https://firstrain.com/opportunities/Changes in technology are radically altering the customer buying cycle. Customers can easily inform themselves of the options they have, and more often than not they find more than a few options that intrigue them. Because of these advances, sales reps are finding that their traditional sales strategy isn’t getting them as far as it used to.
Tiffani Bova, a VP Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, pointed out in a recent webinar that sales organizations will continue to see falling effectiveness unless they become more agile and responsive to what these new, informed buyers really want. It’s important for a rep to really think about whom their buyer is—what are they really looking to achieve with this purchase? What are the typical buying behaviors at that company? Will you need to convince other people to buy from you?
It all comes down to understanding the buyer’s specific market and needs so each seller can have a conversation with the buyer about the outcome of the deal, not just the deal itself. There is no doubt that each company’s challenges will be different, and within those companies different roles might also have challenges.
Think about your own sales teams:
Are they still stuck on their traditional sales strategy, of extolling the benefits of your solution without really thinking about whether or not their buyer even cares about those particular “benefits?” Are they too busy talking about the deal instead of the outcome that the customer will get?
The answer is not simple, and often requires a well thought-out sales process management program, but there are some things that you can start affecting today:
- It’s about them, not you. Enable your sales reps to efficiently understand and have the pulse of their customer’s market and end-customers
- Sales reps need to be able to communicate how their solution specifically meets the needs of their buyers. Yes, good communication skills are essential, but being able to track activity in the buyer’s market and see trends early will allow the rep to react and reposition to changing needs—and maybe even see them before the buyer does.
Your new buyers value different things, so make sure you equip your sales teams to sell differently to each of these buyers. For example:
- CIOs typically: Are risk-averse, technically oriented and measured on cost.
- CMOs typically: Are risk-takers, business-minded and measured on profit.
Based on observations by Gartner and others who are closely looking at today’s selling environment, it’s a no brainer that sales reps have to move away from the traditional sales strategy based around products specs. They must embrace approaches about how their solutions can help their customers achieve their growth goals. Sales reps who understand that it is now necessary to change their approach and become much more focused on the customer’s specific business needs—by doing their research and knowledge-gathering—will win.