Understanding your customer more deeply can lead to an increase in sales. In this data-driven world, the relationship between sales rep and prospect is different than it used to be. In the past, salespeople sold solutions to problems; they now sell insights, according to Mark Bergen of Vision Critical, an insight community technology provider.
With all of the information that is available to prospects today, they have little use for the same old solutions. They are also more likely to know right off the bat whether your services will work for them. Since they arrive into the sales funnel with more knowledge, the entire sales process is being turned on its head. When a sales rep can give them assistance on top of what they already know, this individual has an opportunity to become not just a sales person, but a colleague.
In this new landscape, the most powerful sales strategy is having insight into your customers market that no one else has. Once you have this information, you won’t just be selling clients a solution to a pain point, but valuable knowledge they can only get from you.
How to understand your customer’s end market There are several options, but one thing is clear: a simple Google search doesn’t cut it anymore. Knowing your customer’s market requires in-depth research, from scouring social media platforms to reading industry publications. It can be a time-consuming activity. That’s why the best option is to invest in a customer intelligence platform that will deliver personalized information about customers’ markets. The right solution will allow you to tune out the noise and focus just on relevant events and big data analytics.
Here are just two examples of what you can accomplish when you know your end-customer:
1. Sell your prospect an outcome Don’t work in the dark. Use key insights to determine what your client really needs, beyond how you believe your product can help them. According to Anthony Iannarino for Salesforce blog, you need to focus on the final outcome instead. By honing in on their market, you can develop a better understanding of what the customer is looking for. Successful salespeople pitch the future outcome that the client is looking for. However, depending on where the client is at in the buying process, they may not be aware of their desired outcome. As a valuable asset to your prospect, this is an idea you can help them develop. Iannarino also provides another valuable piece of advice: a sale will only happen if stakeholders are in agreement on the desired outcome. Using the market intelligence you’ve gleaned, you can help guide the decision-makers into a consensus on what direction operations could go.
2. See needs before your customers do According to Bergen, by monitoring your customer’s market very closely, you can often identify problems they don’t know they have. Bergen notes how his company, which provides software that facilitates communication between customers and businesses, found a solution for sports teams whose end-customer was sports fans. After doing some research, his firm determined that sports teams don’t offer the engagement tools that sports fans want. For instance, sports teams weren’t always reaching out on digital platforms. In addition, digital platforms enabling fans to branch out from just supporting local teams. This knowledge helped Bergen’s company pitch their product to sports teams.
When you are well-versed in all the elements that make your customer’s market tick, you have opportunities to provide valuable insight in addition to products and services. The role of the sales person is changing. Do you have the tools you need to be a 21st century sales rep?