The Miller Heiman Sales Method
Selling to Multiple Stakeholders
Good morning! Welcome to The Follow Up, where we talk about sales almost as much as CrossFit people talk about their workouts. 💪
In today’s Follow Up:
The Miller Heiman sale method 🧠
A follow up email tip 💡
Sales across the internet 🖥️
4 new remote sales jobs 🤑
The Miller Heiman Method
Word on the street is… sales cycles are getting longer.
A study from earlier this year found that enterprise sales cycles are taking an average of 36% longer than last year.
This means a 100 day sales cycle in 2022 now takes 136 days in 2023.
And longer sales cycles typically bring more complex sales.
So as your sales bestie, we found the sales method to combat complex sales cycles.
Let us introduce you to Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman. The two sales studs trainers who teamed up to create the Miller Heiman sales method.
*Creative naming wasn’t their strong suit*
The Miller Heiman method focuses on long B2B sales cycles that involve multiple stakeholders. It helps you build a relationship with your buyers, and tailor your pitch to the type of buyer you’re dealing with.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the four steps. 👇️
1. Label Your Stakeholders
Complex deals come with multiple stakeholders.
In order to properly handle each stakeholder, put them into 1 of 4 categories:
🏆️ The Champion: This is your best friend in the sales process. They want you to win the sale and they’ll give you the inside scoop on how to sell to the rest of their team.
⌨️ The User: This is the end user of the product you’re selling. Typically they won’t have the final say, but it’s hard to close the deal without them on your side.
⚙️ The Technical Buyer: This stakeholder cares about small details like compliance, certification, integrations, etc. They compare your product to others on the market and are typically a part of the IT, finance, or HR team.
💰️ The Economic Buyer: This is the final boss. Typically they are an executive on the C suite team and care about things like ROI. This stakeholder can be the hardest to convince but will make or break the sale.
2. Buyer Attitudes
Now that you know what type of stakeholder you’re dealing with, it’s time to figure out their attitude.
Knowing a buyer’s attitude will help you tailor your pitch to what they care about.
According to Miller Heiman, there are 4 buyer attitudes:
📈 Growth: These buyers are not happy with their current solution and are ready for something new. They want to know how your product will drive things like more sales, more leads, more employees, etc.
🧠 Problem: This buyer is aware they have a problem and want a solution to fix it. If you can prove your solution is the best fix for their problem, they’ll be ready to move forward.
😁 Content: This buyer feels like “everything is fine”, and doesn’t see an immediate need for change. You need to show this buyer the problem or growth potential that they’re not seeing themselves.
🚫 Over Confident: This one is very happy with their current solution. They don’t see any need for change and are the hardest to sell to because of that. If you encounter a stakeholder with this attitude, lean on the other stakeholders to push the sale.
3. Objections & Red Flags 🚩
Objections are like in-laws.
They’re a part of the deal, so you better learn to deal with them.
The key to overcoming them is identifying them early in the process. This includes uncovering company information like upcoming re-org’s, budget cuts, stakeholders leaving the company, etc.
Red flags should be uncovered during the discovery phase which includes information directly from your stakeholders and information found on your own.
Use resources like LinkedIn, news articles, and Crunchbase to find potential red flags and bring them up during your conversations.
The first step to solving a problem red flag is knowing you have one.
4. Influence & Close 🤝
This is the time to use everything you uncovered in the steps above.
Build your sales pitch based on the category and attitude of the decision maker you’re presenting to.
For example, pitching a technical buyer with a growth attitude will require a focus on things like product features and how the product will drive growth.
But pitching a user buyer with a content attitude will require you to focus on the opportunities the buyer isn’t seeing themselves.
Categorize your stakeholders.
Find their buyer attitude.
Uncover the red flags and objections.
Influence and close the deal.
Are your sales cycles taking longer this year?
Sales Meme of the Day
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