8 Steps to Energize Your Customer Buying Cycle Through Storytelling, with Mike Bosworth, Episode #70
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The customer buying cycle is an idea that’s being revamped by Mike Bosworth, an industry leader in social selling. On this episode of #SellingWithSocial, Mike and I discuss 8 major steps to energize your customer buying cycle and increase sales performance.
Mike shares his expert insights into why selling has to go beyond sharing product demonstration pitches. He also explains why agreements between CMOs and CSOs are critical for ultimate selling success. Finally, the dreaded “seller’s slump” is addressed and we explain why this slump is predictable and preventable.
This episode is full of insights that will change the way you think about sales. Be sure to give it your full attention!Discover the 8 steps to energize your #sales customer #BuyingCycle through #storytelling, with guest @MikeBLeadership on this episode of #SellingWithSocial hosted by @M_3Jr. Listen now! #SalesLeaders #SalesTips #SalesLeadershipClick To Tweet
A Salesperson Needs to Understand Their Customer Before Launching the Sales Pitch
Old-school selling used to be about focusing on the product demo – what it can do and how it works. Today, salespeople need to focus on the end result for the customer – specifically how the product will help them achieve broader company goals and give them the emotional response they’re looking for.
When Mike started at Xerox in 1975 he didn’t have any sales experience. But, because of his prior experience at the Xerox help desk, he did understand the customer’s innate needs. He intuitively knew that when talking with prospects as part of the sales team he needed to focus on more than just the product specs. As a result, he focused his sales pitches on:
- The commonalities between the prospect and successful peers that were existing Xerox customers
- How the product could solve the prospect’s problems
- The ultimate vision the Xerox product could provide.
He understood that the first step to any customer buying cycle is curiosity. If you tap into that curiosity and add a skilled salesperson into the equation, you’ll see your close rates skyrocket. Mike explains these key areas and more on this episode, and it’s information no salesperson should miss.
Revolutionize Your Customer Buying Cycle by Following These 8 Steps
The modern-day customer buying cycle should be focused around “Public Displays of Trust,” or PDTs. These PDTs are displayed by the prospect and allow the salesperson into the world of the company. Mike outlines these 8 major steps to a successful buying cycle:
- The prospect isn’t immediately looking for a solution.
- Peer curiosity is advantageous – share stories of other industry professionals that are using your product successfully.
- The prospect feels, “This seller gets me!”
- The prospect is hopeful the seller has a solution to their problem
- The prospect sees their peers utilizing a solution that your company provides – there’s strength in peer envy
- The prospect is willing to answer discovery and vision questions
- The seller outlines a buyer vision, mapping out what they’ll be able to do differently if they purchase the product
- The seller demonstrates proof of the buyer vision – this is where the product demo comes in!
If you follow these 8 steps and understand that you should NEVER lead a sales pitch with a product demo, you’ll see your sales success rates increase dramatically. Mike explains these 8 steps in full detail on this episode, so be sure to listen.“A salesperson needs to understand their customer before launching the #sales pitch.” For more #SalesTips, don’t miss this episode of #SellingWithSocial hosted by @M_3Jr with guest @MikeBLeadership. Listen now! #SalesLeadersClick To Tweet
Why Agreements Between Sales and Marketing Departments are Critical
In addition to a stellar sales pitch, a company’s CMO and CSO need to agree on a number of different ideas in order for the two departments to be fully aligned. They should agree on the following: who the targeted personas are, the importance of customer usage marketing, the stages of the buying cycle (NOT just the selling cycle), how technology will be used to supplement skilled salespeople, and the definition of a qualified lead.
If your company does not have this agreement platform to stand on, sales success rates will crumble. Learn from Mike and his decades of successful sales experience – listen to this episode!
How to Combat the “Seller’s Slump” and Boost Sales Performance
Mike has seen the following pattern display itself again and again throughout his career. Entry-level salespersons take 6 weeks to learn the company and the products. They’re then launched into 18 months of successful selling. On day 1 of month 19, they hit a “seller’s slump” and their closure rates begin to fall. Why do so many salespersons descend into this spiral?
Mike explains that it’s because of “premature elaboration,” or the “premature demonstration syndrome.” The seller has become so skilled in the product offerings and coming up with solutions that they begin to tell the prospect what they need before they authentically connect with the prospect. Most professionals don’t like being told what they need at the beginning of a conversation. That’s when the first 5 steps of the buying cycle become critical. You have to build up a rapport with the prospect and earn their trust before trying to sell them something. If CSOs train their salespersons to follow the modern buying cycle, they can avoid the 18-month slump period.
All of these insights and more are packed into this episode. It’s one you don’t want to miss!Learn how to combat the “seller’s slump” and boost #sales performance on this episode of #SellingWithSocial hosted by @M_3Jr. with guest @MikeBLeadership. Listen now! #SalesLeaders #SocialSellingClick To Tweet
Outline of This Episode
- [1:05] The story of how Mike and I met through the Story of Sales film
- [5:30] Mike shares his background with Xerox and how it taught him essential sales knowledge
- [21:16] What should sales & marketing professionals focus on to maximize alignment?
- [30:10] 8 stages of the modern buying cycle and Public Displays of Trust
- [33:06] How to combat the seller’s slump and boost sales performance
- [45:15] Summary of my conversation with Mike
- Connect with Mike on LinkedIn
- Follow Mike on Twitter: @MikeBLeadership
- Follow Mike on Facebook
- Mike’s leadership website
- Mike’s favorite movie: “Summer of ‘42”
- BOOK: “SPIN Selling: Situation Problem Implication Need-Payoff”
- The Story of Sales film
- Social Business Engine Podcast – Bernie Borges
Connect with Mario!
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