Most sales team have a “sales process”. This is a set of steps they take to help the customer make a good decision about their products and services. It typically goes from suspect stage to close stage of the sales cycle. Often these sales processes are written in a very salesperson focused way. They seem to have the goal of “closing” the customer and the worksheets and notes associated with each step are carefully guarded and most certainly never shown to the prospective customer.
In this approach, a sales process is something done TO the customer instead of WITH the customer.
What if salespeople took a different approach and invited their prospective customer into the process? What if salespeople re-wrote the sales cycle steps with the goal of helping the customer make the best possible decision for them? Maybe it is called a Decision Process instead of a sales process?
When a company hires a consulting firm, the consulting firm typically has a process they use on each engagement to understand the customer and then suggest and execute solutions to meet their clients needs. These solutions are typically repeatable based on the diagnosis. This is much of what salespeople do, but salespeople differ in the fact that they try to keep their process a secret.
Having a tried-and-true, repeatable process builds confidence in customers. Salespeople might want to consider sharing their process and invite the customer to take each step with them. They could share their reports and forms along the way. Along the way, making sure to stay true to their promise of helping them make good decisions and then, together, document and demonstrate it throughout the process. This builds confidence and trust in the salesperson and the process.
To build trust, move an opportunity along a decision process with your customer. They will get on the offense with you instead of on the defense against you.