Sales Process v. Buying Process


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I enjoy very few things as much as a “Great Semantic Debate” like this one:

Should we be talking about a “Sales Process” or a “Buying Process?”

Both phrases mean essentially the same thing. They refer to the series of actions that are required in order for a purchasing decision to be made. One (sales process) addresses the actions taken by a salesperson. The other (buying process) looks at the actions taken by a prospect or customer.

A google image search for process shows just how common these things are.

The term “sales process” has been around for a long time. It’s convenient, common, and well-used. The phrase “buying process,” on the other hand, is a bit newer. Its’ proponents tell us that it’s better because it places the focus where it belongs: On your prospect. Plus, they say, 57% of the buying process is complete before a prospect is willing to communicate with a salesperson.

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what we call it…as long as attention is on the right spot: The customer.

It’s surprising just how often prospects and customers take a back seat to other things among sales teams. Sometimes things like . . .

  • Ego: “I’m going to win this deal because I’m the best.”
  • Income: “I’m going to win this deal because I want more money.”
  • Product: “I’m going to win this deal because my product is the best.”
  • Quota: “I’m going to win this deal because I’ve got to hit my quota.”
  • Survival: “I’m going to win this deal because I’ve got to pay my bills.”

. . . get more attention.

And misaligned focus like that doesn’t particularly change whether you talk about a sales process or a buying process. In either case, your sales team’s focus should instead be on the same thing: Customer Needs and Wants.

What do you think? Which is a better phrase?


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeb Brooks
Jeb Brooks is Executive Vice President of the The Brooks Group, one of the world's Top Ten Sales Training Firms as ranked by Selling Power Magazine. He is a sought-after commentator on sales and sales management issues, having appeared in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal. Jeb authored the second edition of the book "Perfect Phrases for the Sales Call" and writes for The Brooks Group's popular Sales Blog.


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