Friday, September 7, 2012

How the New Buyer Benefits From a Boost in the Opportunity to Order Process

Today’s buyer is different than from even five years ago.  Today’s buyer has done their internet research. At the point which they choose to engage – they already have their perceptions, which you may or may not need to adjust based on your own value proposition. Going in cold as a marketer or salesperson is sure to lead to a missed opportunity. You can be assured that your competitors are paying attention, so make sure you are one step ahead.

How do you stay ahead as a sales and marketing professional? Use the data to your advantage. Give a bump to the processes you already have in place. Make sure to include up-to-date, conditional event data about your buyers into your opportunity to order process.  In order to stay abreast of any changing conditions to the buyer’s company that might influence their decision process.

There are many stages to the opportunity to order process, but it can be succinctly broken down into three main categories: Find, Work, Close.

Assign Find to Marketing – By knowing the condition of the buyer when they come to you, it is much easier to know what kind of collateral, events, or messaging you want to offer.  The event data lets you lead score with a more complete picture of the buyer and their position to buy.

Assign Work to Sales Representative – Event data is key in this stage to monitor the buyer. Static data is not enough of a reason to start a conversation.  At this point, they have had several touch points and most likely have a lead score within a matrix.  Knowing if they had an executive change, a win or award, a M&A, or worse are in litigation will dictate your next action.  Automation helps you organize, but it is important to add a boost with up-to-date information to know what message you are going to deliver, when and how you are going to deliver it.

Assign Close to Sales Reps and Sales Managers
In order to prioritize which deals are going to close faster, event data plugs in to give that extra boost to your forecast to more accurately predict what deals to go after in the most timely fashion.

The buyer is smart; we must respect their intelligence and offer something of value.  No more cold-calling, simply pushing product that wastes both your time and theirs.  Value each other’s time and you will build an opportunity to order process that is efficient and effective with proven results.  Research is key to understanding the buyer.  I wish we were smooth enough to float by without research, but unfortunately that just isn’t the case, which is why big data, behavior data, and event data are taking center stage. We need to respect our buyer’s and learn from them in order to move the buyer through the process not just quickly, but by building a trusting relationship that will turn then into repeat buyers. 

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