For those of you who read my blogs and have some interest in understanding the results you’ll get from using Buying Facilitation®, let me explain why Buying Facilitation® works and what results it offers for buyers – and anyone making a decision.
Before a buyer buys, or a decision gets made, all of the elements that will be changed by the new solution must buy-in. This includes getting the right players on board, managing old vendors, insuring new solutions meld with current ones, managing internal politics, matching strategic needs with initiatives over time, etc. It’s very difficult for sales folks to understand that there is a gap between the need and solution, and the buying decision that must include all of the pieces that touch the solution and might experience change with a new solution.
The time it takes this buy-in to happen is the length of the sales cycle, regardless of the need or the efficacy of the solution. And when something new is forced into the system without systemic buy-in, as sellers do when attempting to place a solution before the buyer has gone down their full buying decision path, the system will resist. Hence, we get long delays and objections when it appears clear that the buyer has a need we can fulfill. And we think there is a buyer when there is none because they cannot get the necessary buy-in to purchase.
SELLING VS BUYING
The sales model is a solution-placement model that ignores the behind-the-scenes, non-need-related issues that must be managed internally before a purchase can occur. We end up sitting and waiting, and pushing, and waiting, and pushing, and hoping until all of these activities take place, and then close the low hanging fruit. And we have no idea where the other prospects go.
Buying Facilitation® has a different outcome and unique skill set: Its job is to lead buyers through their entire decision path to recognize and manage all of the elements that must be handled. It’s a change management/buy-in model (that uses NO sales techniques or strategies) that actually teaches buyers how to be ready to buy, and folds in the purchase/solution as a part of the decision journey.
Used in front of sales it:
- closes sales in 1/8 the time;
- recognizes who is a buyer and who isn’t, on the first call;
- helps buyers collect the appropriate Buying Decision Team on the first call and has them available for a meeting or conference call soon after the first call (even if it’s a cold call);
- helps buyers recognize and influence all of the people, policy, vendor, budget, time, relationship, and political issues they must include in so that a purchase can enter the system without disrupting the status quo significantly;
- gets everyone who will touch the solution on board within 2 calls, and work with their buy-in issues to move the sale forward, or end the sales relationship immediately.
In other words, by the time the ‘sales’ process begins, the full Buying Decision Team is in place, have offered their needs and concerns, know exactly their next steps (and yours), are eager to fit your solution into their status quo, have no objections (money or otherwise) and are ready and able to buy-in to a purchase. All in a collapsed schedule.
With a $50,000,000 solution, working with Buying Facilitation® KPMG turned a 3 year sales cycle into a 4 month sales cycle. IBM was selling a simple software solution: we turned a 6 month sales cycle into a 3 call close. Kaiser went from 110 visits and 18 closed sales to 27 visits and 25 closed sales. In each instance, we were able to not only collapse the sales cycle, but teach the buyer how to make the requisite changes congruently, in accordance with their internal rules. In other situations we got rid of inappropriate prospects on the first call, or enabled folks we didn’t think were prospects to recognize their need for a new solution.
HOW SALES DOESN’T WORK
- your data doesn’t necessarily reach the right people;
- your data might not address the full range of solution issues (and that you can not know about as an outsider);
- your solution might run counter to how their current vendor is managing things;
- your solution might not fit comfortably with their current solution and they haven’t yet decided to get rid of it;
- the Buying Decision Team hasn’t been formed yet and until it is they can’t buy (Hint: buyers aren’t aware of who needs to be on this team until well into the purchasing discussion);
- we are pushing our solution against a ‘system’ that has maintained homeostasis for some time and would be disrupted if something new entered (The system is sacrosanct: until buyers figure out how to make sure the system is not adversely affected if they were to buy something, they will take no action.);
- the appropriate buyer but can’t get the requisite buy-in to make a purchase (hence the 80% of your prospects who will buy within 2 years, but not from you.).
Buying Facilitation® – which employs a very unique skill set – has been used to run meetings, help “C” level people set strategy, negotiate, manage, supervise, and coach. It can be used to design scripts for telemarketers, or upfront as part of a software tool for change management. It is a decision facilitation model based on systems thinking, servant leadership, change management, and the ability to serve others. I call it a GPS system to lead folks through their decision making criteria. I’ve also developed a new form of contact sheet for marketing automation, to truly follow the buying decision path and offer the right data at the right time.
Learn Buying Facilitation® through an in-house training or a self-guided study. You can start with my 2 latest books: Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it; and/or Buying Facilitation®: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions. But stop selling. Add Buying Facilitation® to your great sales skills.
Would you rather sell? Or have someone buy?
Webinar with Method Frameworks June 15th:
Buy-in: A Radical Approach To Change Management