Focusing on Buying Can Help You Sell More. Here’s How Software Promotes Buyer Enablement.

Salespeople – read this so that you can more easily enable Buyers to buy from you!

By Tracy Larson

Those of us in security sales often lament how tough selling can be. We lose sight that buying can be really hard too! Imagine what it’s like to be in the shoes of your customers, making critical decisions about what technologies will keep their business most secure. Their wrong decision can negatively affect their entire operation. They’ll want to proceed slowly and carefully, evaluating their options before signing on any dotted line.

Making the buyer’s job easier is called “Buyer Enablement.” You want to give your customers the information and tools they need to feel good about their big decision. They want knowledge, not pressure. If you do well at nurturing and enabling their decision-making process, they will ultimately become your greatest advocate in winning over other stakeholders.

Let’s look at what Buyer Enablement looks like in security sales and how sales management software can help.

Nurturing a Pipeline

Turning cold leads into warm ones takes time, especially with larger commercial opportunities. Sales management software should have a robust CRM component that helps you track where leads are in their buyer’s journey. If integrated with marketing software, your marketing team can make sure that each lead is getting “touched” often with appropriate messaging, including content that’s educational in tone. Only 19% of buyers want to speak with a sales rep when they’re in the awareness stage of the buying process[1]. The vast majority don’t want to talk to you until they’ve done some research and narrowed down their choices. The more they understand the value you can offer, the readier they’ll be to engage.

When marketing sees that a lead is opening emails, visiting your website, and downloading information, then it’s time to reach out. Your software will let you know.

Think about where each of your prospects is in the buying journey and how best you can help them.

Making a First Sales Call

That first sales call is stressful. You’ve cracked the door open. Now, it’s your chance to open it wider … or not. Yikes! We talked about how to get over the first sales call jitters in a [previous blog.]

Keep the goal of Buyer Enablement in mind as you make that first sales call. Ask plenty of questions about the prospect’s pain points. What security challenges do they need addressed? What kind of information can you provide that will help them evaluate options? Don’t just listen – take notes! Sales management software should make it easy. Whether you are entering notes into your laptop or tablet throughout the meeting or summarizing takeaways and next steps immediately afterward, you want that information associated with the contact’s file, not entered into a random word document that only you can see. Sales management software will make your notes and comments accessible to others on your team, including marketing and inside sales, who can follow up immediately on your behalf. Does the prospect want references and contact information of customers who have worked with you? Would they like to see a feature comparison chart of how your recommended solutions stack up against alternatives? Have they asked how other companies measure the return on investment when purchasing similar systems? Providing these answers is part of Buyer Enablement; 61% of buyers say receiving relevant information creates a positive sales experience[2]. An integrated, centralized sales management platform can get the information out in a personalized and efficient manner.

Collaborating on a System Design

Your first meeting was a success. The prospect is interested in working with you. Maybe. How do you differentiate your solutions and services from other integrators in the running for the job?

Security stakeholders are an educated bunch. Your initial contact may be the facility manager, security director, or operations manager, but ultimately your project will need the buy-in of an executive team. CTOs, CSOs, CFOs, COOs, and CEOs all get a vote in approving significant security investments. CSO Insights found that 26% of all forecasted deals – the ones that sales reps were fully confident would close – fell through because they “failed to get in full alignment with the customer’s needs before closing.”[3]

The most fail-safe way of ensuring that doesn’t happen is by developing solutions with your customers, not for them. Collaborating on a system design makes your key contacts as vested in the solution as you are. Ask them to think about the security priorities of other decision-makers and proactively address them together. That way, when the team reviews your proposal, your inside advocates will be prepared to win their peers over.

Digital tools like an interactive site survey canvas help the collaboration process. Together, you and your customers can visualize the specifics of an installation, document notes about part placement, system configuration, or other considerations, and generate a presentation tool that will help your sales contacts share your complete vision with other stakeholders.

Delivering a Comprehensive Proposal

You’re approaching the finish line. Your proposal is now competing with a few others to win the job. There’s still a role for Buyer Enablement.

Remember – your contacts have been deeply involved in this opportunity. You’ve provided education, advice, and partnered with them in the system design. They’re ready to move forward and feel confident in their ability to make a wise investment. However, their fellow decision-makers are not in the same boat. Reviewing your proposal may be the first time they’re focusing on this purchase decision.

Your key contacts, now knowledgeable inside advocates, must be armed with a comprehensive proposal document that helps them tell your story. Sales management software makes this easy. You can generate a professionally branded, customized proposal that presents information at a level of detail and formatted in a way that best communicates your solution and unique value. It might include an executive summary, site survey drawings, timelines, company history, key personnel background, references, a breakdown of the project by systems, payment schedules – whatever your contacts feel would be most meaningful to help remaining stakeholders place their trust in you. 

Summary

Buyer Enablement means giving your customers the information and resources they need to make purchasing decisions more confidently and easily. When done right, it makes the selling easier too!

What are your top tips to enable Buyers to buy from you?

[1] https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-statistics

[2] https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/sales-statistics

[3] https://www.resourcefulselling.com/closing-the-sale-statistics/

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