The global pandemic has accelerated a necessity for a customer-first mindset shift in all growth enterprises. Scale Your Sales helps you calibrate customer experience into your sales operations.
Now your primary objective must be to engage buyers and customers at a distance and retain your key customers with extreme focus and tenacity. You must be digital with human connection and personality. Digital is not only an essential tool to listen, engage, and sell but to build customer experiences and the deliver brand promises.
Customer experience is not only a sales focus and some traditional sales process orientated people might argue that it is not sales function at all. Every area of the enterprise works on something that the customer will read, see, hear, or touch, in their experiences with the company. All the activities and processes within the business can be made simple or difficult for the customer. It is the sales professionals that have the job of selling what is either simple or difficult for the customer. Whatever your level or title ISR, MQR. BDR, AE, SE, CSR, CSM or AM, these sales roles have direct access and impact on the customers and buyers and therefore the experience.
Selling is no longer about delivering products and services; selling is the entire experience the buyer and customer have of your brand.
During the pandemic, face to face appointments getting is no longer an option. All the roles above have had to adapt to the digital space and how they nurture customer relationships. B2B complex sales can be a long and winding road, throw in the pandemic, and now all companies are evaluating their response, survival, and growth direction, this is complexity on steroids.
Invest in your existing relationships, skill-up and gear-up your operation for the new and future opportunities and the pandemic will uncover. Sellers working with struggling industries such as hospitality and travel, must apply flexibility and give your expert advice and support.
In the Scale Your Sales Podcast I have spoken to many sales experts giving their advice on the way forward, a good friend of mine, Patricia Fripp said “COVID19 is not so much a time to sell but a time to keep in touch and be of service. Many clients are not spending money, and others are spending more. Always remember the clients that gave you the business when they had money, help them along when they do not have money. COVID is a great time to learn (invest) today and earn tomorrow.”
‘As a Service’ is a growing business model that has helped hone the retention practices of many organisations. Future-proofing beyond the pandemic is to leverage the experience you create to build customer advocates. Building customer advocates is investing in your existing relationships to create significant rewards.
Buyers and customer trust their peers more than the marketing messages of the supplier or the pitch of the sales professional. You must invest in creating brand advocates and nurturing customer relationship because your valued customers become a trusted extension of your sales and marketing efforts, recommending and referring other peers to your organisation.
Future-proofing revenue is to invest in your existing key customers and accounts to increase per account revenue. We could talk about cross-sell and upsell, you must stay close to your customer, understand their specific needs, and innovate your product and service to fulfil their (the decision-making unit) wants and needs. It is growing with the customer, creating a breath of relationships, and becoming their trusted partners in good time and helping them through the struggles and challenges.
The new normal has challenged our resources and the way we adopt the technology. However, one thing which is a certainty is that digital marketing and sales methods are the tools your customers have been engaging with for some time. It is Sellers who are only just catching up to understand what buyer-centric means:
- Most B2B buyers are already 57% of the way through the buying process before the first meeting with a representative.
- 78% of buyers expect sales to personalise interactions based on their online activities.
- Sales professionals using social media are 3.6 times more times of meeting the decision-maker.
- 86% of IT buyers use social media in their purchase decision process.
Now more than ever, buyers and customer want to buy from sales professionals that can offer real value. Customers want to work with Sellers that are making a positive difference, that has a positive culture and demonstrate their values in the way they interact with them in the experience of working together.
Selling and operating with customer experience focused lens is an opportunity to reduce cost and grow revenue. Excellent customer experiences lessen the length of the sales circle, increases customer satisfaction. It will advance co-creation and innovative improvement with the voice of the customer and trusted partnerships. The closer the customer relationships, the less time spent selling as the relationship produces a barrier to competitor entry and furthers revenue growth opportunities.
Now is the time to orientate your growth enterprise to be buyer-centric. Companies that align towards excellent customer experience will outperform their peers with predictable revenue growth, shorth sales cycles and greater customer satisfaction and lower churn rates. If you want to thrive through this pandemic or any other challenge that will come your way, selling can no longer be a function of sales but must be a function of the buyer and customer experience.