How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
How Sales, Marketing and Social Can Facilitate the Decision Path
Guest articles > How Sales, Marketing and Social Can Facilitate the Decision Path
by: Sharon Drew Morgen
Sales, marketing, and social marketing attempt to place solutions and create relationships by supplying great content, discovering likely prospects, and creating trust. Unfortunately sellers end up closing a small fraction – less than 5% - of those they reach, and marketers and social end up wasting a lot of time and don’t often meet their goals. What’s causing our failure? And is there one solution that can enhance all?
PROBLEMS WITH OUR CURRENT THINKING
Here’s a bit of flawed thinking that exacerbates the problems:
We can facilitate the buying decision and create more success with followers by employing different thinking to save us from
Let’s look at some new thinking to add to what we’re successfully doing.
WHAT I LEARNED IN THE TRENCHES
We overlook the myriad of things that buyers and followers must contend with outside of the purview of the solution, need, or relationship:
I learned this as both a sales person and an entrepreneur. When Merrill Lynch hired me a stockbroker in the 1970s, I became a million-dollar producer my first year. But I couldn’t figure out why everyone with a need (especially those I had a great relationship with) didn’t buy. Where did they go?
When I started up my tech company in London in the 80s I realized the problem: as a buyer, my direct needs were often superseded by the social, political, organizational, and relational considerations I had to manage. When sellers came to pitch they understood my need and gave fine pitches but had no way to handle the fights I was having with the Board, or the issues the distributor was having with my solutions. Nor did anyone even try.
The sales model, I realized, was not designed facilitate the behind-the-scenes non-need-related issues I had to manage before I could consider buying anything. I then developed Buying Facilitation? to add to the front end of the sales model. My own sales team used it as a front-end to our sales process by first navigating buyers through their change management issues – buyers must do that anyway so we facilitated the stages and steps instead of sitting and waiting for the time it took them to figure it out on their own. That way we got onto the Buying Decision Team early and became great relationship managers. Our sales tripled and the time to close was reduced by two thirds.
The takeaway here for marketers and social is the recognition that we are largely ignoring the hidden, systemic issues going on that are not available to outsiders yet fundamental for any change to happen. That is our Achilles Heel.
WHAT’S THE ROLE OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT?
Buyers and followers don’t know their journey to change when they begin and hence take longer than necessary. But we can help them, and make our value proposition our ability to be their GPS.
There are two elements of the Buying Facilitation? model that can be added to create a ‘pull’ that’s change- and decision-focused.
It’s possible to develop assessments, questionnaires, intelligent contact sheets, CRM tools that provide the capability to lead buyers and followers through the steps they must take, send out just the appropriate data at the right point in the cycle, and facilitate the consensus and buy-in as they ready themselves for change. We can add these to the sales, marketing, and social models to truly serve our buyers and followers and close more. It will be an addition, and the results will stronger relationships and more conversions.
Check out Sharon Drew Morgen's new book: Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.
Or consider purchasing the bundle: Dirty Little Secrets plus my last book Buying Facilitation?: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions. These books were written to be read together, as they offer the full complement of concepts to help you learn and understand Buying Facilitation? - the new skill set that gives you the ability to lead buyers through their buying decisions.
Contributor: Sharon Drew Morgen
Published here on: 23-Nov-14
And the big