Ray Collis

Can Sellers Really Help Buyers To Buy?

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Helping the buyer to buy

Can Sellers Really Help Buyers To Buy?  Well, if you listen to buyers the answer is a disappointing ‘no’. The reality is that most buyers don’t believe that salespeople can really: (a) Help them to build a credible and compelling business case –one that is sufficient to get the purchase sanctioned.  As a result they are:

  • Generally weary of sharing key business metrics and skeptical when presented with ROI models and other metrics by sellers.
  • Increasingly self-contained, doing more of their homework and analysis by themselves.
  • Seeking 3rd party information and validation of any vendor claims.

(b) Help them to navigate their internal buying process– including the required steps, information, analysis, documentation, etc.  The result is that they:

  • Do more of the buying behind closed doors in order to preserve the integrity of the competitive process
  • View the seller’s information are being limited in terms of its credibility and value
  • Consider the seller’s understanding of their business, its industry and its strategy to be lacking.
  • Are slow to return sellers calls and call upon salespeople much later in the buying cycle (when requirements have been set and the business case outlined)

(c) Help them to get cross-functional buy in and support, especially among senior management.  The result is that they are:

  • Have new rules of access that keep sellers at arms length
  • Know that their senior management colleagues don’t want to be sold to

Indeed listen to buyers and it is clear that they see salespeople as being motivated solely by making the sale, as opposed to helping the buyer.   For the occasional salesperson who can prove the buyer to be wrong, the rewards are great.

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