Every quarter I compile an article from Scale Your Sales Podcast guest survey answers. These are some of the answers that we did not cover in the live show. As host of Scale Your Sales Podcast, I would love to know if you found value in their insights. For some, the pandemic has meant adaption, while the sales industry is in a state of modernisation and renewal.
Feeling connection from your colleagues and creating momentum for your team, where people can share best practices and celebrate wins seems to be one thing, we took for granted before the pandemic, says Julie Mann. We share best practices and stay informed with weekly spotlights where individual team members present and share wins. We also have weekly training where we brush up on product knowledge with a fun game, winners get prizes, and it makes learning fun and interactive.
Liz J Simpson said the pandemic presents the worst of circumstances, and yet I have seen brilliant examples of innovation during this time. Many clients have shifted to digital strategies and platforms like LinkedIn to focus on providing value and a deeper human connection. They have seen those efforts pay in dividends and open up opportunities for profitable revenue streams, despite the pandemic.
I asked the Scale Your Sales guests if B2B sales have shifted enough to be buyer and customer-centric?
Barnaby Wynter said there is no such thing as B2B sales. The buyer is in full control; it is the role of marketing has fundamentally changed.
Too many companies say they are customer-centric, but they don’t act it Jill Konrath advises starting with onboarding.
However, B2B sales have not shifted enough to be BUYER centric to help and enable decision-makers truly. Michael Haynes said, customer advisory panels and briefings can be valuable, and more of the B2B Sales process needs to focus on post-sale implementation and support.
It has not shifted enough says David Priemer, salespeople still use old, outdated tactics rooted in nothing more than historical practice and tradition. Many of these tactics would not work on themselves.
B2B sales still have a long way to go. The data and automation that could fuel a much more customer-centric sales approach, the technology is only just growing, and the people are beginners at using it, says Jeroen Corthout.
Martin MacArthur notes that AI and machine learning will remove the manual aspects of sales, and eventually, we will transition to voice assistance, helping us fill the pipeline.
Julie Mann says customers are way more knowledgeable about what they want and smarter about getting measured improvements and ROI from their perusing vendors. Mapping our prospecting efforts by buyer intent and stage in the journey is working, way more than sending out cold messaging to buyers who have no idea what your company does.
The businesses struggling to be buyer-centric face the challenge of inconsistent revenue growth states Liz J Simpson, verse the companies who embrace digital strategies.
Jennifer Warawa offers that changing your mind and perspective to change your approach and impact is now a requirement.
Asking what practical strategy enable buyers to buy or build a long term trusted customer relationship?
Barnaby Wynter said, make sense of insights.
Martin MacArthur said to use outcomes to prioritize which prospects to contact.
David Priemer offers emotional alignment is the key.
Christine Schlonski says selling with heart, always.
Julie Mann state says creating nurture programs creates success.
Offer your customers open and honest communication, mean it, use it, says Joyce Johnson.
Stay close to your customers, interview them, follow up to help them consistently, automating part of this will make all the difference.
Jill Konrath said to focus on helping customers achieve their objectives.
Customer Advisory Panels help gain insights on WHAT and HOW you must deliver to buyers says, Michael Haynes.
67% of the buyer’s journey is digital, Liz J Simpson said you must meet buyers’ where they are and provide what they need.
Jennifer Warawa makes a number on non-sales related partner calls weekly, to check-in and listen. To ask about their families and friends and connect on a human level.
If you mess up, dress up and fess up, is a philosophy Jennifer Warawa promotes.
Jennifer Warawa says, do not sell to people, instead fix a problem.
I usually ask the guest of Scale Your Sales podcast their experience of diversity in the sales industry.
Barnaby Wynter recalls, in 2000, he partnered in the launch of a gay bank, saying the prejudice was at best unsettling and at worst disgusting. Until we no longer need to ask this question, there is much work to be done. That path to making the issue irrelevant is a long and difficult one.
“Given the nature of B2B buying and what is involved….more women should have a more significant role to play in complex B2B selling as they often have the critical skills needed,” Michael Haynes quoting, Harvard Business Review research.
Jill Konrath states Xerox hired her to meet a government quota because they needed to meet diversity requirements. (Look at the success of the decision)
Martin MacArthur said, “I live it each day, as a blind sales professional who is executing outbound campaigns daily using various technologies that work with my screen reader.” In this podcast episode, Martin shares some of his less favourable experiences.
Julie Mann has been the only female in the room too many times. Gender equality and ethnic diversity are still not where they need to be in B2B sales, as I can see that there are not an equal number of voices from different ethnic backgrounds.
Joyce Johnson says she has not worked in a diverse environment because she is often the first and only.
Liz J Simpson sees a shift with more millennial women as the decision-maker in specific B2B industries.
Jennifer Warawa said there are more women than men in the DIRTT sales team. However, diversity is about more than just gender; they are continually looking at all types of diversity (ensuring they have some extremely experienced people and some people with no experience, race, etc.).
The guest interviewees offered one tried and tested strategy to Scale Your Sales.
Barnaby: Niche your value Proposition and engage only with those who would buy from you.
Martin: Establishing a powerful personal brand on LinkedIn demonstrating vulnerability, authenticity & transparency.
Christine: connect your brain with your heart and stop thinking about commissions in the sales conversation.
Julie: Create an in-depth nurture program to stay close to those folks you had a great conversation (even if it is a long term relationship and not an immediate win).
Joyce: Understand the revenue impact by asking them what it is. Do not assume.
Jeroen: Build a reliable sales process and follow-up approach, such that no deals or valuable information can slip through the cracks.
Jill: Have a well-thought-out onboarding program.
Michael: Productized offers that are constructed with an in-depth and holistic view of the buyers’ needs.
Liz: If LinkedIn is not a key ingredient in your client acquisition strategy, you are missing opportunities.
Jennifer: Prepare the business to scale for their next phase of growth. Outstanding Leadership underpins every great sale along with Systems, Structure and make everyone a brand Ambassador.
Please do connect with the experts and influencers. If you have not already listened to Scale Your Sales Podcast, you will find it on all podcast channels along with the video show on YouTube. If you like it, it’d mean the world to me if you would give the show a rating and review on iTunes!