How Buyer Behavior has Impacted the Transformation of Sales
Transformation of Sales:
Transformation of sales has been significant in recent years. The professional business world continues to undergo revolutions that change how selling is done. The catalyst for much of this transformation has come from changes in buyer behavior. The buyer has never been more in the driver’s seat, and the way that salespeople sell has become more important than what is being sold.
Changes in Buyer Behavior:
The changes in buyer behavior have mostly come about as a result of their access to information. It used to be that salespeople were the keepers of information when it came to specifics about the product or service. If a buyer wanted to get that information, they had to go through the salesperson. This was great for salespeople because they had something to leverage. But now, there is a plethora of information available at the buyer’s fingertips. They can get detailed information, read reviews from others, and gather information about salesperson personas. With these easily accessible details, they are no longer looking to salespeople for information about what they are selling, but rather they are seeking someone who will add value to their life and help them solve problems.
The Importance of Being Buyer Centered:
It’s vital that salespeople learn to develop the right kind of narrative and message that evokes the buyer’s interest. Sales discussions must be focused on the buyer, and how the product or service can meet the customer’s needs. It’s no longer about revenue attainment, reaching a quota, or how much money you’ll be taking home if the sale closes. The root of the conversation has to be the buyer, and the salesperson must make this their primary focus in order to keep up with the transformation of sales.
How to be Buyer Centered:
It’s one thing to know the importance of being buyer centered, and another thing to actually put key practices into place that foster buyer centered interactions. If you are trying to sell without understanding the customer’s challenges, problems, sources of pain, various turmoils, and what their needs are, then you won’t be successful. One of the most important things salespeople can do is change the framework that they operate from. Typically, salespeople operate from a sales process that outlines specific steps and tasks to move an opportunity from lead to close. One of the great things about a sales process is that it can be customized and altered based on how a company chooses to sell. You can map the buyer journey, and then use this as the blueprint for your sales process.
Creating the Right Narrative:
Salespeople are consumers themselves. Too often, sales professionals forget to put themselves in the shoes of the buyer. Understanding this role is immensely helpful for getting insight into which selling narratives are most successful. Recall some of the typical messages that you say to buyers. Now consider how you would react to that message. Would you block it out immediately? Would you categorize that person as just trying to make a buck, and not actually trying to be helpful? The right narrative makes a huge difference, and salespeople need to be able to craft their content in a way that opens up an honest, mutual dialogue and discussion. The “sales spiel” is out, it’s more about creating value through relationships.
Information for this article was sourced from a video interview with sales experts Tony J. Hughes and Graham Hawkins.