Zetes realised how much the profile of B2B decision-makers and DMU complexity were changing. It therefore chose to start using Buyer Aligned Selling® to align the organisation with the ‘better informed customer’ and the way in which buying decisions are made in this day and age. One year after implementing this solution, Zetes was sealing 10% more deals with customers also making faster decisions.
Zetes specialises in the provision of identification and mobility solutions for the supply chain and people identification. The company has its head office in Brussels and is active in 21 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Main competitor was the customer ‘taking no decision to buy’
Zetes was founded in 1984 and so has a mature sales team. But even so, it was clear to Hervé Toussaint, Country Manager for Zetes Belgium(1), that the company wasn’t maximising its sales potential:
‘We noticed that the B2B buyer profile was changing dramatically. The DMU (decision making unit) and the way in which buying decisions are made have become more complex. But our sales organisation was still qualifying leads and approaching sales opportunities in the same way as previously. One of the symptoms of this was that our main competitor was customers who were stopping the buying process themselves or not finalising a decision to buy because there wasn’t enough budget or no sponsor, for example, and so continuing to work using old methods.’
Align the organisation with how the customer wants to buy from us
Hervé Toussaint therefore wanted to create awareness in the organisation that times were changing. Perpetos has helped Zetes’ marketing department successfully in the past, by aligning its approach with the way customers buy today, and has now been asked to extend this approach throughout the entire organisation.
‘Buyer Aligned Selling® by Perpetos has ensured that our sales people no longer think in terms of their ‘sales’ process, but instead follow the logical stages that occur in the customer ‘buying’ cycle. This methodology is based on the Buying Clock® which presents the mental phases in the buying cycle in a useful and convenient way: the idea of a clock is easy to remember, was accepted by everyone and quickly led to a common language between our pre-sales, business consultants, marketers and sales people.’
‘Workshops interspersed with ‘coach the coach’ sessions helped the team become familiar with the new method, which has also been embedded in our CRM system.’
Higher hit-rate, less opportunities that are lost
Zetes is now able to achieve more with a sales team the same size. Sales people can detect how far along the buying process a customer is, so they can undertake the right actions at the right times. This means they know which messages are required in which buying phases, so offers are sent at the right time, and they know which types of actions fit in with the customer’s mindset at what times.
The sales team can qualify leads better and so make optimal use of their time according to potential. Where they previously were mainly in contact with technical people, now they also have the right skills, tools and messaging in place to approach the DMU more broadly and so sell higher up in the organisation. They work on more opportunities at a lower cost per opportunity. Hervé Toussaint explains specifically what Buyer Aligned Selling® gives to Zetes:
‘One year after implementation, 56% of all opportunities in Zetes’ pipeline are being converted into sales, compared to just 46% one year ago. The number of opportunities that are lost to competitors or stopped by the customers themselves has fallen by about 50%. And customers are making the decision to buy faster too: one year after implementation, the number of opportunities that are converted into sales within six months has increased.’
Perpetos ‘walks the talk’
‘We chose Perpetos because of the quality and experience of its business coaches, and because they walk the talk. The methodology gives us the right insights into how customers want to buy.’
‘We’re planning to optimise the results that we’ve already achieved in Belgium further with processes for pipeline coaching, cross-selling, up-selling and messaging, amongst other things. We strongly believe that this further development of our messaging in line with the methodology won’t just increase the impact for customers; it will also help new employees get up to speed faster.’
Following the successful implementation of Buyer Aligned Selling® in Belgium, Perpetos is also rolling the methodology out for Zetes Corporate in all the other countries where the organisation is active.
(1) Hervé Toussaint is currently Corporate Marketing Director at Zetes