Our modern selling environment has buyers in more control than ever. In fact, CSO Insights uncovered that 70.2% of B2B buyers wait to engage a salesperson until after they have fully defined their needs, and 44.2% have already identified solutions before engaging sales. In the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, this reality is likely to worsen.
This idea of frictionless selling will help lead your teams forward to Seek to Serve™ — but only if your selling is resulting in frictionless buying.
How can your selling organization make it as easy as possible for your buyer to go from a potentially unidentified pain to engaging your salesperson to buy and integrate your solution?
As our world is creeping out of the other side of major disruption, many of the answers will land you in a virtual environment. Learn how to serve your buyer and their journeys regardless the interface.
Frictionless Value Messaging
An all too common face-to-face conversation with a prospective buyer looks something like this:
Seller: “Last time we spoke, you were having troubles with <<challenge>>. What is the status of that now?” (You fill in the <<challenge>>.)
Buyer: “Oh we are making do. It is a bit annoying, but we have done it like this for years and it has worked out okay. I do not think it is worth my time to change it now.”
As CSO Insights has found — and as the market is currently heading deeper into this reality — sellers likely will not be given the opportunity to engage buyers in conversations so early in a buyer’s journey. The formula for a compelling sales framework remains, though: emphasizing a pain, introducing a specific solution, foretelling the gains and adding a touch of proof.
Sellers must get creative about how they present this information in a virtual-leaning selling environment where buyers hold the reins of control even more than before. Salespeople need to have their compelling, consistent value messaging prepared. But marketing also needs to embrace this and translate it to digital touchpoints with the buyer. Sales and marketing must work together to build sales tools and collateral that can stand powerfully in place of a personalized conversation.
Frictionless Virtual Buying
Beyond the compelling value messaging, sellers need to consider their virtual infrastructure, from website to teleconferencing tools — their ease of use and reliability — to user interfaces, digital support and user experience more than ever before.
In this day, where gathering in large groups can be a precarious activity and home offices may become more commonplace than office complexes, these items are taking a top spot in B2B selling. If any of your virtual interfaces with the buyer prove too difficult or clunky — if it adds friction — your buyer will likely find a more seamless, less tedious alternative. No longer can companies “deal with this later.” They must embrace the change now and do it as well as possible from the start to catch up with those who already foresaw this unyielding trend.
Regardless traditional or virtual, the truth is, we should not be focused on removing the friction from the selling but, in true Seek to Serve fashion, lasered-in on how best to remove the friction for the buyer.
- Selling means product-pushing. Seeking to serve means securing a solution to a problem.
- Selling translates to an exchange of products/services for money. Seeking to serve translates to relevant and meaningful (aka valuable) interactions where problems are solved.
- Selling lands deals. Seeking to serve builds long-term relationships and indefinite moments of truth for both parties to create more value.
In our post-COVID-19 environment, how can you remove friction from your buyers’ journeys? For more information about the industry changes you can expect to stay, and to prepare for them now, read Mereo principals’ predications.