No one predicted the sales environment that exists today. Likewise, no one can confidently predict the road ahead. Virtual selling presents a cost-effective solution to current selling challenges — and likely will continue to be an integral part of any future mix of sales conversations.
The foundations of value-oriented selling do not change in a virtual environment — they actually become even more important. In a “Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™” fashion, sellers must put their prospect at the center of a sales conversation rather than pitching a product. This fosters value-based partnerships that extend benefits in both directions for years — something that has been true and will continue to be true.
Take a moment and assess your marketing and sales teams’ abilities to interact effectively and valuably in a virtual environment.
Are they pushing products? Or are they utilizing a “Seek to Serve” selling strategy through this new channel of communication? Although the future is unknown, your selling does not have to be.
In a virtual environment, sellers must work even harder now to capture a prospect’s attention and hold it by sharing content that is RICH™. In this four-part series, Mereo experts will dissect each of the four aspects of RICH virtual content — and how you can win an unfair share™ and continue down the path toward sustainable revenue performance by practicing it.
The Failure of the ‘Yes-Man.’
Saying “yes” to your buyers and clients can seem appealing. Is this what you want to hear? We will not bring up the things you do not want to hear. We will agree with what you think and with what you want to do, even if it is not the right solution for you.
Yet, according to a recent study conducted by Aberdeen Group, B2B buyers gravitate toward sellers who can sharpen the buyer’s competitive advantage and provide an appealing long-term solution vision, among many other things. Likewise, 65% of buyers still see value in discussing their situations with salespeople, according to a recent CSO Insights study.
Yet, 30% of the time buyers are not engaging sellers until after they have identified and clarified their needs — and another 26% are not engaging with sellers until after they have identified a solution (CSO Insights).
Uncovered in this same CSO Insights study, though, was a massive number of buyers — 90% — who noted they are willing – and even welcome – to engage salespeople earlier in their buying process, that is if the salesperson could provide specific value. This does not translate to agreeable sellers but rather highly informed, strategic and supporting sellers.
The gap between buyers and sellers remains in large part because of this reality: B2B sellers are not offering what their target B2B buyer finds as valuable. They fear bringing up the elephant in the room: the pain.
Make Room For Complex Realities Unique to Your Audience. Boldly Lead With the Complicated.
A seller who “Seeks to Serve, Not to Sell™” begins first by understanding how to deliver relevant value to their target buyer, long before there are dollar signs associated with the relationship.
This translates to a buyer’s pain: What business problems are keeping them and their organization from reaching their goals? What regulations does this target buyer have to navigate through that are hindering their business? What market conditions are they facing?
Issues for a business often appear and persist because they are complex and therefore are inherently risky for the business and the buyer to address. Risk creates a higher threshold for action — it requires more value to move from status quo. Risk also creates interest and urgency — in talking, in understanding current trends, in relating to what others are doing and in removing the risk if the buyer believes your sellers to be credible and your solution to be relevantly valuable. For another take, look to our friends at Eyeful Presentations who share a great guide to remote presentations.
RICH IDEAS IN PRACTICE
- What similar client use cases are relevant to this buyer’s pain?
- How can you provide a novel solution to an age-old problem?
- What pains are harming your buyer that they are ignoring?
- If your buyer ignores the problem, what impact does that have?
Seek to Serve™ Virtually Everywhere
Prepare your teams now to engage with relevance, innovation, complexities and hard proof in a virtual content setting — and reap the benefits a mutually beneficial relationship built on trust and value.