The Buyer’s Journey has become more complex, especially because there is more information available to influence purchasing decisions. As a result, salespeople must do more than match buyers with products and services. They must understand customer needs from many perspectives, deliver valuable insights that buyers are unlikely to get anywhere else, and then demonstrate how a particular solution meets the buyer’s real needs.
Research by Hubspot found that only 3 percent of people consider sales reps to be trustworthy. However, it’s possible to improve that figure by ensuring salespeople are trained with the tools and skills they need to craft solutions that truly and honestly speak to the customer. Here are four reasons why the “how” of selling matters more than the “what” and the role training plays in achieving that.
Buyers today want their salesperson to acts more as a partner and advisor than anything else. In fact, according to one study, 79 percent of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor. When a salesperson demonstrates empathy and shows a genuine interest in the success of buyers or the business they represent, buyers will be more likely to open up and trust the salesperson to help them overcome the challenges they’re experiencing. For new and experienced salespeople alike, training may be required to teach and reinforce the importance of these soft skills when selling solutions to prospective buyers.
Improved Communication with Buyers
Successful insight selling relies on sales professionals who listen to buyers’ needs, frustrations, and goals. When salespeople become strong active listeners, they not only learn more about what prospects and customers need but also improve the overall communication process. Instead of telling buyers what they need, insight and solution selling allows salespeople to learn which solutions will make the most sense to the buyer and which will be most likely to lead to a satisfying relationship. Salespeople well-versed in the fundamentals of solution selling will be able to optimize client interactions and communication for maximum results.
Higher Customer Retention
No one wants to continue a less-than-fulfilling relationship, and the relationship a buyer has with a salesperson is no different. When salespeople take an approach that offers business insights and helpful solutions, customers are more likely to see the value their salesperson provides, and will therefore be more likely to stay for repeat business. Sales professionals can increase the likelihood of retaining customers by learning and mastering behaviors such as:
- Adopting a customer centric mindset that focuses on improving the customer experience
- Routinely asking customers for feedback
- Staying abreast of industry developments so they can position themselves as subject matter experts
Better Use of Data
The broad availability of data and analytic tools allows salespeople to deliver data-driven insights to customers. There’s no shortage of data out there, but successful salespeople don’t just quote stats to win business; they leverage data to offer more value to customers. However, not every salesperson knows how to identify the best ways to use data and digital tools. Learning opportunities that teach individuals how to develop a data-driven approach can help to encourage behaviors such as:
- Using data to better understand the Buyer’s Journey
- Analyzing existing customer data to segment customer types and offer more tailored solutions to each
- Analyzing customer feedback to better predict future needs
- Being self-aware of personal/historical data points that can positively impact the customer
Solution and insight selling is about how salespeople position their product or service, not about a great sales pitch or outlining a list of product features. When salespeople have the knowledge and skills to listen, learn, and ask customers the right questions, they will develop better customer relationships, improved trust, and higher customer loyalty. Salespeople can achieve this by going through sales effectiveness training, an effective solution for teaching modern sales strategies and building soft skills.