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Dissect a Buying Process to Improve Sales Effectiveness

Have you ever been window shopping and a sales person aggressively tried to close you as if you were looking to purchase that day.  How did that make you feel?  Did it push you away?  On the other extreme, have you ever been ready to pull the trigger but a sales person did not take you seriously enough and pay enough attention to you?  Did you end up taking your business elsewhere?  These are examples where the sales person did not match their selling process to where you are in your buying process and this will have a direct impact on sales effectiveness.


Just as a sales person has a selling process that they go through while trying to bring on new clients, a prospect will have a process that they go through to make a purchase decision.  Below are some examples of main steps in a prospect’s buying process:


1. Satisfaction:  The very first in the process is a stage of satisfaction.  This is when everything is fine and right before the prospect realizes the need or benefit to making a purchase.  If we use a car owner as an example, this is when the car is running well, still comfortable, and nothing is wrong.


2. Change:  As the prospect evolves out of satisfaction, something changes and then they enter the stage of change.   For the car owner, this could be when the air conditioner begins to not operate as well and that is an example of a change that begins the change stage.


3. Discontent:  Due to the change that has occurred, the prospect may enter a stage of discontent.  When driving a car with an air conditioner that does not work properly, this can cause discontent.  And the hotter the day, the more discontent.


4. Research:  As the discontent builds, the prospect advances to the research stage where they start to look into other options.  At this point, the car owner looks at their options.  How much will it cost to fix the air conditioner?  How much will it cost to get a new car?


5. Comparison:  As they collect research they will begin to outline different options.  They will then enter the comparison stage where they compare their options against one another.  It would make sense to compare the cost of fixing the car versus getting a new car, versus getting a new used car, etc.


6. Fear:  As the prospect narrows down the options, they may enter a state of fear.  This comes from the stress of the importance of making the right decision and the cost of making a mistake.

7. Commitment:
  At this point, they have finalized their decision and made a commitment.  The purchase of a new car is made.


8. Expectation:  The final stage is expectation.  The purchase has been made and will it now live up to the expectations that were established during the buying process.  Will the new car deliver as the research and sales person said it would?



By having an understanding where a prospect is in this process will allow you to go to the right stage in your sales process and this will improve sales effectiveness.  This helps sales effectiveness by improving communication, rapport, timing, alignment, etc.



Launch Pad Solutions helps sales professionals to improve sales effectiveness through sales coaching.



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This article was published on Friday 24 September, 2010.
Back to main topic: Ideal Sales Process
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