“I know I need to be unique and different when talking to customers; but I don’t know how?”
I had just finished running a sales training session for a group of key account reps, when a participant came up to me and very quietly uttered the above. He was clearly embarrassed and it got me thinking: if he was willing to admit his distress; how many others were feeling the same but were too shy to come forward to address it?
SiriusDecisions reports that 71 percent of sales leaders say it is the salesperson’s inability to articulate value to the customer that separates high performers from low performers. Which means only 29 percent of sales conversations hold any value to a customer.
The idea of providing a unique, valuable experience to customers is at the top of every seller’s mind. Yet organizations do not provide the seller the materials or training they need to provide that unique insight. The company may train on the product; but what customers really care about is how to be better at their business.
In my experience, I have found there are three key things to consider when assisting sales teams in providing value in a customer interaction:
- Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Sales enablers and modern marketers should be out in the field with sales reps, hearing the language of the customer, understanding the customer’s journey so we can create materials and training that will support our sales teams in providing unique insight.
- Help the customer navigate the buying process. When I have this discussion with Sales, quite often I get the response that it’s Marketing’s job to provide them with that unique insight. WRONG. Who knows the customer better than YOU, Sales? Who interacts with the customer every day, learning about their industry, their organizational structure, their personal goals, the pitfalls of their purchasing/legal teams? Who can makes those connections between what other customers have done to achieve success and the customer you are trying to woo?
- Educate the customer on important issues in their business. Sales professionals are the subject matter experts on their accounts. They know what has worked well for customers and how the solution can help the customer grow their business. Empower Sales to challenge the customer’s way of thinking, by helping them to draw parallels with other customers who were in the same position before buying the solution.
As a first step in creating your organization’s unique insight, review what your customers say encouraged them to buy from you. You may be surprised and delighted by what you hear!