Another key part of building your first go-to-market playbook is aligning your sales process, by stage, to your buyer's journey.
Your buyer's journey is based on the stages that make sense to a buyer: Awareness, Consideration, Decision, and Success. However, it helps your team to align your internal steps to this journey so they understand what they are doing at each stage.
Example: Your team should understand that prospecting is supporting driving buyer awareness.
Here’s how you can get started...
1. Revise buyer exit criteria for each stage
This should be buyer driven criteria, not sales driven criteria. Why? A buyer’s actions are a better indicator of intent. If a demo call is held, the criteria to move it to proposal stage should be something like:
- “Decision Maker attended demo” — Usually if you are moving to discussing the proposal, the Decision Maker should be involved in the conversation. Sending a proposal to someone to review when the Decision Maker has not been involved usually leads to a stalled opportunity in your pipeline.
- “Buyer accepts/attends proposal review call” instead of “Sent proposal” — Just sending a proposal does not indicate that the buyer is moving forward. How many buyers say, “Sure, send it over, ” as a way to get off the call? You want to remove the fool's gold from your pipeline by using buyer actions, not seller actions.
2. Align sales activities to each stage to progress the buyer
Guide your sales team members to do the actions that will facilitate moving the deal forward. These include sending a mutual eval follow-up email, scheduling the next call, or other internal steps like getting pricing approved. You can think of this as a checklist for your Account Executives.
3. Customize your CRM to capture criteria
The best way to drive consistency on your team is to build your criteria into your CRM at each stage. This reinforces the importance of using the criteria to both evaluate an opportunity and accurately forecast. Some companies even tie the criteria to the stage so an opportunity cannot move on unless it meets the criteria.
Here’s an example of a CRM customized with buyer driven criteria:
Need further guidance on how to align your sales process to your buyer's journey? Check out my video below: