Manage Opportunities More Effectively with Buying Process Exit Criteria
“The complex sale” with multiple stakeholders and decision-makers is challenging to navigate. Research indicates that the average size of buying committees is growing, so this is something that modern sellers will need to master. The concept of buying process exit criteria can help.
Every process has stages. For each stage, there are objectives, tasks to be performed, and exit criteria – or the critical-path tasks that must be completed to exit the stage and move forward.
While buying processes are not always linear, these concepts apply to both sales and buying processes. In a buying process, the stage-related exit criteria are referred to as “buying process exit criteria.” If you’re a seller, these are the things that each decision-maker needs to see, hear, feel, understand, or believe, in each stage, to feel comfortable moving forward to the next stage with you.
Buying process exit criteria may be different for buyers and sellers!
In some cases, buyers share exit criteria and have the same needs in any given stage. In other cases, their exit criteria may be quite different. While I have never heard an elite seller use the phrase “exit criteria” (it’s a term from process design work and Six Sigma), I have studied many who inherently have figured out the concept: various buyers need different things in a given stage.
To gain consensus and improve both your sales effectiveness and win rates, you should:
- Uncover each decision maker’s exit criteria.
- Be transparent and authentic, and purposefully ask your buyers about their criteria in each stage.
- Clarify the criteria to be sure you truly understand them.
- Provide whatever is needed to meet the criteria to the best of your ability.
Confirm with each decision maker that what you provided has satisfied them.