According to CEB, the size of your average buying group has grown from nice, manageable one or two stakeholders to an average of 5.4. You need to build consensus with this unwieldy group, but you’re not going to win them all over by yourself or from a distance. You need an inside man/woman—what CEB calls a mobilizer.
In a previous post, we talked about how to identify this person. No matter what you call them—champions, change agents, lead stakeholders, or mobilizers—your quest for consensus has just begun. It’s not enough to just identify this person. After all, mobilizers aren’t typically salespeople, experienced in enacting change, or very good at all in the fine art of persuasion. So how can you help?
According to research on mobilizers from CEB, 80% want support from suppliers in communicating the value of the solution in question. In other words, before your mobilizer is ready to help you convert the buying group, they need—and want—your help and guidance.
Unfortunately, this is something many sales organizations still do badly at. On the bright side, this is your chance to gain a competitive edge over less mobilizer-conscious salespeople.
If you’re wondering where to start in this regard, here are three crucial ways CEB has uncovered that will help empower your consensus sale:
1. Solidify the vision
According to the bestseller The Challenger Customer, some mobilizers who are great at execution tend to be not-so-great at conjuring up a compelling vision for how a solution will benefit the company. Before you send a mobilizer off to war, you’ll want to sit down with them and help them craft a vision that their buying group won’t be able to refuse.
For those who excel at painting an emotionally absorbing vision that everyone can rally around, you might just need to help them recognize that vision and move forward to the next step.
2. Coach them to a plan
As with the first item, some in the buying group will be great at laying down a detailed plan for how to inform and convert the various members of the buying group. But those who are strong on vision but weak on logistics will need you to walk them through the process of planning out how they will guide their stakeholders toward consensus.
Naturally, this step will be easier with those who are more inclined toward the planning and logistics part of mobilizing. Your goal with these people will be to validate or flesh out their ideas and to keep them from getting stuck on minor details.
3. Arm them with the right materials
When we take into account just how many stakeholders and the different temperaments at play, it becomes apparent that empowering your lead stakeholder to create consensus will need more than a “one-size-fits-all approach” (Ex: a packet of PPTs and ebooks).
While content continues to be part of the process of educating and winning over stakeholders, the best materials you can give your mobilizer are those customized to their particular strengths and weaknesses and to the needs of the buying group members.
Of course, technology will play a crucial role in serving the right content to each stakeholder each step of the way. To learn more about the best way to build customer buying consensus, download our ebook “5 Keys to Closing Sales Through Consensus” here.