LinkedIn, what a great way of connecting to people! Just a few months ago I was just scanning my network and got one of those “say happy birthday congrats to..”. It was one of those old friends I haven’t spoke to for years. Actually, it was about fifteen years since we worked at the same company, the same sales department. I remember he was one of the sharpest brains I ever met before or until now. His name is Bert-Olov Bergstrand, always called BOB.
I said “congrats” to BOB and he instantly replied by picking up his phone and called me. One hour later we were convinced we would be doing business together in the near future. One memory of all, still extremely sharp in my brain, came to me and I typed a blog post about our method how to win very large complex sales deals – The Sales War Room.
One case BOB was leading was the win of a building supplies retail store chain, let’s just give them the alias “Building Supplies”.
We had to beg to be involved in the procurement of Building Supplies new ERP system. We came in as the last one of 28 potential vendors. We were not even in their conceptual world at all. Their procurement specification was extremely functional detailed and we were not allowed to talk to them before we submitted our proposal. All vendors submitted detailed answers with a lot nice words and names, but did Building Supplies really understand?
Only 5 were invented to make a demo. But we were nominated to the final as number five!
After Building Supplies had spent time visiting four demos, they considered not to visit us – they said they’ve seen all possible solutions and it would be wasting time visiting us. Again, we had to beg them to come. And they did.
They started to shop their own items and goods in a building supplies retail store we built in our own office, just for this case. All our systems we aligned to their processes and their customers’ behavior and customer experience. Then we matched all their functional details to their own context; their own vocabulary.
After two hours they said we were the only ones that really understood their business. We didn’t only understand them, we WERE them.
Of course we won the multi million USD deal.
To wrap up:
Level 1: Today no-one is really arguing not having a Sales Process to control a stepwise sales method. The mindset on this level is that the customer is buying aligned to the sales reps’ recommendation but not always understands what he buys.
Level 2: A few sales organizations are also accepting the fact there are a shift where the buyers are getting more power in their Buying Process. To sell on this level you have to understand your customer’s business and Buying Process
But what comes BEYOND THE BUYING PROCESS?
Level 3: To make the customer buy, the sales rep not only has to understand the customer, he has to BE and ACT as a customer in all contexts.
That’s Beyond The Buying Process.
BOB and I would be happy to uncover all secrets for your journey to this promised land where you win all complex and large deals. Stay tuned.