Today it is far more challenging to align the prospect’s buying process to the company’s selling process. This is because of a new dynamic called the Internet. The behavior of buyers has changed in the way they search, reason, feel, evaluate, and buy products.
Today’s buyers have found new sources of trusted and valued information right at their fingertips. This information is not growing stale, it is continually improving and growing rapidly. For example, my son’s iPhone had about 25 applications available from Apple only a little more than a year ago, and today there are over 25,000 applications. Do you want to know who is singing a song that you are listening to? Just hold your iPhone where it can pick up the sound and it will tell you the title of the song as well as the artist who is singing the song. Apple makes it easy to purchase and download the song, a few clicks and it’s on your iPhone. Apple is thinking about the customer. They are thinking about what the customer wants.
Today’s buyers have a new process in how they buy. They don’t depend on the salesperson as much. They begin the process long before the salesperson even knows it began, sometimes months in advance. How? Buyers are leveraging the new information sources available to them and rendering the salesperson to a secondary role early in the “new” buying process. The problem for many companies is if you don’t know this you lose the sale!
If your competitor understands this they win the sale because they have guided the buyer’s impression and facilitated the buying process long before the buyer met with a salesperson. Providing what the customer wants when they want it early in the sales process creates a favorable impression compared to those who say they will get back to you or even worse, making a customer call just to engage in business with them.
Next week we’ll look at what the “new” buying process looks like and why you are likely losing qualified leads because of antiquated processes.