Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and programs may have changed the game for the sales industry, but failure rates are still prevalent. Nowadays, customers are not only well-informed and Internet-savvy, they know what kind of product or service they want. This level of exposure raises their expectations, making them more demanding and meticulous. This new breed of customers in the digital era has been a bane for old generation sales teams. Many of them continue to implement outdated sales practices without clear metrics for success, much less understand what customers really want or prefer.
Not being able to understand customers’ buying behaviour ends up in frustration and stale leads or conversions. In effect, sales teams fight tooth and nail to find new leads while missing more important opportunities such providing more value to customers, upselling or promoting other products or services.
A 2019 CRO Benchmark study notes that 62 per cent of sales meetings usually stop at the first meeting because prospects are not convinced. They do not see the value of the offer. Not surprising, however. A number of those working in sales attempt to sell despite not having a clear insight into their prospect’s business.
Companies expect salespeople to address a need. It is therefore imperative that these professionals make them understand possible outcomes before going off like a promotional machine gun. Customers know that a one-size-fits-all approach is impossible. Besides demonstrating a clear understanding of their organisation and salient processes, your pitch must resonate with prospects’ specific needs and desired outcomes.
If you think you have done your part in getting to know your customer, you have to dig deeper. What nature is your customer’s business? Does it serve other businesses (b2b) or does it have its own customers (b2c)? Knowing your customers’ customers helps you adjust your sails accordingly.
Consequently, you will need to find out what your customers hope to achieve and what role your product plays in their business narrative. Sounds confusing and complicated? Work with your team to map out your prospects’ needs and then create a set of solid sales strategies.
Consistent communication with your target customers helps build value, unveiling new ways to earn revenue. Conversing with your prospective clients is an opportunity for your sales and marketing team to demonstrate credibility. Add substance to the conversation by offering insights and statistical information that might be helpful to customers.
Interacting with your customers on a regular basis may lead to a deeper understanding of customer behaviour. What your customers value and how you can maximise it will ultimately be your recipe for success. Simply put, do not engage in any business meeting without knowing the background of your potential client. From their organisational chart to their company history, to the products they offer, to their mission-vision. Knowing all these will give you insight into their values and what they hope to become in their respective industries.
Finally, as a company, your challenge is to shift from direct selling to value-oriented selling. In this era of smart and digital-savvy customers, this is your ticket to better sales and business longevity.
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