Buyer Behaviors Have Changed—And Your Sales Reps Need to Adapt

One of the reasons that Sales Enablement exists is the constant transformation of customer buyer behaviors.

Every touchpoint, every interaction between your sales team and your prospects is an opportunity to build a relationship or close a sale. However, if done ineffectively, it can negatively affect the relationship. Each of these different touch points cost time and money.

As buyers’ behaviors are changing rapidly and constantly, especially in this digital era, your sales team and their communication through these touchpoints need to adapt. It’s time to throw the age-old tactics out the window: no more cold calling or thinking of what the customer may do next.

Because of technology, now we know more than ever before, this includes sales people knowing more about their customers but also customers knowing more about the product they may be buying because of this and this increased sense of knowledge salespeople are always at risk of pushing prospects away. Sales enablement helps your salespeople adapt their selling to the way people buy today. It sets them up with new selling knowledge and gives them the best practices and strategies that will work in this day and age.

Buyers no longer respond to one-size-fits-all content and approach. It’s important to now align content to key stages of the buyer journey, creating a personalized experience that will increase win rates.

Sales enablement helps sellers get in tune with today’s buyers, so they can connect, build relationships, gain trust, and close deals.

Focus on the Customer Experience

“67% of consumers site bad experiences as the reason for churn.”

Because of this, it’s important to focus all efforts on improving the customer experience. This is the best chance at holding onto existing customers and creating new ones. For example, you can help your sales team personalize their customer communications, this we explain in the next section, but in short, read customer feedback via social media channels, review sites, or any other platforms where they have a chance to speak and voice their opinions. Then listen to them and take their suggestions and feedback seriously. If you start to see a pattern with issues or feedback, you know this is something you need to address.

Based on what you learn here provide value to customers through new tools or training to help increase user adoption after the sale. This customer-centric approach to sales enablement will help your sales team engage with customers and build better and longer-term relationships. A great customer experience is a competitive advantage in any industry. A compelling journey is made of consistent and cohesive messaging and delivers unique insights that are truly valuable to your customers.

Our suggestion?
Take a look through your client portfolio and pick 3-5 clients to focus on for this phase. Take a glimpse into the journeys of their various stakeholders. Then, document patterns, key touchpoints, and how the team could use your findings to inform strategy. Once your journey map is complete, you will have a clearer understanding of where your messages can have a more significant impact, and you’ll spark new ideas to improve the customer journey at every touchpoint. Then you can also start to manage prospects this same way.

Create Content for the Customer and their Journey

So, now you understand the customer journey. What’s next? Focus on content. Customers have gone from trusting a majority of their buying process to the sales rep to now taking it on themselves. Meaning, customers are going through the journey alone until they are ready to make that purchase, they are doing online research by themselves, they are asking friends, looking at review sites, etc. The result? Salespeople have less of an impact on customer decisions.
Because of this, it’s important to make sure that there is plenty of material out there to answer customer questions as they are conducting their research online.

As we mentioned in our last article, marketing and sales need to be aligned, especially when it comes to content. With a growing emphasis placed on marketing-sales alignment, building an established rapport between both teams is more important now than ever before. Your marketing team is the one creating content for the website, social media, white papers, or anything else that your customer is most likely reading online. This means, if marketing understands your ideas and conversations with your prospects, then they can start creating more relevant content on these other channels as well. A unified brand message and a consistent tone will help to reassure customers and build their trust. Meanwhile, working together on lead qualification and nurturing helps ensure the right contacts are going through to sales funnel and being followed up appropriately.

Our suggestion?
Set a regular weekly or biweekly meeting between Marketing and Sales to share ideas, gather feedback, and learn from one another.

Commit to consistency.

Overall, there needs to be greater personalization, more listening, and overall, an increased sense that the customer is the center of every business. In 2019, companies that don’t implement a buyer-centric growth strategy may find themselves facing an uphill struggle.

In the end, it’s all about customer — and sales — enablement.

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