In the latest ‘State of the Connected Customer’ report from Salesforce, your B2B buyer’s needs are laid bare. 89% of buyers say the experience a company provides is as important as the products or services it provides. The salesperson’s role in providing that experience is critical and the great news is, if you can provide a quality experience, 82% of buyers say that it raises their expectations of other companies, thereby raising the bar for your competition.
But how do you deliver that great experience? B2B buyers surveyed cited a range of different factors but number one was better access to information. However, it’s not simply about drowning the customer in product specifications or wowing them with your service capabilities. Nearly three-quarters of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations i.e. to personalise the experience for them and yet 52% also say that companies are generally impersonal.
The key to being successful in this sales environment is being connected internally. Salespeople often focus a lot of time and energy on developing their external networks as a way of building leads and identifying opportunities. However, neglecting your internal network can result in sales being delayed or even cancelled if the customer doesn’t feel they are being well looked after during their buying journey. Whilst nearly 80% of customers expect consistent interactions across department, two-thirds report having to repeat information or re-explain their issues when speaking to different departments.
Research shows that advances in technology are creating more crossover points between sales and other business functions. That creates both risks and opportunities and to be successful a salesperson must work effectively with an increasing number of colleagues. By building networks across their organisation they are better able to tailor the solution for the customer during the buying phase, and to provide a seamless service once the transaction has been signed off. The best salespeople will share knowledge garnered from their external network internally, so that a strategic fit between their business and the customer’s organisation can be established.
If this all sounds time consuming then consider that by developing their internal network the salesperson is able to achieve win-win outcomes for both parties in a sale. The customer will gain the quality experience that they are seeking whilst, by taking a more proactive approach that guides buyers through the sale, the ease of purchase for the buyer increases by 86% (The New Sales Imperative, CEB 2017) thereby reducing delays in the sales cycle and enabling the salesperson to drive the sale to completion.
Bloojam are business psychologists helping our clients to transform their sales teams. Find out how you can measure the 9 key capabilities required of salespeople engaged in strategic selling here.