Should you be using NEAT Selling to Drive Your B2B Sales Goals?
One of the core takeaways from the worldwide disruptions brought on by the 2020 global pandemic is that no matter what internal challenges a team or company may have, while ensuring a stronger digital presence and digital process, it is also crucial to constantly adapt to changing customer and economic trends in real-time.
Fast forward to 2022, as the world economy picks up pace again and as businesses re-adapt to post-pandemic needs and behaviors, newer sales methods and frameworks need to be put in place to drive faster traction and stand out in a crowded marketplace.
What is NEAT Selling?
NEAT stands for Need, Economic impact, Access to authority and Timeline, it is considered an evolved method that derives from the usual BANT, AN, ANUM sales methodologies.
The NEAT qualification methodology was built to replace a few processes to suit other market conditions and needs.
NEAT focuses more on guiding sales teams on finding the deeper needs of their prospects’ challenges. In a way, NEAT can be considered another way of understanding your prospect and getting to know them and their needs/challenges better.
Why is NEAT Selling something to Consider for B2B Sales Teams Today?
Customers change with time, their buying behaviors are influenced by several factors related to direct team or company challenges, company/team goals, current marketplace trends, several other factors. In dynamic market conditions, no marketing or sales process can be kept linear. And so, a linear sales or marketing approach cannot work well in today’s market.
A NEAT Sales methodology allows sales teams to:
-Deeply understand their prospects and target market
-Improves the overall lead qualification process
-Allows B2B sellers to build stronger/long-term customer relationships
Understanding the Basis of a NEAT Selling Philosophy
NEAT stands for – Need, Economic impact, Access to authority and Timeline, what exactly do each of these stages represent?
Your target customer doesn’t care about your or your product, unless it can deliver real value to them and solve a core business problem.
‘’Need’’ here represents the idea of focusing on the core benefits of your solution or product that can actually solve or address your target customer’s core problems of the moment. By defining the deeper issues that an existing target account/prospect might have, B2B sales reps can use this info to represent their own solutions’ benefits and features aligned to those issues, to offer them up as a final solution to the problem.
B2B sales reps can derive this information from the initial stages of their prospecting and conversations, by specially asking questions like – what solution to a current problem does a prospect currently have / what kind of solution or feature can work better in their favor/ how many teams or departments in the business are affected by the current challenges.
It is important to re-reiterate that – prospects today cannot afford to care about you as a sales rep, not your brand. There is a lot of competition in the market today and a plethora of solutions to always choose from.
This actually shouldn’t be looked at as a challenge for sales reps, but as an opportunity.
Because, not all of those solutions can help drive the best economic impact in the future, if adopted.
After understanding the core (current!) challenge of your prospect/target account (Read: Need above), using the information to focus on how your own tech solution or product can benefit the business because it can not only solve a problem but also drive positive economic impact and growth is one way of getting prospects to pay more attention to your product.
Prospects today are always evaluating new solutions and products in the market and newer methodologies (like NEAT selling) can help sales reps break through the noise, keep up with customer concerns, while staying on their mind despite the other competitors they could be talking to.
A case in point: if you have a prospect who has been worried about losing website visitors, but your tech solution can offer up a potential or sure shot fix to the problem because of certain features, using this information (the best features that can solve your prospect’s challenges) as a selling point while also focusing on telling them the value it contributes to future sales/growth of the brand is useful.
Access to authority:
It’s often been talked about: how the typical B2B sales and marketing process is always more long-winded than in B2C.
In business-to-business, the number of decisions makers in a company are more, the buying journey is longer, approvals take time and moreover, every decision maker in the system has to agree to invest into what you have to sell.
Understanding more about key decision makers, especially the main decision maker (the one with the authority to actually sign off on a contract) can help sales reps map their prospecting activity accordingly, to suit the triggers and behaviors of each of these profiles.
Knowing more about all the decision makers and especially the one person who takes the final financial decision or decision to sign can allow sales reps to chase the right profiles in the company to help reduce the typically long buying cycle.
In a long winded B2B buying-selling process, putting in place deadlines to try and finalize potential dates by which purchase decisions have to be made can help keep internal processes simple and effective.
This involves, setting a date by which a purchase decision should-be-made and allocating a negative impact to it if the prospect doesn’t convert.
This allows sales leaders and complete teams to also know how long each buying cycle is taking or whether they are being closed within an indicative period most times, or not.
Is Neat Selling the Future?
There is no sure shot sales methodology or tactic that everyone in sales can use to their 100% benefit, every team, every type of company, will have to dovetail processes, methods and their salestech to align to different goals and needs at various stages.
What needs to be kept in mind is that what model works for one might not give the same ROI to another.
In a customer-centric, highly crowded digital environment, standing out and creating a long lasting impact is an ongoing process. Adopting different tactics and methods that boast of proven results and constantly evaluating what works and what needs more improvement is integral to keeping pace with both, company goals and industry demands.