Simply put, it's because your target customers have!
The hardest thing about selling today is that customers don’t need sales people they way they used to. Historically, sales people ‘had they keys to the kingdom’ because they possessed the knowledge to solve a potential or existing client’s problem. The evolution of the internet and technology continues to change the buying behaviours of clients, and the reality today is that the buyer very much dictates the sales process.
This means that how we sell has to change to meet the demand of our clients, essentially we have to transform our sales approach. Our sales team must change because our customers have.
Buyers today undertake a lot of research before they are ready to buy. This, in turn, means they already know what they are looking for and they are confident in their knowledge of the solution they require. The knock on effect for the sales individual is that the 'old school' approach of fact finding to understand the customer’s pain points is no longer relevant, the customer has already done this exercise for themselves. However, all is not lost, and whilst buyers today are significantly better informed compared to 10 years ago, they will still be missing critical information that only the sales person can provide. Things like logistics, time frames, full solution benefits, return on investment and organisational fit, is generally the kind of information that is rarely found online. In addition, there may well be other potential sticking points or requirements that the prospects or customers don’t even know about. These are the topics that should form the agenda for communication with clients and prospects. The sales team should strive to engage in these conversations early on, giving the client all of the pieces to the jigsaw. This will help the customer during the awareness stage of the buying cycle and well into the consideration stage. It will also help to build trust.
As a direct result of the changing buying habits of clients, we recommend sales teams adopt the below approach as they adapt to the age of the buyer.
Advisory – The new age of sales is about gaining the trust of your buyer. Sales people should strive to help the customer throughout every stage and not just focus on making a sale. They should always be looking to add value and knowledge to the conversation.
Personalised – Everything a sales person does should be tailored to the individual needs of the customer. Sales people should leverage all technologies available to understand what there buyers are saying online and offline.
Buyer-Centric – Every part of the sales process should be focused around the buyer. Listening to and understanding their needs and challenges. Then advise around how they can accomplish their goals or address their challenges. Never try to make a solution fit your client just so you can make a sale.
Generally a buyer’s expectations and opinions of sales people aren’t that great, your sales team should be striving to delight the buyer and make the process a positive experience.
To find out more why not download our guide or call us on 0800 998 7502