Helping buyers reach a “collective yes” takes longer and costs more money than ever before. The average B2B decision involves 5.4 buyers, each with their own perspective. Moreover, they likely each represent an entire buying group with differing opinions. Selling teams must sell their value proposition not once, not twice – but many times over. Nearly 80% of sales leaders recently surveyed said the number of customer stakeholders involved in a typical deal continues to rise. With so many cooks in the kitchen, more and more selling cycles end in a frustrating gridlock.
Why have sales cycles slowed down so much?
Three new factors play a role in the slowdown of buying decisions.
- More and more companies’ operations are run remotely by geographically-dispersed leaders. They prefer to meet live to discuss big, uncertain decisions – but it’s often just not possible.
- Organizations are increasingly concerned with front-line adoption of any new applications. They instinctively pump the brakes until this concern has been relieved.
- There’s a new sheriff in town called IT, and the last thing they want is a new project. Sales leaders who fail to proactively address these factors experience longer selling cycles and lower win rates.
The role of the Champion
Today, a salesperson still needs to find a “Champion,” a loyal fan of your product or service who will help steer the deal inside his or her organization. But the job of the Champion is harder than ever, and just finding a Champion is no longer enough. You must now equip and train him or her appropriately, or you’ll just spin your wheels and waste resources on deals that end in “No Decision.”
Think about it.
It’s difficult for you to execute messaging properly, let alone your new Champion. As offerings become more complex, they become more challenging for champions to explain clearly. Meanwhile, champions also face the same challenges sellers do – dispersed associates, adoption concerns, and jaded IT Managers. What is the takeaway?
If you can’t enable your champion to crisply convey your high-impact story, you will not get to second base.
Today’s salespeople MUST equip their champions with the proper tools to be effective. The sales team who thinks and acts digitally to empower their Champion to sell internally will dominate the competition. For example, one simple solution is to send your Champions a link to a short custom video that explains your solution.
Next week, we’ll explore the ideal application of this idea: a link – customized to the client’s exact situation – which can be forwarded to others, created for free, and produced quickly. That’s because you, the salesperson, produced it automatically during one of your sales calls with your Champion.