This blog post is about three things:

  1. Smarketing strategy #2
  2. How decision makers buy
  3. How to shorten your sales cycle

Smarketing Strategy #2

The second step in my seven step Smarketing (Sales & Marketing Alignment) strategy is to understand what makes you win.

In my last blog post I shared Smarketing Strategy #1 – A simple method to identify who are your best prospects. If you did not have time to read this part of my last blog post below is a short video (1:43) that explains it.

Smarketing Strategy #2 – using the Situation, Target, Plan (STP) framework to align your sales and marketing efforts – is to analyze sales to your best customers so you understand what makes you win.

It’s what I call a Won Sales Analysis – aka Trigger Event Analysis . Every time you make a sale to a new customer where you get a customer with 3 or more check marks next to them, from Smarketing Strategy #1, you want to ask decision makers the following four questions:

  1. What event or events led up to this purchase
  2. When did they happen
  3. What made you choose us
  4. How can we make it easier to become our customer

Answers to these questions will tell you:

  • The events that let them afford to buy from you (which starts them Searching for Alternatives) and the events that helped them to justify their purchase (which allowed them to make the purchase).
  • The events that made them want to change (which initially put them into the Window of Dissatisfaction
  • What made them choose you over your competition (which tells you the real value they get out of being your customer)
  • What you can do to make it easier to become your customer (which tells you how to make it easier for prospects to find you, learn the value of being your customer, and make the purchase)

You can use this information to target and reach the best prospects and help them define the problem, design the solution, and start developing a relationship before your competition even knows there is an opportunity.

Here is a link to download the Won Sales Analysis template and instructions.

How Decision Makers Buy

I recently came across a report “Mapping the Technology Buyer’s Journey”.

For me some of the most interesting things from the report are:

  • How decision makers become aware of new solutions
  • How decision makers are most active in seeking out new solutions
  • How traditional marketing methods are by far the most effective way to reach decision makers

While the research focuses on those who purchase technology I think the results are indicative of what happens in every industry.

Here is a link where you can access the webinar, survey responses, and analysis by Kevin Kerner of Mason Zimlber – a Harte-Hanks company

How to Shorten Your Sales Cycle

I am a big fan of selling to executives (Those with money, the authority to spend it, and influence – have friends just like them: also have money, authority, and influence).

I recently read – and commented on a blog post by Andrew Hunt on The Customer Collective that I think does an excellent job of explaining why selling to executives shortens your sales cycle.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about ANY of the content above.

Have an eventful week!