Many organizations and buyers today are finding that there are an increased number of stakeholders involved in the buying process. In fact, Korn Ferry's latest research shows that as many as 64% of organizations are suffering from decision paralysis due to the number of stakeholders involved in decision making. As a result, sales enablement leaders are looking to understand which seller actions are most effective so they can refocus their teams.

“Seller actions are under a microscope at the moment” comments Sam Crawford, Principal Director in Korn Ferry’s Global Sales & Service Practice. He suggests that sellers need a proven, predictable and scalable process that will have a measurable impact on performance. But with buyer’s situations changing rapidly, how can sales enablement leaders ensure they’re not losing the agility to respond to these changing needs?

Though it may seem contradictory to apply a sales methodology to improve agility, Conceptual Selling gives sellers a repeatable process that allows them to adapt to their customers’ unique needs and buying journeys.

Embracing a formal sales methodology equips sellers with the right tools to pivot around customers’ changing needs and close the deal, explains Mark Grimshaw, Senior Client Partner in Korn Ferry’s Global Sales and Service Practice. For sales enablement leaders, it creates a formula for success that can be executed on a consistent basis. “By staying one step ahead of your target consumers, you are able to better approach conversations with buyers” he adds.

Our experts shared four ways that a sales methodology can increase agility and help sellers to close deals more quickly.

1 Helps sellers prioritize deals

A sales methodology helps sellers prioritize the deals closest to the finish line, so they can get the deal done and move on to the next.

For example, sales reps who follow our Conceptual Selling with Perspective® methodology are taught to categorize buyers into four stages to better understand their unique position in the buying journey:

  • Growth: These buyers are looking for a solution that simply performs better
  • Trouble: These buyers need a solution for an urgent problem
  • Even keel: These buyers are satisfied and don’t necessarily need to make a change, so converting them would require a significant amount of effort
  • Overconfident: These buyers believe their current solution solves all of their problems, and don’t see any reason for change

“We recommend sellers focus their attention on buyers in ‘growth’ and ‘trouble’ mode” say Crawford. “They’re more receptive to solutions that could meet their needs.”

2 Delivers a tailored approach

Traditional sales methods focus on how sellers can promote their product or service. But Conceptual Selling focuses on value.

That’s because Conceptual Selling recognizes there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to sales, Grimshaw explains. “The purpose of this sales methodology is to determine what the buyer needs: what gap they want to close between their current state and some future state, whether by achieving a goal or fixing a problem.” This approach requires sellers to listen to buyers to determine the problem they need to solve.

Conceptual Selling gives sellers the skills to ask questions that get a commitment. With this information, they can tailor their approach and align their objectives with their buyer’s needs to ensure that everyone is driving toward a win-win outcome.

Focusing on the customer not only lets them know you understand their situation but helps instill confidence that your solution is the right one.

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3 Maximizes value

Sellers and buyers have too much on their plates and too little time to do it. “These days, no one has time for an unfocused, unplanned call” comments Crawford. That’s especially true when sellers have to talk to the six or seven buying influences involved in today’s deals.

With a sales methodology, sellers are encouraged to think through their conversations before they happen. Those who follow the Conceptual Selling method complete a Green Sheet to organize their thoughts and tactics before walking into a meeting. For example, the Green Sheet asks sellers to define the single sales objective, which describes the seller’s business opportunity and sets measurable goals and a timeline for closing the deal.

“By thinking through what specific questions will help move the opportunity forward, sellers are better able to reinforce their credibility” explains Grimshaw. Sellers can also set measurable goals and a corresponding timeline.

4 Differentiates you from the competition

Most buyers see little or no difference among sellers. However, we’ve found that sellers who are able to meet buyers where they are earn the opportunity to engage with them earlier in the purchasing process.

Conceptual Selling explains that a seller’s unique strength must be more than a feature or benefit of a solution. “Sellers have got to start with the buyer’s goal and relate their solution to that goal” insists Crawford. From there, sellers learn how to relate their solution or product to the buyers’ need so the whole process can move forward.

Learn more about Conceptual Selling with Perspective

Find out how leading companies are using Conceptual Selling with Perspective to have more customer-centric conversations and close more deals. The methodology, originally created by the Miller Heiman Group, now part of Korn Ferry, has been proven to drive results in even the most challenging markets. Get in touch to learn more about the Conceptual Selling today.

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