Accelerating the sales cycle with Customer References and Case Studies

Having come across an article around the psychology of purchasing decisions, it stirred my interest around the state of emotional change in buyer behaviour. Research shows that this is especially significant in business-to-business environments whereby decisions are made quickly to seek a solution and often they are, at best, no more than educated guesses.

 

It appears that people make decisions emotionally and in my opinion when it comes to ‘buying’, intangible benefits are the keys to persuasion. I can’t help but relate the theory back to HP’s Customer Driven Sales Methodology (CDSM), the practice involves 6 stages in the buying process:

 

1)      Evaluation of the business environment

2)      Business strategy & initiatives development

3)      Development of business requirements & criteria selection

4)      Evaluate the options available

5)      Solution selection

6)      Solution deployment, adoption & evaluation

 

Throughout the progression the buyer’s key emotional state is fear of risk and desire. Reducing this fear comes with building trust with respective customers. For HP Partners to have a solid relationship with customers is extremely important, it can mean facilitating the buyer’s emotional shift from high to moderate risk in stages 4 & 5.

 

Of course, in reality the buying process is not simply a linear process whereby a prospect moves from one stage to the next without its challenges. Before any opportunities can be closed, a high level of customer engagement is needed until full commitment to the purchase can be guaranteed.

 

Going back to my previous idea of the value of ‘intangible benefits’, from a sales perspective this is when references and case studies play a crucial part in the process.

 

People are naturally skeptical of any offer (some more so than others) particularly when they pose a high level of financial risk in return for investment. Partner press releases, case studies and customer references all help to convey a story; illustrating the challenges, solutions and outcomes of a particular customer. This not only decreases the sales cycle by providing evidence to back up HP Partners solutions, but also increasing and maintaining the sales value for each of HP offerings, and standing out from the crowd.

 

To further highlight the impact and value of Partner references and case studies in the buying cycle, by proving to customers that HP Partners can offer what is promised and sometimes more, it can shift the emotional state of a buyer from ‘fear’ to ‘desire’ just like that. Try it for yourself - take a look at our latest Partner customer references and case studies here.

Go ahead and test the theory!

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