The purpose of your selling activities is to develop a business case about the prospective customer. No business case? Zero value creation and no purchase decision. It’s that simple.
A business case describes the rationale for initiating a project or task whose desired outcome is to convince a decision maker to take action.
Your desired outcome: the decision maker purchases from you. Their desired outcome: to provide a sustainable and competitive advantage for their company.The decision to purchase is the final action the decision maker takes in the business development and selling cycle.
The business case you develop aligns your company’s selling process with the prospective customer’s buying algorithm.
The business case you develop involves understanding the individuals and factors involved in the decision making process.
Where do you even start?
Think about how you identify prospective customers. These days, leads lists may represent nothing more than any individual who opted to download your latest White Paper or put their business card in a bowl at a trade show. That’s not a qualified sales lead. These individuals may have no decision making authority.
The business case you develop must identify the role that individual plays within their organization and their relationship within the buying process.
What happens next with “prospects”? Your “business development specialist” (aka telemarketing person), or you as the sales person, qualifies that lead. What does the conversation sound like? ”Hi I got your name from this list and can you tell me something about your company and if you are the person responsible for making decisions about X?” (This is a real conversation that a telemarketer had with me recently).
The majority of leads qualification activities are dead-end. Why should “leads” offer you information that you obviously didn’t take the time learn before you called them?
What happens, instead, if you do your homework about that company, individual, and industry to determine whether that “sales lead” makes good business sense for you to pursue? Now your activities are focused on developing a business case to sell to that company.
When you create your business case to sell, before the first call is made to that lead, you become more efficient and productive. You focus your energy on people, companies and verticals which make good business sense for your products and services. You gather information about trends and issues which are specific to that company. When you make initial contact with that company, you call on the correct individual with focused information that impacts their company’s sustainability and competitiveness.
Your business case to sell creates a compelling reason for that company to do business with you. Provide the impetus for the customer to initiate a buying project, in collaboration with you.
Now that’s a business case to think about during Q3.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers like engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups to create sustainable business models and revenue strategies.