In a recent research study conducted by the Sales Executive Council, it was noted that customers complete 69% of the buying journey before calling a supplier. There has been a paradigm shift in the the sales process and distributors have to adapt to these changes by implementing new tools and strategies take advantage of these changes.
So what does a distributor need to do? Here are few strategies you need to consider. First thing, you need to develop a buying process map (BPM) by knowing who your target customers are and what their decision making process is to purchase a product or service. "Leading sellers create reasons why buyers want to meet with them." A Buying Process Map can be used to win a deal before the competitors even know there is a deal.
The second is social selling. Social selling generates meetings with decision makers inside of targeted prospects. Using social media allows a salesperson to research a prospective prospect, reach that prospect, sell products or services to that prospect and ask that prospect for referrals.
The third is to re-think your current sales process, a good sales process allows a sales team to sell the way the customer wants to buy. Today’s informed, socially connected buyers do not respond to traditional selling methods. Traditional selling methodologies were not built for the internet, email, smartphones, tablets, LinkedIn and other technology tools used by today’s buyers. This means getting socially connected and providing your sales force with the tools to do that. The final component is your sales team. You need to overhaul your sales team and train them to take advantage of this new market place as well as providing them with new technology that will allow them to maximize their sales efforts.
This is where a tool like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and CRM for Distribution can dramatically improve your chances for success. Microsoft Dynamics CRM and CRM for Distribution provide your sales team with built in functionality like social listening, you now have a way to monitor what you customers are saying and thinking about your company across a spectrum of platforms such a Facebook and twitter. Social listening also enables you to monitor your competition and quickly react to purchasing signal to generate quality leads.
With the addition of tools like InsideView you can now research a company, define the decision makers and get recent news about events in the target account. You have all the information you need market to and close deals with these accounts. Furthermore since Microsoft’s CRM and CRM for Distribution provide you with extensive quote and sales history on an account you can use this information to develop targeted sales campaigns, as well as, upsell and cross sell your customers. Additionally, since CRM provides a central repository for all communications, everyone in the company will always have the most up to date information when dealing with customers and prospects. Finally, since all these benefits are available on a smartphone or tablet your salespeople will always have access to critical customer information when travelling or meeting at a customer’s office.
So if you are serious about making your sales number in 2014 and beyond Microsoft Dynamics CRM and CRM for distribution can be the critical component you need to succeed. Beringer Associates is here to support your implementation of these tools in a timely and appropriate manner to business goals and processes.