You don’t need to be a genius to know that sales success in the B2B world relies on the salesperson’s ability to satisfy and exceed key customer expectations. Over recent years buyer behaviours have changed significantly and the sales process requires a much deeper and coordinated skillset. Thanks to Google, customers are easily educated with facts and figures at their fingertips and far more discerning than ever!
Typically our online behaviour has a lot to answer for… our first port of call tends to be the web… take household utilities and credit cards for example… Switching suppliers and solutions has become the norm for home and business life! Know this!… There is less focus around customer loyalty and more emphasis on value and insight.
Embrace change for good…
1. Learn to be a good listener.
Discover the truth about what your prospects actually need then tailor your pitch accordingly. Ask open questions to help uncover any sales objections. Understanding your prospects market and organisation inside out is no longer an option! Google has levelled the playing field for all. Research your target thoroughly!
2. Share industry insight.
Provide a refreshing and imaginative perspective for your prospects. Show that you are not solely interested in making a quick sale. The more honest and open you are the chances are you will create a more favourable impression and that you are a thoroughly reasonable chap or chapess! After all given the choice, we all enjoy working with nice people! Working through any sales objections should be much easier beyond this point as you will already have established common ground. Show your personality! Be creative! Paint a inviting verbal picture of how great life will be with their new solution!
3. Identify where prospects are in the buying cycle.
Prospects are doing their own research on the internet and coming to their own conclusions even before sellers get a chance of preliminary sales discussions. The big change in the sales and marketing landscape is that prospects are using conversational search on Google to find immediate answers to their questions. The answer is for sales and marketing to work hand in hand and to generate / publish blogs and whitepapers that are tailored to the job roles and distinct stages of the buying cycle. By monitoring user behviour, sellers can appraise popularity of their content and capture user download data with a view to building contact databases of new prospects and repeat buyers, and most importantly identifying where buyers are the process based on the type of content they are viewing or downloading! This translates into valuable insight and relevancy when dealing with buyers.
Your organisation should aim to help your prospects find answers to common questions online. Helping has become the new selling! The sales and marketing landscape has changed forever! To be a high flying salesperson these days requires not only great sales coaching but close involvement from your marketing and extended team!
4. Encourage collaboration across your entire organisation.
This strategy is driven by changing prospect expectations. Team selling provides both new challenges and lucrative opportunities for sales teams. Leverage uniques team skills and insight and resources to support the overall sales effort. Team oriented selling requires salespeople to accept change and learn new skills. Traditionally sales and marketing were seen as ‘them and us’. For the modern savvy salesperson they now go perfectly hand in hand!
The rewards are there for those who listen, provide the right solutions and who can make best use of internal resources and industry insight.
How can you minimise risk or indeed take advantage of the online revolution?
– Learn to listen
– Keep up to date with industry trends by creating and joining relevant LinkedIn groups and communities
– Talk to your customers about their daily challenges
– Explore opportunities to leverage ‘big data’ analytics
– Forge stronger relationships through creative brand communications and insight
– Demonstrate thought leadership by sharing relevant articles and content through social media
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