Whichever data or statistics you look at, it’s pretty clear that B2B buyers’ use of the web to make purchasing decisions is increasing exponentially. They become very comfortable with setting solutions criteria on their own; 61% of B2B buying starts online, and with artificial intelligence transforming B2B buying, this percentage will dramatically increase. By the time you meet a prospect, they are halfway through their buying process, know exactly what they want, and ask you to put a price on their identified solution. Do buyers need a salesperson at all?
This totally depends on your sales approach and the objective you have in mind and what you want to achieve in your customer meetings. If your sales approach is from the 1990s you will not get much selling time with buyers described above. After your twelfth question, they may say: “that was interesting, thank you for coming”, but you will never get a second appointment.
Instead, in the new way of selling, Selling with the Buyer’s Perspective, the questions you ask are not for your benefit, but more for the customer to discover something about themselves. About their situation, their set-up, their goals, and after talking to you they wonder if they have made the right choices before. With having their growth, their competitiveness, and their profit targets in mind you are not selling solutions. What you sell is your advice of laying out strategic advantages for the customer once they make a change.
Do buyers need a salesperson at all? The answer is an absolute Yes! Providing you meet their new expectations. In this ever-changing world, accelerated by globalization, customers may come across as if they are very well informed. However, in fact, they are probably overwhelmed with all the available information, unclear about all the options, and uncertain what to do. This is the most single reason why customers fall back on their status quo and fix things rather than making a change. Customers are hungry for insights, so share things they do not know and are relevant to their business situation. They are screaming at salespeople: “Please tell me something I do not know”! You got to help them to make sense of a world that right now is on fire.
You are not an expert in every industry. But you do know where the customer’s challenges intersect with what you know best. Have a theory, have a point of view on why your customer should make a change right now. Buyers need a salesperson after all.
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