- Blog post
Sales as change management
If you think about it, just about every sale is rooted in change. The buyer’s business goes in a new direction. Their costs are rising or their margins are sinking. People are hired. People are let go. Whatever it is, something changed to prompt a formerly satisfied buyer to consider something new.
These days, change is coming so fast you can hardly keep up.
That’s good news if you’re prospecting. Every change gives you an opportunity to open up a conversation with a prospective buyer.
If you’re on the other side, however, change could leave you vulnerable. The buyer who was 100 percent satisfied last month might have a whole new perspective this month – not because of anything you did, but because something about his or her situation changed.
Fortunately, as the incumbent you’re well positioned to learn about any changes long before your competitors get wind of them – if you make a point of asking. So how long has it been since you’ve asked these questions about your accounts?
- How is my customer’s business different than it was a year ago? How will it be different a year from now? Do my products and services deliver at least as much value as before?
- Is my customer’s business expanding? Are their needs changing as a result? Are my solutions scalable – and does the customer know it?
- Is the customer’s business consolidating? Downsizing could threaten your sales volume, of course. But there’s another risk: your buyer’s company will likely be reviewing every purchase and considering alternatives. Are you offering those alternatives or leaving them for an outsider?
- Is my primary contact’s job changing? Will he or she be more or less influential in the purchase decision? What would happen if he or she found a new job or got laid off? Who would be responsible for approving my orders?