In this Growth Engine episode, we're going to ask you to think about your sales and sales pipeline.
I get asked often what is the best way to manage sales, the best way to construct a sales pipeline?
Realistically, the starting point is really to split this into two areas as these are two very different disciplines:
Your Sales Pipeline
Sales Management [and we will cover this in a different article]
The biggest mistake that I see people making is in designing their sales pipeline.
What I want you to think about is backing that up to a step and understanding your customer journey first.
The reason for that is that there's a great book out there, and I'm a big fan of this, it is called Proactive Selling by Skip Miller.
You can also head over to the Open Mike podcast blog where I interviewed Skip Miller.
Skip's a New York Bestselling Times author, published in 38 countries, trains Facebook, Googles sales teams as well as many major corporations.
He's like a leading sales consultant. I highly recommend his work, Proactive Selling is a great starting point to understand this further.
Skip talks about how the buyer sees things and how the salesperson sees things and often, well, they're not quite polar opposites.
They are in different positions:
The sales pro wants to do the deal now
The buyer wants to think about it or maybe speak to another vendor
The key point is if you were to just try and design your sales process, you're designing it from your point of view, what you want to have happened and that sometimes, and in most cases, brushes up and causes friction between you and the client.
Doesn't it make a lot of sense to say,
"Okay. Now, I understand my persona. I'm dealing with” whether that is:
A legal firm
You might be dealing with B2C consumers
People looking to buy a house
Whatever that demographic is, and geographic and psychographic is, once you've got that sorted, doesn't it make sense to plot that journey of what they go through?
Do that by just asking people, interview your customers, your best customers and the ones that didn't buy too.
"Hey. Talk to me about how did you start thinking about buying our product? Or What steps did you go through?"
If you do that over, it'd be easier to say, 12, 15, 20 customers. You may not have that time, but get a spread of half a dozen good customers, interview them.
You'll start to see some common traits of the steps that they take. Now, I'm not saying that these are accurate for everybody.
A Typical Example of A Buyer's Journey Starting With Awareness Stage
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