If your sales reps are just not getting the results you need, it's time to use a new approach. Traditional sales processes often fall short today because B2B purchasers have changed. They don't count on sales people to engage in effective discovery for them and then come up with intricate solutions. Many companies handle these tasks themselves, and if you don't understand how your sales reps fit in to the new B2B environment, your reps may come across as annoying.
Many B2B buyers are doing the groundwork themselves, figuring out what they need, where they can get it, and how much it's going to cost. So is there a place for your sales reps in this equation? Absolutely. You just need to shift the way you think about the consultative sales process and the required adjustments that need to be made.
In order to improve sales effectiveness you must consider the insight selling process, and using insight data as the new driver for sales effectiveness management.
Disrupting the Buyer's Framework
One of the most important things your sales reps can do is challenge the buyer’s framework. As mentioned, many purchasers are doing the groundwork themselves and feel like they know what their needs are. A recent CEB study shows that 60% of the information that the buyer feels they need to make an informed decision is gathered before they speak with your sales rep. Buyers are no longer prepared to engage in a lengthy discovery process. If your sales reps are going to succeed, they need to disrupt the buyer’s framework so that they are willing to engage. They must present risks that were not being considered, opportunities that were unknown or engagements that compel participation. This will establish your rep as an expert and assist in initiating the discussion.
A Framework for Insight Selling
In the regular course of calls and meetings we expect our sales reps to uncover key insights – needs, attitudes, interests, purchasing factors, timing and budget to name a few. As an organization, you can develop a unique set of insights that you feel should be uncovered for a successful engagement and outcome. Here are some sample questions to get you thinking about insight selling and what information will be most useful to your sales reps:
- Who are the decision makers and influencers?
- Who are our competitors?
- What are the customer's needs, interests, and preferences?
- What is the customer's budget?
- What is the customer's timing for this purchasing decision?
- What are the key decision factors
- Does the customer appreciate the value of our products and services?
- What objections have been raised and which have been overcome
By gathering and then databasing your key organizational insights, your sales reps can start to self-manage and improve their performance be seeing the gaps in their discovery and planning best responses to answers that are garnered.