By Shelley Cernel
Most companies today, B2B or B2C, would consider themselves to be customer – centric. And why not? According to Adobe, organizations with this mentality have been found to be 60% more profitable compared to companies that place less focus on their customers.
But what exactly does it mean to be “customer-centric”? Well, the term refers to conducting business in a way that creates a positive experience for the buyer from pre-sale all the way through to post-sale. The outcome is a long-term relationship with buyers, customer loyalty, and a brand ambassador who will support your business and make referrals. As evidence to this fact, consider that it costs 5x more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one.
But the thing is that not all customers may be right for your business. While a customer-centric philosophy has good intentions and can indeed be valuable from a business point of view, it can also become an excuse for unruly or unacceptable customer behavior. For example, regardless of your efforts, there will always be that one person who will simply never be satisfied. Time and money are finite resources at most organizations, and your sales reps already spend 2/3 of their day away from core selling activities. An unruly customer can put a strain on those already limited means, and continuing to dedicate bandwidth to unreasonable customers means less focus on other, more profitable buyers. In this situation, tolerance can be disheartening for your sales reps and disastrous for your bottom-line. If it gets to the point where a customer has taken a disproportionate amount of resources that could more productively be allotted to other buyers and you have tried your best to accommodate them, it may be time to move on.
More importantly, though, it shouldn’t ever have to get to this point. Remember: quality over quantity. The sales team should understand how to vet and secure the right customers.
Read ahead to learn four tips for finding and converting top-notch customers!
1) Know Your Audience
With the aforementioned strain on resources, you simply can’t sell to everybody. So make the most of your time and of your prospects’ time by targeting buyers who are the right fit for your company. The more qualified your leads are, the better your chances are of making a sale.
The key is in having a clear profile of your ideal customer. What are their demographics, psychographics, and geographics? What are their pain points and challenges? With these answers in mind, how does your product or service add value to the buyer? If you are unable to determine the value, then that prospect simply may not be a good fit.
2) Set Customer Expectations
Now that you have your buyer in-hand, go ahead and define the expectations up front. What are your intentions as the sales rep and what is expected of the prospect? Do both parties know who needs to be involved both during and after the sales process? Do you share an understanding of what are reasonable expectations for factors such as price, quality, and timeline? If there are any discrepancies, go ahead and work them out at the beginning so that you don’t stumble over roadblocks later in the sales process.
3) Build Meaningful Relationships
B2B buyers are looking for vendors who understand their business and the challenges they face. Truly get to know your prospects, demonstrate an understanding of their pain points, offer insights about their industry, and disrupt their assumptions about your product or service.
A sales enablement tool will help to develop these critical business relationships and build rep credibility. This technology enables reps to be proactive rather than reactive by helping them know what to say and when and by offering data on what works and what doesn’t so that reps can build relationships more quickly and effectively.
4) Add Value at Every Step of the Sales Process
Another strategy to help build those relationships is to communicate value each time you engage with a prospect. Adding value to prospects means being able to provide perspective on the market that helps a customer see how to make their company better. It means knowing what to say to support a prospect’s business case. And it means being able to offer relevant content to help the prospect make a purchase decision. However, over 40% of sales reps are unable to effectively do this.
One way to overcome this barrier is by sharing content that is appropriate to the prospect’s stage in the sales cycle. Proactively offer them relevant pieces that address the aforementioned apprehensions, that demonstrate value and the ability to solve a problem, and that show how ROI can be attained. Sales enablement tools are able to automate this process and surface the right content at the right time based on the specific sales situation, increasing sales rep productivity and effectiveness.
Want to learn more? Check out this free ebook on Sales Enablement’s Role in Building a Seamless Customer Experience.
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