The business landscape has changed. Buyers are now highly informed and as a result they are less likely to be open to meaningful engagement. This puts your reliance on the consultative sales process under great pressure. Here are the top 4 reasons you should consider teaching your secret weapon in sales and marketing.
1. Purchase Behavior has Changed
Everyone has a wealth of information at their fingertips at any moment. Prospects and customers are well informed and are now more able to solve many of their own problems. Consequently, potential customers are reaching out to sales later in the decision making process, after they have researched and defined their issues. At this point they have made many pre-purchase decisions, and the chance to differentiate yourself from the competition has become difficult. Now, when a prospect contacts a company for sales information, they are usually ready to make an immediate purchase decision.
The opportunity to influence the decision must come much earlier in the process, perhaps even before they are aware there is a specific need or issue.
2. You are Already Doing it
If you work in sales, you are probably already educating your customers. Teaching them how to get the most value and use out of your product, or how to install or deploy it. In order to create a competitive advantage, you need provide industry insights, industry information, or innovative strategies for success, from your earliest engagement. Make this the foundation of all your contact and the focal point of your sales process.
3. Better Targeting of Better Targets
When you set out to making teaching a priority, you need to focus your team’s efforts. What niches, markets and demographics do you want to serve? When you assess your company’s strengths and define your ideal customers, you can create a unique experience for them.
When your target market is well defined, and you become an advisor for that niche, you will be well differentiated. When you deliver actionable insights and expert opinion you will be perceived as the leader and will likely be in discussion with valuable decision-makers as they enter into new purchasing windows.
4. Reframing your Marketing Conversation
There is a difference in the balance of power between student and teacher compared to a sales relationship. When you make teaching the focus of your sales and marketing strategy, you elevate your discourse above the price, above even what solutions you offer your clients. When your teaching is what attracts clients to connect with you, you build a loyal following that trusts your advice and opinions.
When you are respected as a teacher, your audience will approach you, and the engagement is inbound. This is much more effective than approaching customers as a salesperson, whose focus is the sales and intrusively demanding attention. The teaching process provides your customer with so much more value and you will naturally be viewed for primary consideration.
Many companies are still focused solely on solution sales. They look for businesses with well-defined problems and tell them how they can solve those problems better than the competition. Elevate your sales process and strategy to a new level.Focus on providing value and presenting new and valuable insights to your customers and prospects. It is a worthwhile shift that will pay great dividends.