Assemble a 21st Century Sales Pipeline

By guest blogger Dave Barnhart

Have you ever said, “If I’d known that before I bought, I would have chosen that one instead of this one.” ? That is Criteria Evolution at work.

There has been paradigm shifts in the way people ask questions, get answers, and make buying decisions.  One of the casualties in that shift is the pre-sales conversation has been foreshortened.  As a result, buyers are sometimes missing crucial facts that would otherwise cause them to make the buying decision in our favor instead of our competitor’s.

Case to point: The number one complaint by kitchen remodeling customers is the dust and trash created by the contractor, yet most customers are blissfully ignorant of this when they make their buying decision. A smart contractor would:

  1. Institute procedures such as the use of an air scrubber to eliminate the problem.
  2. Engage in a proactive campaign to make prospective customers aware of the problem and how you solve it.

Now imagine your prospect learned this information from your website, an article online you’ve written, or from a strategically placed testimonial. While your prospect is talking to contractors on his short list, what happens when she asks your competitor, “Do you use an air scrubber?” You’ve just eliminated a competitor who cannot answer ‘yes’, and done so with no additional incremental effort on your part.

There is only one way this happens:

You must view your website, collateral, and all of those online articles and discussions as part of your company’s sales team, each with a role to play.

Start by putting your successful sales under a microscope. Become intimately familiar with the journey your customers take from complete stranger to paying customer. What do they want to know? What resources are they using to educate themselves? How to they find you? What are their buying criteria? Who else is involved in the buying decision?

The Truth Will Set You Free But First It Will Make You Miserable

Expect to learn that some of the time, energy, and money you’ve been spending on sales and marketing are being wasted. Expect to discover you are losing sales in ways that never occurred to you. And expect to find things that are working.

With this information at hand you can begin to assemble a 21st century sales pipeline – one that is tuned in to your customers’ buying process and actually helps them buy.

This post was provided by Dave Barnhart of Klaroty Strategic Marketing.
Klaroty Strategic Marketing
is a marketing firm focused on web development, website design, social media, and marketing strategy. We are based in Phoenix, Arizona with clients throughout the US and Europe. Dave’s firm actually designed my No Smoke and Mirrors blog and I have sent many clients who wish to have a 21st century web site that adds sales to Dave. Dave’s popular blog helps business leaders learn how to engage with buyers in their market earlier in the buying process.

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