“What do big deals do? They fall through.”
That’s how a friend of mine once described big sales deals. Anyone who’s been involved in a big sale has seen how easily this can happen.
B2B deals often fall through because of the large number of stakeholders involved in the buying group, and the number of variables in the purchase. When each member of the buying group has a different take on the different aspects of a product or service, even a small-budget deal that just has a few decision makers can get complex really fast.
Building buying consensus, and ultimately convincing prospects to buy your solution, first takes understanding the individual components of a B2B group purchase decision. For a group to reach buying consensus and make a B2B purchasing decision, they have to decide in your favor in each of these 7 areas:
1. The problem. This one is probably obvious. They have to believe that you’re going to solve their problem. Sometimes we stop here. We shouldn’t. There are lots of other components.
2. Emotional connection. They need to like your team and your product. They need to believe in your team—and your product. Most importantly, they need to believe in their future with your team and your product or solution.
3. Pricing. They need to believe that they can either fit the purchase within their budget, or find budget for it.
4. Credible, inspiring ROI. A credible ROI is at the core of any good B2B sale, but your ROI must also be inspiring. Creating inspiring ROI means building an emotional vision for them into your ROI forecast. Again: they need to believe in their future with your team and your product.
5. Timing and implementation requirements. They need to believe that now is the right time to implement. They either need to fit it in, or, based on your compelling education about the problem and solution, re-prioritize and put your solution at the top of their list.
6. Proof points. They need two types of proof points: logical and social. You might provide logical proof with case studies. You’ll need to provide great testimonials and references for the social proof.
7. Questions and concerns. Your prospects need to be heard. Just remember that you don’t have to resolve every last concern. Usually a prospect has just one overarching concern that needs resolution. When you resolve that one, the others follow along.
Everyone in the buying group either needs to be persuaded, or not care about the 7 components listed above. Take all of these components and match them to each stakeholder. If you aren’t sure how each component lines up with each stakeholder, your deal is at risk.
By proactively mapping out each component of your B2B group buying decisions, you can better understand where you are in the consensus-building process. When you’re able to drive buying consensus using the information you’ve uncovered, soon, you’ll start to close more deals.