I enjoy very few things as much as a “Great Semantic Debate” like this one:
Both phrases mean essentially the same thing. They refer to the series of actions that are required in order for a purchasing decision to be made. One (sales process) addresses the actions taken by a salesperson. The other (buying process) looks at the actions taken by a prospect or customer.
The term “sales process” has been around for a long time. It’s convenient, common, and well-used. The phrase “buying process,” on the other hand, is a bit newer. Its’ proponents tell us that it’s better because it places the focus where it belongs: On your prospect. Plus, they say, 57% of the buying process is complete before a prospect is willing to communicate with a salesperson.
In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what we call it…as long as attention is on the right spot: The customer.
It’s surprising just how often prospects and customers take a back seat to other things among sales teams. Sometimes things like . . .
- Ego: “I’m going to win this deal because I’m the best.”
- Income: “I’m going to win this deal because I want more money.”
- Product: “I’m going to win this deal because my product is the best.”
- Quota: “I’m going to win this deal because I’ve got to hit my quota.”
- Survival: “I’m going to win this deal because I’ve got to pay my bills.”
. . . get more attention.
And misaligned focus like that doesn’t particularly change whether you talk about a sales process or a buying process. In either case, your sales team’s focus should instead be on the same thing: Customer Needs and Wants.
What do you think? Which is a better phrase?