Sales people are constantly trying to get into their buyers’ mind to serve them effectively. However, in some cases, we have misperceptions on how buyers think and behave. What makes it even more challenging is the amount of information available to buyers because it creates higher expectations from any interaction they have with sales people.
Buyers expect higher value in the form of efficient discussion that specifically addresses their needs and will help them move forward in the decision process.
The most successful salespeople deliver value to their customers throughout the entire buying process, not just at the end.
That is the essence of a value driven buying journey, teaching buyers something new and driving them to make the best decision.
Value driven selling alone shows your buyer the value they will generate from your service or product, which is important, but doesn’t cover the continued value that salespeople must deliver throughout the discussion.
Below I will outline five specific examples where sellers may have trouble landing their buyers, and recommend alternative approaches.
You reach out via email and wait for a response, but buyers are bombarded with sales and marketing emails and often end up deleting everything. We’ve all learned how to filter out sales and marketing emails from the ones we actually read.
Learn about your potential buyer and craft a personal message. List a few questions they may want to answer before making a decision. Look at folloze Lead Campaign plugin for Salesforce to see how you can personalize your reach outs at scale.
[you can add automate email – using Skyward ERP]
Don’t overestimate people’s attention spans. If you don’t respond quickly enough when a potential buyer expresses interest, you’ll lose them. In fact, a follow up in one hour is 60 times more likely to qualify a lead than after 24 hours or more – Harvard Business Review.
Reach out while potential customer still has your email fresh in his/her mind. Acknowledge their interest and let them know that you’re around to answer any questions. The combination of a strong landing page and a quick response have shown significantly better results.
Generally, salespeople begin early calls with qualifying questions, such as “what is your process?” and “how do you work?” Like when a Cable TV rep asks you how old your kids are and what you like to watch, when you already know which package you want to buy! These questions can be a colossal waste of time because, “80% of buyers typically know exactly what they want before they make contact with a vendor (SAP research).”
Become a part of their journey by truly understanding where they are and what their problem is. Provide value and ask questions without trying to suck information out of them. Make it a conversation, show them you’ve done your homework in understanding their market and competition, then absorb the information they choose to share.
Many salespeople won’t bring up competitors in hopes that buyers won’t check out the competition and possibly buy their product. I once lost a huge account with an internet company when they chose a competitor that I never discussed with them up-front. Our solution was clearly the better choice!
Open up the conversation early on so you have a seat at the table when they consider the competition. Your potential customers will appreciate the effort because you’re helping them make the decision that’s right for them. If you don’t want to talk about the competition because they have an advantage over what you have to offer, you, as a salesperson, have a bigger problem.
A lot of salespeople understand the market and their customers’ businesses, but don’t express that in customer meetings. However, this is essential to building credibility as an advisor.
Mention that you’ve prepared for the meeting in order to make it effective. Additionally mention anything else that can show your credibility: their business, the competition, the latest news in their industry. Showing them that you’ve made an effort and making it explicit can buy you points in building that credible relationship with your potential customer.
All changes in buyer expectations suggest that salespeople have a lot more to think about. Delivering value, being trusted advisors, and helping potential customers reach their end goals are a few of the main considerations they need to make.
The new breed of salespeople focuses on rich performance, customer analysis and market analysis, in order to quickly understand what value they bring to customers.
Folloze was built to support the value driven journey and acts as a tool for sales and marketing teams to acquire new customers. We focus on identifying an audience and delivering a targeted message that’s rich with content.
Any salesperson can use Folloze on the fly to share with customers, track engagement, and get real-time alerts.
About the Author
David is the co-founder of Folloze where he in charge of delivering outstanding product to his customers and users.
David has been developing, managing and marketing software for more than 15 years both in start up companies as well as in an enterprise innovation focussed environments. He has held leadership roles of collaboration, mobile and user interface products driving them from ideation to market adoption. In this capacity, David has been focused on delivering ‘consumer-grade’ experience for business applications. During his tenure at SAP, David was selected multiple times as a ‘top talent’ and has received performance recognition awards.