Screw the Sales Process. Study the Buying Process

We spend way too much time in our companies designing, measuring, and enabling, the Sales Process.

Every time you hear those words (Sales Process), I want you to ask a question: Wouldn’t it be more useful if we talked about the Buying Process?

Does this difference – between Sales process and Buying process – sound like hair splitting?

It’s not. You can make up a Sales Process. You have to talk to actual buyers to map the Buying Process. When you do that, everything will change.

– Alan

0 thoughts on “Screw the Sales Process. Study the Buying Process

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  10. Vijay Reply

    I Agree. If this is Incorporated. We can realize better output by putting in the efforts in the right direction

  11. Alan Reply

    Thanks for these comments. Despite our violent agreement in this corner of the blogosphere, I don’t see this idea being incorporated into very many sales or PMM functions. The industry needs to reorient itself, gents!

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  14. kevin sample Reply

    Check out Neil Rackham’s book “SPIN Selling” for a good research-based treatment of the buying process.

  15. Gregg Gallagher Reply

    Understanding the buying process is not just an issue for the sales organization, but for the company as a whole. Very often it will have significant implications – requiring flexibility of thinking & operational processes – to accomodate customer’s buying processes.

    e.g., JIT/VIM purchasing frameworks….

  16. Barry Paquet Reply

    “Roger” that. To maximize sales effectiveness, you need to apply both. Too often sales executives are focused on developing a repeatable sale process — paying little attention to how customers make buying decisions. While a repeatable sales process is key to scaling sales operations, the tougher (and more interesting) job is to identify a buying process. In fact, understanding your market’s buying process is (should be) a prerequisite to any sales process worth its salt (or quota). After all, how can your sales process effectively address customer needs without first understanding them? A well designed sales process “matches” your customers’ buying process.

  17. josh duncan Reply

    good point. it is easy to interchange the two processes but in reality they are different.

    the more you can learn about what goes through a customers mind during the buying process the better you can plan.



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