sense when one considers that the purpose of qualifying a complex purchase is to verify the assumed benefits of moving forward on it and, further, to actually establish the metrics (typically in cost savings) that will result from the purchase in advance of proceeding on it. Therefore, at worst, this process provides the customer with an insurance policy that a considered purchase is justified. At best, it affords the customer an ample opportunity to plan the most profitable approach possible to implementing the contemplated solution, an approach that very often exceeds the customer’s earlier expectations.
Gaining the participation of customers in this analytical process should be a given, correct? In contrast, in our experience it is rarely, if ever, a given. Rather, customers with whom we have interacted through this type of activity are usually engaged at an inopportune time. Generally, the customer is either contacted late in a complex process to purchase a product, or a sales person permits the conversation with the customer to go off track, into a ditch of price quotes, presentations and competitive comparisons with little to no understanding of a customer’s unique environment, needs and intentions. No wonder the return on time invested in these sales campaigns is generally low and unprofitable.
The missing piece, as we see it, is hopping over the first step, which ought to be a successful campaign to gain the agreement of a decision-maker that there is a high probability that one’s product constitutes an attractive opportunity for the business to capture an important sought after value that can be quantified. In order not to hop over this step, a sales team must identify several pieces in the puzzle, including
- A prospect with a verified need for the type of solution they offer, and
- A key decision-maker within the prospect with the influence to collect any/all of the individuals within the business who will play a role in either purchasing the solution or implementing it
The reality is that the decision-maker identified in step (2), above, will actually provide all of the motivation required to ensure that other contacts will genuinely participate in the qualification process.
Sales teams that try to skip over these steps will, more often than not, come up high and dry, without a sale and lots of wasted time. If you need your organization to move more progressively on sales opportunities we welcome your contact. Please telephone Ira Michael “Mike” Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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