To effectively manage a sales cycle, the salesperson must understand and mirror the buying process. This process can be broken down into the three phases: recognition of need, evaluation of solutions, and negotiation. A well-managed sales cycle will follow these phases by uncovering customer’s needs (Probing), demonstrating superior solution (Proving), and removing barriers to getting the order (Closing).
But what does this mean to the sales person? Uncover who´s need to? Convince whom? Who actually is the customer – the company, an individual or a group? What does this mean for the sales cycle?
Industrial buying decisions, in contrast to consumer purchases, are generally taken by several individuals, the so called buying center. The sales person is faced with two challenges: The composition of the buying center and the dynamics of the decision making process within it.