It’s not uncommon for there to be two phases in the customer buying process, a down select phase and a finalist phase. Yet, for many, there is only one sales campaign, even though the competitive landscape may change dramatically, shifting from an array of competitors to just a few with the lead competitor potentially moving from one to another.
Let’s look at these two phases. During the pre-down select time, the goal is certainly to be short listed, but it’s also to set the stage for the post down finalist phase, as we talked about in our article, THE COMPETITIVE MINDSET. It’s during this time that the account executive builds sales momentum and prepares to, let’s say, change the ground rules, just after being down selected. But, none of this will matter if the following doesn’t happen:
In the post down select finalist phase, the goal is to win the business, which often means that significant tactical adjustments need to be made in positioning competitively differentiated customer value. All too often this doesn’t happen and account executives just carry on with whatever the sales approach was to get them short listed.
It’s during this finalist phase that innovative thought leadership rules the day. Out of the box thinking to:
Just as there are two phases in the customer buying process, there needs to be two distinct phases to a sales campaign – the down select phase and the finalist phase.
In this way, you competitively map into the customer buying process, creating a new type of partnership!