1. Your buyer’s wants are driven by their customer’s demands
In organizational selling, you aren’t selling to the final end-user of your product. You’re selling to a company that needs your product to conduct business. As a sales rep, you need to understand who their customers are and how your product fits into the big picture of their production system.
When you’re on a call trying to make an organizational sale, make sure you ask your prospect thoughtful questions to understand how they use your product, and what the impact is to the end-user. Here are some questions you can ask:
- “Who is your ideal customer?”
- “How does your ideal customer use your product?”
- “Where does XYZ (the product you’re selling) fit into your production system?”
- “How long is your typical production cycle?”
2. Orders have greater quantity and complexity
Because your buyers are purchasing goods for their own business, organizational orders are often higher value because companies buy in larger quantities than consumers. If you are selling to another business, your product is part of their supply chain and having your products on-time, in the necessary amount, and in working order is critical to the health of their business.
To be successful in organizational sales, you must be able to understand and work with the complexity that comes with these larger deals. Here are some factors to keep in mind when selling to organizations:
- Your buyer’s production schedule — Know how often they produce their product, and when they expect to receive shipments from your company to keep production going.
- Your company’s ability to supply enough product — Now that you know how much product your buyer needs from you and when they need it to ensure your company is able to meet that demand. Communicate early and often if you anticipate running into any issues that could impact your buyer’s business.
- The organization’s sales process — Have a clear understanding of what their company’s sales funnel looks like. Do they meet their sales goals? Are they planning to scale and increase production in the coming months to meet demand? These factors may impact how they buy from you.
3. Your buyer may have quality and safety requirements for their products
When selling to organizations, you also want to be mindful and aware of any quality or safety requirements that may be in place for your buyer’s products. As you work with your prospect to make the sale, seek to understand what their requirements are to ensure your product can help them maintain their quality and safety standards.
For example, if you work for a snack company and sell to a retailer that only sells food made from organic ingredients, knowing what their quality standards are and making sure your product adheres to them can be a valuable selling point.
4. Your buyer is looking for the best value
As we mentioned above, when companies purchase goods and services, the complexity and dollar values are higher than when consumers purchase goods and services. For any business, the bottom line is a top priority, and the organizations you are selling to are no different. In order for a company to be profitable, their expenses cannot be higher than revenue. That is why organizational buyers are often looking for the best value when making purchases.
That isn’t to say that price is all that matters to buyers, or that the lowest price always wins the sale. It does mean that purchases made on behalf of a company are expected to deliver a return on investment. In other words — your organizational buyers are spending money in hopes of making it back (and then some).
When going through the sales process, articulate the value your product can provide each step of the way. Whether your product can help your buyers save time, preserve equipment, or reduce costs in the long run, your ability to demonstrate how your product can help your buyer’s bottom line can be a major selling point.
Now let’s walk through some examples of what organizational selling looks like in real life.