Understanding your customer’s decision criteria

Over the past week I have covered two important components of a sales pursuit strategy:

2/14/2020     Key contacts and their roles

2/18/2020     Mapping the customer’s decision process

This article focuses on identifying each key contact’s decision criteria.   Gaining a solid understanding of this information will help you align your proposals, presentations and discussions to the customer’s priorities.

My next post will focus on what you need to understand about your competition.

Customer decision criteria

It is important to understand the decision criteria for all key contacts particularly those you have designated as Decision Makers and Influencers.  While Influencers may not be involved in the actual decision process, what they say about your solution to senior management will reflect their view of alignment to their criteria.

Here is an expanded version of information shared in the 2/14/2020 post.  Be sure to understand each contact’s decision criteria in their priority order.

Turn what you learn into action

For example, if you determine that the VP of Operations in your customer is primarily concerned about “ease of implementation” you may want to consider the following:

  • Walking him through your implementation process
    • Creates a great opportunity for feedback and agreement to incorporate the customer’s suggestions in the process
  • Introduce the VP of Operations to a Regional or other senior manager that “owns” implementation in your company
    • Opens important working relationships and can build trust with your solution.

Developing a sales strategy is challenging

Figuring out the best possible strategy for a large, complex opportunity is a bit like putting a puzzle together.  Some puzzles are more challenging than others.  If you feel like you need some Ibuprofen for a headache you are getting from working hard on a sales strategy…step away from it.  Coming back to it with a clear mind will pay off.