Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sales Masterclass 1: How well do you know your customers and what drives their buy decision?

The continuously increasing international trade and globalization is causing the business environment to be much more competitive than ever before.  Companies are continuously expected and pressured to succeed and generate profits.  They need to innovate, to reduce costs, to introduce new quality products and services, or penetrate new markets with existing products and services, and to attract or develop, and retain talent.

Companies need sales i.e. to generate revenue, as revenue is the life blood of all companies, irrespective of their size, location and nature of business.  Even non-profit organizations require some form of revenue or income, for e.g. donations, to continue to operate.  Profits from sales are used to grow the business, for e.g. business expansion, acquiring new equipment, research and development, and hiring and retaining talent.  Companies also need to retain adequate profits from past sales for sustaining through low-business periods caused by regional or global economic or financial crisis.

Needless to say, sales is very important, and since companies make sales from customers, customers are equally important.  How well do you know your customers?  Do you know why they buy from you?  Do you know why they buy less from you and more from your competitor, or buy more from you and less from your competitor?  Do you know how and what customers think of when they decide to buy or not to buy?

The more you know about your customers, the better positioned you are to increase your sales to them.  We begin by learning more about your customer’s business.  Knowing more about your customers’ business will reveal their needs and concerns, leading to the factors that drive their buy decisions.

Ask yourself:

1) How well do you know your customer’s profile?
2) What is your customer’s buy process?
3) What are your customer’s key buying factors?
4) What business terms are most important to your customer?
5) Identify the key customer benefits from your customer’s buy factors
6) Are there any negative market factors that can affect your customer’s buy decision?
7) Are there any emerging market factors that can affect your customer’s buy decision?
8) What buy factors are your competitors using to leverage their products and services?
9) Are you leveraging on technology to improve and strengthen customer management and retention?

To be continued.