There is a stat out there we see often. It’s the stat that says most buyers are 60% through the sales cycle before they reach out to a salesperson.
This is a sucker’s stat.
Good sales people don’t wait until a buyer needs their service or has a problem before they try and sell them. Good sales people create demand, they don’t react to demand. Therefore a buyer who is “60% through the sales funnel” is of little consequence to them. Finding a buyer who has recognized they have a problem you can solve, realizes they want to solve that problem using a solution like yours is a gift, it’s a freebie. Or, it’s a nightmare, and either way it’s not how you make your quota.
Take a look at the deals you’ve closed this year. How many of them were from a prospect that already knew they had a problem and were looking for a solution? Was it eighty percent of your deals? Was it 60%? 40% 20%? 5%? I’m willing to bet it’s no more than 10%. Therefore, this stat is a useless stat offering little to no value to a real salesperson.
If you or your company’s sales strategy is built around finding customers who are already looking for a solution, you’re fucked. Because whether they are 10% of the way through the buying cycle or 80% it doesn’t matter, because the majority of your business shouldn’t be coming from those looking, but rather from those who don’t realize they have a problem yet or don’t know how to solve it.
Demand creation should far out weight demand reaction in a healthy sales environment. When this happens, it doesn’t matter how far a prospect is in their buying cycle. You’re not focused on recognized demand, you’re focused on latent demand. Your value as a salesperson is not taking orders, but rather helping companies identify AND solve problems they don’t know exist or haven’t started to solve. Let the rest of the world fight over those customers who are already more than half way done with the sales process. That’s a sucker’s bet.
The prospects that really matter are the ones you create on your own.
Become a demand creation machine and the let this stupid stat clutter the minds of everyone else.