As the market goes slow and the competition becomes more intense, best-in-class sales leaders base their sales strategies on a strong culture of sales execution and delivering great buying experiences.
A consistent sales execution framework allows these companies to adopt a customer-centric mindset, where salespeople become used to asking the right questions, uncovering customer problems, and guiding the customers to solve the issues identified.
Below are seven critical components of a successful sale:
Enterprise salespeople have been working on delivering great buyer experiences since the dawn of selling. In an enterprise environment fraught with complex procurement processes and daunting revenue goals, how can sellers get a pulse on what is resonating and how to follow up with them?
Buyers prefer working with sellers who understand their business needs and have the plan to get them there as opposed to someone who is simply pushing to close a sale. And to smoothly manage sales cycles with modern buyers, your sales teams need to identify these envisioned outcomes, demonstrate your understanding of their journey and successfully establish a co-relation between your product and the pain. When you make your buyers believe that you understand their pain, they’ll be more willing to engage with you.
Failing to identify and engage key stakeholders is one main reason deals slip.
Understanding relationships, individual buyer preferences, and their influence on the buying journey are at the heart of knowing if a deal is real or what needs to be done to win it.
To win enterprise deals, verifying pain at an organizational level across multiple buying stakeholders becomes one of the most critical factors to success. Your sellers deal with several buyers distributed across different teams in an organization (Core business team, IT, finance, legal and more), and each of them significantly influence the deal. And so, one of the most critical tasks for sellers is to identify these buying stakeholders, evaluate their role in each dimension, and create a standout value prop for their pain mapping the collective need.
Your sales team must engage with the right buyers, get access to the champion, decision-makers, influencers, etc. and create or re-engineer a vision of the solution and value that competitors can’t match. Failing to identify these buyers and their challenges can stall your deal's progress.
Now that you’ve done the hard work of earning trust, demonstrating credibility, and aligning on their organization-level pain points, it is time you connect your product to their pain point.
Modern sellers must guide buyers through their buying process rather than just focusing on the sales process. And to move your narrative forward, your sales team must showcase consistently that they have a clear understanding of the problem and reinforces themselves as the “go-to-solution.” It is also essential that you consistently demonstrate your understanding of their priorities (what value they want to seek, their journey, pitfalls within the journey, experience, and more). The more you demonstrate your understanding of the big picture, the more progress you can make as a seller.
When you demonstrate your understanding of the buyer’s struggles and the outcomes they envision and support them with resources that take them to decisive action, you’re creating a product evangelist for life.
After you’ve established an understanding of the pain points and needs of your buyers, you will need to ensure that you’re able to demonstrate how your solution will help them achieve the key outcomes.
Your sales processes should let your buyers take control of their journey - give them product access or critical information even before starting the evaluation on their terms. The changed approaches should focus on your buyer’s goals, desired outcomes, and milestones. When breaking the buyer's complex journey into independent milestones and navigating them throughout this journey showcases that, as a seller, you are completely aligned with the buyer's pain which further instills more confidence in the buyer for you as the go-to solution.
More often than not, your sales rep may not be the expert in a product or solution. And therefore, to make a sale to the enterprise buyers, your sales front needs access to the right resources, be it from the sales engineer, solution consultant, or product team, and also use them during high-impact activities with the buyers.
Your sales team needs the right resources at the right time that remove friction, build buyers' confidence in them and help them be in sync with the buyers by navigating them across the complex buying journey. When you loop in people from different teams (sales, non-sales), making sure they don’t ask the same questions all over again and continue the conversation where the previous person left can save you tremendous time and effort.
Sales conversations can sometimes go awry if you speak a language different from your buyers. As a salesperson, you not only need to understand your customer’s wants, needs, challenges, and objectives but also device the conversation in a way that your buyer will be receptive to and understand your perspective.
Cut out the fancy words. Use of industry jargon or feature-heavy conversation will only throw your buyers off guard. Ensuring sales reps are right on message and task is foundational to sales success. But too often, we are focused on product knowledge (or seller-focused enablement) and miss the boat on creating an excellent buying experience and how to enable sellers to deliver it consistently.
The key to winning over this new breed of buyers is to articulate the buyer’s problem, what value your solution brings to the table, and how you add value to their journey clearly and consistently.
Your ability to differentiate what you offer against the competition is becoming increasingly challenging. If you are like most B2B organizations, chances are that you have numerous direct-indirect competitors who offer similar products, solutions, or services. And so introducing your unique perspective, belief system, and what sets you apart from your competitors early in the sales cycle will set your team in for the long run.
If your buyer sees your unique sales process aligned with their goals, they will engage better, and you will see your process adoption more consistently within your team.
Buying behavior has changed in recent years, with more people, more touchpoints, and more stages in the buying process. If you’ve been winning deals by spearheading your “buyer’s journey,” you won’t be able to do so in the modern marketplace. Understanding how your buyers want to interact with can help you crack the day one list, earning the trust of the right influencers and consistent demonstration of your understanding will raise the odds of landing and growing accounts.
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