In a recent LinkedIn sales group discussion, it was mentioned that social selling has "changed" the prospects buying process and that smart sales people will recognize and "leverage that shift" to their advantage.
There's no doubt that social media / selling can be a sales persons key salesprospecting tool as well as drive in warm leads (prospects raising their hand)
But has it really changed the prospects buying process?
The short answer is: NO
Social media has certainly made it easier for a prospect to research a product / service and it's definitely easier then ever for sales people to find and connect withkey decision makers however, what does that have to do with the prospects "buying process"?
6 Stages of the Consumer Buying Process
According to the University of Delaware there are 6 Stages of the Consumer Buying Process. The 6 stages are:
- Problem Recognition
- Information search
- Evaluation of Alternatives
- Purchase decision
- Post-Purchase Evaluation--outcome: Satisfaction or Dissatisfaction.
Those six buying steps look the same to me today as I imagined they would have looked on the first day of Earth.
Social media / social selling hasn't changed the "buying process"... the actual steps your prospects most often need to go through in order to buy your product or service.
If you are making outbound sales calls, most prospects will probably still not realize they have a problem that needs solving until the right questions are asked.
If it's a warm lead (prospect is contacting you) they will still have to go through thesame steps as always before making a "buying decision".
With all the great technology available to us and our prospects, one thing hasn't changed and that is: the fundamentals of sales.
Knowing what questions to ask, when to ask them, why to ask them, to whom to ask them and how to respond to the replies you get back will always give you your best chance of filling your pipeline with qualified, motivated prospects and to make quota.
CSS: Chief Sales Scientist
SalesBuzz.com (A 2011 Sales Training Company Watch List Award Winner!)
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