Fluent Forward

Sales Cycle vs Buyer Journey

When talking to sales professionals or researching best practice in the B2B SaaS sales space, like many types of sales, it’s common to find countless articles online describing sales strategy, sales process, how to decrease sales cycle length and increase win rates.

A lot of these articles are based on good foundations, however they can often impose too much of a self centred mentality into the customer onboarding experience.

It makes the process of someone going from experiencing a problem to interested prospect to customer very much about the SaaS business rather than the customer themselves and the way they want to buy.

With this mentality, it can become easy to try and make all buyers fit the same model and process, and look for sales hacks, or objection handling techniques that can push a buyer along the process.

The whole sales process becomes too company centric and focuses on trying to move a buyer through a series of defined stages.

How much of this is really serving the buyer though, and is there opportunity being left behind with this way of thinking?

Rather than looking at a sales cycle model, looking at buyer journey instead completely changes this mentality and in a modern B2B environment is becoming critical to delivering significant and sustained revenue growth.

Paired with a marketing approach that also aligns with a buyer-centric approach, businesses can work with their market, help educate them, support their research process, build trust and hold authority with a differentiated perspective.

With this approach, when a buyer does indicate a high level of intent, they are not coming to your business cold. They already have a degree of affinity with not just your brand, but with the way that you see their world and your perspective on the problems and challenges they face and are trying to solve.

When it is time for a sales professional to enter the conversation, the marketing side of the business has already demonstrated significant value to the buyer and they are coming to you looking for more, in a much more active buying position.

Sales then becomes a continuation to work out how to best serve the needs of the buyer, working with their unique needs, not trying to force them to conform to a simplified view of how you might like them to behave.

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