Posted 12th July 2017.
Back in the late 1990s I had one of those “duh” moments.
I was attending a workshop on selling consulting services run by my employer, Gemini Consulting. One of the core lessons from the workshop was the observation that your sales processes should be based on how your buyers buy, not on how you want to sell.
Simple. Obvious. Yet I hadn't thought of it like that at all.
Fast forward to today and that simple observation still applies to sales processes both offline and online.
But does your website really match how your buyers buy? In particular:
- What phases do they go through in their decision-making process?
- What do they look for at each stage?
- Have you made it incredibly easy for them to find what they're looking for on your website at each stage?
From a hard-nosed commercial perspective, you want the visitors to your website to do what you want them to do. But in the real world, they're only going to do what you want them to do if it matches what they want and need to do.
Or to use Zig Ziglar's more positive version, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
In the current frenzy of excitement about designing complex “marketing funnels” to maximise our sales we seem to have lost sight of the fact that your clients have their own objectives. And if your website doesn't help them achieve those objectives then they won't stick around, no matter how clever your funnels are.
So what is it that our clients want when they visit our site?
To find out what clients want and how to give it to them, click here »
Posted 4th July 2017.
That's a bold statement, isn't it? An exaggeration for effect, sure.
But I bet, like me, you've sometimes wondered whether clients really are all that loyal.
Well, now there's hard data to back up our gut feeling. The results don't make for pleasant reading. But they do tell us what really works if you want to grow sales (especially in business-to-business).
But more of that in a second. Let's back up to set the context so this all makes sense.
Last week I headed over to Washington to attend the CEB‘s 2017 Sales & Marketing Thought Leader Roundtable. A rather eclectic bunch of sales and marketing experts sat round as the team from the CEB (I should technically say the CEB, now Gartner) presented the findings from their latest sales and marketing research and we discussed, debated and gave them feedback.
They've done two big studies so far this year. One in sales which I'm going to discuss in this article, and one in marketing (digital marketing through the business-to-business buying cycle) which I'll discuss in an upcoming article.
Now it's worth noting before we jump in that this research is focused on business-to-business – ie marketing and selling your products or services to other businesses. And the research was primarily done with large organisations, both from a buyer and seller perspective.
But what you'll find is that the results are equally applicable whether you work for a big company or run your own little solo business like me.
The CEB research covered many areas. but the findings that jumped out for me, in many ways because they go against so much of what is being preached today, were about the best ways to grow business with your best and biggest clients.
Click here to see what the research said about growing client accounts »