Today’s Tip 56 is the first part from Mike Simmons where he’ll talk about tips on how to map the customers’ decision-making process.
What does your customer’s journey look like? Does it map to what Mike just described, or do you think it’s different?
Join the conversation below and know more about Mike.
Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips Podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. I’m going to experiment with something a little bit different with a couple of series of tips. First with Mike Simmons and soon with Dale Dupree. When we do these the goal is to make sure that the tips are still valuable in their stand-alone form, but offer even more value when listened to or viewed together in a series. So here’s Mike Simmons, founder of Catalyst Sale a full-service Sales Operations and Enablement Consultancy:
Mike Simmons: Here is another tip and this might end up turning into three tips into one. I’m going to try to keep it relatively brief here, but there’s a video that goes with this one. So if you get a chance you’re listening to this on the podcast, make sure you go out and watch the video. When we as sales professionals, think about how we go about our business how often do we think about things from the customer’s perspective? How often do we empathize with them? Do we put ourselves in their shoes and figure out what the journey is that they go through in order to make a buying decision. Over time, we see this over time, we recognize patterns, over time we can start to anticipate how a bill becomes a law so to speak from a customer perspective.
Now let’s say that I’m getting ready to drive from Phoenix out to San Diego. There’s a couple of ways that I can go through and do that. I can drive out to San Diego by going down through Casio Grand and then overthrew Yuma and then through El Centro in through the mountains and find myself in San Diego. Or I can go to the north route. If I go to the north route, I’m going to find myself heading out on I ten, going through Indio, getting on the two 15 heading south and then I’ll be in San Diego. But if I happen to find myself in Albuquerque, I’m going the wrong direction. And this is where mapping the customer decision making process really become valuable and interesting for you. So we start with “Hey, I’ve got a problem” so we’re going to put a little picture of a customer here and the customer has a problem and they go “Oh, no” Right. Customer has a problem, I need help. They might even say it. They might even say help. Well, the first place that they go after they make that cry for help. They’re going to try to figure out; do I know anybody else who’s dealing with the problem? Can I go into my network? So they might go to their network, they might go to their colleagues inside their office, they might go to their boss, they might go out there and do a Google search. We can see all the different kinds of places that someone might end up running to, when they need help. It’s not often that they’re going to a sales rep anymore. There was a time in a place, way back in the day where they would come to a sales rep, but let’s say they go out and they do a Google search and they search. “How do I create predictability in my forecast?” Well, if SEO is working a while, they might end up on the catalyst sale site. They might come across a number of different books out there but what they’re looking for us predictability in their forecasts. They might be able to search for that ideally they may not, but then they start reading information and they may come across your information and then they come go to your website. Let’s say they go to our website and they hit, they fill in a lead form. So now they go to the website, they fill in the lead form, they enter in their information, and then you give them a call as a sales rep, right? So you give him a call as a sales rep and the first thing you ask them is how many people do they have inside their organization and do they have budget and do they have the authority to make a decision and are they decision maker?
All of these things are horrible qualification questions. And really what you should do is you start with “How’d you find us? Why’d you come to us? What brings you here?” Get them talking. Not about the qualification stuff that most traditional reps run through, but get them talking about the challenges that they run into in their organization. So they articulate challenges, right? So they have questions that they might even have questions, they might have statements, but from that point then they’re looking for someone to help educate them on potential solutions. So you go back to this point, now us as the sales reps, we can educate them on the solution based on what we understand about the problem or the challenge that they’re running into. So, we educate, we’ll go ahead and put this is one of those little like a graduation hat on here, Kevin Thorn we’ll be really excited about my drawing a capability here. But we educate them and after we go through this education process, then they, they are going to want to look for test for alternatives, right? So they go out there and they test for alternatives. Then maybe look for a competitor reviewers, they maybe have a number of different questions. They may want to go through the process of identifying a potential reference, number of different directions that this could go to, but competitors, references, et cetera.
Now, I don’t know if this is the process that your customers go through, but I’m going to accelerate something here. Let’s just say that they get to a point where they realize. Yes, you’re the right fit and you’re going to help them solve their problems and they’re really excited about working with you” They’ve built a lot of rapport; you’ve built a lot of trust. They go ahead and they enter into a contract. Now you’re responsible for the implementation. Maybe you pass it on to someone inside the organization, but as we look back at this, there’s this linear progress that someone goes through where they move from, “Hey, I’ve got a problem too”. I need to identify some solutions to engage in with someone to implementation, and now at this end ideally they are really, really happy and they are excited and they’re singing the praises of your organization and that’s the customer journey. Notice that that has absolutely nothing to do with our sales process, nor does it have anything to do with how you engage with the customer.
On the next tip, I’ll go ahead and I’ll get into things like sales process, but for this one I want to keep it at the customer journey and really just highlight that the customer journey’s linear, it’s kind of like the game of life. It’s one of those things where over time they continue to pick up chips. They might pick up kids, they might pick up a dog, they might get a bigger car, they might get a better job, but it’s like the game of life. If you’ve ever played the board game, it’s a linear progression and we’ll get into some of the other journeys that you can map out on a future tip.
Scott Ingram: What does your customer’s journey look like? Does it map to what Mike just described, or do you think it’s different? Join the conversation at DailySales.Tips/56 which is also where you’ll find the video and links to all things Mike Simmons. If you’re not predictably executing on your forecast, that’s a pretty good reason to give Mike a call. Thanks for listening and come back tomorrow for part 2 of this series where Mike will talk about Mapping the Sales Process.