Naturally, sales people see themselves as the key point on the buyer path. The sentiment, though, is not always reciprocal – customers often see salespeople as a barrier to a smooth buying process.
A recent survey of customer tastes showed that most consumers would wait until late in the decision-making process to approach salespeople, as only 23 per cent find sales staff to be an active tool to solve their problems.
This is not surprising given that only one-third of respondents believe that salespeople often exceed expectations sufficiently to improve the purchasing experience. In fact, two-thirds consider it interchangeable for most vendors and salespeople.
With sales teams having such a small impact, sellers are in risk of getting lost in the crowd and going out of business. Worse still, if buyers have such low confidence and such little need for sales, the result is a B2B consumer apathy chain. It has the power to own –and be–the answer when the sales team is the party responsible for this issue.
How can buyers be impressed by salesmen?
It is not enough to be satisfactory or welcoming to support sales teams bring customers out of the apathy chain.
Rather, they must go beyond and beyond understanding buyers, customizing solutions, and maintaining their customers ‘ success. If most buyers feel alien, the sales team will have to do the job to make them feel valued and understood.
The good news is customers aren’t absolutely willing to write off salespeople. According to the same study, 3 per cent of participants wanted to buy anything digitally, but 65 per cent saw interest in speaking to a professional regarding their needs.
This is especially true as the value of the goods for purchase grows in market value and sophistication. This gives salespeople a chance to face the challenge of serving buyers ‘ needs better.
Here are five strategies that salespeople should use to make a big impact in the purchasing process at every point:
1. Don’t be sloppy.
A prospect should know little about you, but you ought to care about him or her as much as possible. You get a powerful impression from the first contact you have with someone. If you seem unprepared and start a scripted sales pitch, no buyer will be impressed with that interaction.
The better approach is to understand what the position of your client is, what his or her business is doing, and how the interests of that individual could suit your products or services – all before the initial call.
Preparation could turn a cold call into a moist, exciting and unforgettable presentation, and hundreds of options are available to assist with preparatory work. Even if the prospect contacts a rep through a cold call, a simple search for Google is often enough. There’s no reason to be late.
2. When you pass the baton do not move
Have you ever called and been obliged to give three different people the same information? What did you feel about this seller?
Sales teams are becoming more and more specialized and need better cooperation. If you reach a lead, a second leads you through the funnel and a third person closes the deal, your efforts must be coordinated carefully.
Sales teams are becoming highly professional, requiring enhanced teamwork. If one person reaches a lead, another guides the lead through the funnel, and a third person closes the deal, their efforts must be carefully coordinated.
Be on the same page by exchanging notes, transcripts and suggestions with everyone in the process.
When you don’t have the budget for a management system for a customer relationship, track interactions through a table. If possible, record your calls so that people can listen in further down the funnel. The next salesperson is ideally going to pick up where the one left off before.
3. Search for warning signs
The pursuit of a customer that is very unlikely to purchase, even in principle, that person’s time and yours can be wasteful. Automatic disqualifiers–red flags that indicate that lead should be dropped-must be identified by effective sales teams and then instructed to all look out.
It is pretty much up to sales management to decide which features are automatic deal breakers vs. conditional ones.
Each sector is unique and the situation depends on the industry, the kinds of consumers and the assets available. But note, giving up on a lead that’s never going to turn is not a lost sale; it’s a smart strategy.
What are some of the key red flags to look for? If your prospects are too demanding or your boundaries are not respected, proceed with caution.
If someone expects you to respond immediately when you’re home on weekends or evenings, it could be a sign that this behavior could also carry you through into your working relationship. Likewise, look out for prospects trying to micromanage you.
Usually when people seek help with something, they need what you’re offering, whether it’s expertise, product or service. That said, if they take the position of knowing more about what you’re offering than you are doing, that definitely indicates red-flag behavior.
4. Skip the lesson.
A conversation is a sales call, not a personal game. The opposite is one-sided interactions. It helps you to understand your needs by offering the buyer a chance to talk and then to real-time adapt your pitch. In general, organic and expansive sales calls should be made.
After analyzing thousands of telephone calls, Gong’s platform of call analytics showed that the best sales representatives had about 50/50. If in question, keep talking for two or less minutes, so that you have a chance to engage before you start zoning.
In addition, if you’re not speaking, practice active listening. You can start by listening really to what your prospect has to say and then say what you have just heard from that perspective.
Hearing from you, the person will know that you really care and will let him or her know if you are on the right track. If not, it can be explained again by the prospect. In fact, ask yourself questions to clarify the situation or what is being said more precisely and to grasp the opportunities you are interested.
5. Give purchasers the chance to say no
Sales teams enjoy hearing buyers say yes, but hearing them say no can be just as effective. Instead of saying, for instance, “Do you want to go ahead?” ask, “Do you see any reason not to go ahead?” Sometimes people get pressed to say yes but not confidence. This strategy places the consumer in charge of the decision-making process.
Exceeding the expectations of buyers helps salesmen to make more deals, period. And at a time when people are flocking online to review their business interactions, positive reviews are building goodwill and helping to generate further leads. By contrast, negative reviews can prevent buyers from reaching out to sellers at all.
First impressions are powerful, as your mother probably told you, and it’s hard to overcome a bad one.
Each interaction should have an impact and value in today’s sales environment. An average effort is forgotten, and it is more important to remember in a crowded market than ever.
By demonstrating a commitment to delivering an exceptional purchasing experience, the ceiling has never been higher for salespeople willing to do the job.