What are those initials?
I must admit that there are prerequisites to this article. Let us explore the recent history of advanced sales.
We are well beyond the days of needing to discuss the transactional selling process. We no longer have to wonder about what we are getting when we shop for a new stereo or even a new car. That is what websites like Amazon and Edmunds are for. A plethora of reviews and tech specs patiently await the determined researcher. We can then buy the product (a commodity) from the lowest bidder.
You've done this.
Now let's look at the B2B space. It's a different world right?
Well… not exactly. You see, the customer (your prospect) is performing the same amount of meticulous research regarding who will help him solve his big business problem as if it were his own. In fact, he or she will probably spend far more time researching these decisions simply because they affect his or her standing within their organization.
Reaching out online for more information from many different sources is a common tactic. I remember a time when I lived in the corporate world. I actually spent several months researching a dozen eCommerce software platforms before ever contacting a salesperson.
So what is this all leading up to?
SImply put, the modern customer does an incredible amount of research on their own.
Take a minute to understand that.
The prospect may know more than the average salesperson thinks. So the salesperson must treat all prospects as individuals.
This is not a "read from a script" sales process.
In order to serve the customer, a good salesperson will seek to understand several components before attempting to offer any solution.
A framework for understanding and qualifying prospects has been proposed in this blog post by Pete Caputa, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Global Channel & SMB at HubSpot. (CEO, Databox as of 2017)
I have prepared a worksheet to help you gather these points of information during sales calls.
You will notice 1, 2, and 3 beside each area of the worksheet. Please review David Weinhaus's article on grading GPCTBA/C&I for help on this.
Please take a moment to review Pete's article to gain a better understanding of the following components of GPCTBA/C&I.