BREAKING NEWS: Buyers Have Changed
Posted By Amanda Wilson | May 14, 2014
Is anyone else tired of hearing “the buying journey has changed?” It seems like every article or blog I read about shifting the sales and marketing approach all begins with that statement. We then go through a myriad of data points that support that statement to prove its right. And I’m part of the problem - guarantee you can pull up a few of my old blog posts or bylines and pull that line from one or two.
But you know why I know that statement is true? Because I’m a buyer. We all are. Whether we’re buying a car, marketing automation software, life insurance, TVs, or sales automation solutions, we are all a buyer at some point. We know inherently that we expect more from the buying process. None of us want to be sold to, we want to be enabled to make the right decisions for ourselves. And we want peace of mind to know that if something goes wrong, if we make the wrong choice, someone will be there to help us fix it.
Why on earth can’t we do that when talking about sales execution? Somehow when we talk about enabling sales reps to sell more, deliver value, and shorten sales cycles, we talk in words like “mapping journeys” or “insight selling” or some other buzzword-jargon. We don’t just put ourselves in the buyer’s shoes. Think about the experience, not just the information or steps involved. When we talk about communicating value or providing insight - that’s what it means. Providing an experience that allows the buyer to make the right decision for them, not you.
Every sale is different. It just is. Our CEO Lewie Miller, who was a sales rep by trade, has stated this a thousand times: As many deals as he’s been a part of, not two have been the same. As much as organizations try to categorize sales transactions (SMB vs. Enterprise vs. Industry, etc.), it just doesn’t matter. Each one has a different person on the other end of the deal, new market pressures impacting decisions, or external considerations that a sales rep must consider.
This fact of sales, along with the focus on improving the overall buying experience, demands we think about sales in a whole new way. Stop talking about mapping content, communicating value, or any other buzzword that helps us sleep at night feeling like we’re doing our jobs. This is about the human on the other end of the phone, table or internet - put yourself in their shoes. What is the experience they are expecting?
Stop talking about the “mind shift” that’s needed, and just do it. As a sales rep, just make it happen. Demand tools and resources from your organization that allows you to sell how people want to buy - not how its more efficient or profitable for your organization.
I encourage you to share your thoughts below - agree or disagree, but offer your opinion. Just please don’t remind me buyers have changed. :-)