Why Buyers Need Sales Consultants Not Sales Reps?

By Janice B Gordon | Scale Your Sales

Apr 02
From Rep to Consultant Janice B Gordon

Sellers must transition into advisory, service-oriented organisation, basing the entire sales process on the buyer journey, rather than the seller’s objective.

I have attended many conferences in the past month and spoken at some and one thing is clear from HR, Learning and Development to the Sales and Marketing Industry; we are so focused on lead generation techniques, engagement tools and finding the software to do the work. There is a danger in the race to serve more and gain more customers with technology-enabled processes that we lose sight of the people.

In a world racing towards the next technological breakthrough, there are no shortcuts to building a relationship and developing trust.  Even when selling technology, it is the relationship that seals the deal over and above the technology.

Now sellers can leverage a whole host of technologies to understand what buyers are saying online and which buyers are visiting their website, opening emails, and even viewing the pricing or any other web page. Technology can have the effect of automating the sales representatives that become adjunct to the process, like a robot.

Buy People First Janice B Gordon

People buy people first and then the products. Therefore, sellers must focus on the individual buyers purchasing experience and less on the account as one whole. B2B customers are a group of individual characters and perspectives. Review:

  • Who is the individual customer rather than the segment, persona or lead?
  • What buyer or user experience will attract the decision-maker?

75% of B2B buyers and 80% of executive buyers use social media to make buying decisions, not only this, they are the most influential in the company, manage the biggest budgets and purchase more frequently.

  • How can the seller personalize the awareness and consideration stages and engagement process?

B2B buyers and customers are no different from any other person using social media platforms; they use the same apps as B2C customers and the have the same experiences and ambitions. B2B sellers must take advantage of the easy accessibility of these social connections and interactions.

 

Three Ways to Connect and Engage Your Buyers and Customers

  1. Video First

Video appeals visually like no other B2B sales and marketing go to market strategy helping to move buyers through their journey to purchase. Video offers a massive opportunity to engage with your potential and existing B2B buyers. It’s a unique marketing tool that generates interest, drives awareness, and builds a strong brand.

If You Need Further Reason to Invest in Video Content:

  • 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than reading the text. (Wordstream)
  • 72% of customers would prefer to learn about a product or service by way of video. (HubSpot)
  • Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. (G2 Crowd)
  • 65% of executives have gone to the marketer’s site, and 39% have called them on the phone after watching a marketing video. (Forbes)
  • Video is expected to make up 82% of internet traffic by 2021. (Cisco)

 

  1. Personalize it!

At every stage of the buyer’s journey, sellers must prioritize developing more in-depth, more meaningful connections with their buyers and customers, i.e. personalized relationships.

As you learn more about your buyers and your customers individual decision-making preferences, sellers must focus the personalized message to the specific functional need and the buyer’s personality.

Personalization will require investments in customization creating emotive human content with connected storytelling across all the touch-points, using automation and tools to enable these emotional and social interactions.

 

  1. Don’t Sell, Consult Buyers to a Decision!

Customers want to feel your interest and see your dedication in solving their problem. Buyers are not interested in your solution; they are interested in advice on solving their specific problem.  What can sellers offer that will elicit the buyer’s interest will only get you onto their short list and through the first door?  Remember the door revolves; it is the relationship keeps you on the inside.

Scale Your Sales help sales professionals build the relationship into long term trusted and profitable partnerships.

 

The Five Characters of a Trusted Consultant Advisor:

  1. Altruistic: Trusted consultant advisors always put the clients’ needs ahead of their own company.
  2. Active listener: Trusted consultant advisors listen carefully to what clients say and don’t say.
  3. Breath of Experience: Specific knowledge of a topic will get you only so far with a client.
  4. Adaptability: Trusted consultant advisors have an ability to negotiate the politics and using a diplomatic yet direct approach, keeps the client moving towards their goal.
  5. Honesty: Being up-front with clients is a value they highly value of a trusted consultant advisor, even when it involves tough conversations.

Ask good searching strategic questions at every stage of the buyer’s journey to uncover the customer’s unstated needs and to reaffirm the bigger perspective on how the solution created fits into their broader business mission, goal and challenges.

This is not solution selling or consultative selling but I will explain the differences next week.

Janice B Gordon Trusted Sales Consultant Advisor

Sales professionals must help buyers and customers make buying decisions, by simplifying the decision while contributing knowledge and added value to the conversation, rather than just making another sale.

Sellers must transition into advisory, service-oriented organisation, basing the entire sales process on the buyer journey, rather than the seller’s objective.

As the trusted sales consultative advisor and product expert, they must help the buyers accomplish their goals or address their challenges. Even if this means that the seller’s solution is not the right fit for the buyer problem, it is in the seller’s best interest to facilitate an introduction to a competitive supplier.

Becoming a trusted consultant advisor is a privilege that can quickly evaporate when not focused on the best interests of the customer. When you keep the consultant advisor qualities in mind, you can differentiate your sales organisation to become a respected customer partner. The rewards of becoming customer-centric and perceived as the trusted consultant advisor, engender a long-term buyer relationship and partnership. A trusted consultative advisory relationship has built-in loyalty and with opportunities to innovate and co-create the relationship into a partnership.

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About the Author

Janice is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Management. She is passionate about helping companies adapt their sales approach to the economic, social and technological challenges. This has led her to create the popular the sales enablement system, Scale Your Sales. Janice is the international Strategic Account Sales Speaker, author and consultant, achieving many noted accolades including Sage Top100 Global Business Influencer 2017. Contact Janice today about Scaling your Sales