What do buyers expect from sellers in the new world of b2b sales? What are the skills salespeople need to compete more effectively today?
In the last message we showed how a buyer wants both insight and relevance from sales engagements. To do this salespeople must have certain skills that set them apart. A recent research study* into complex buying highlighted two above all others:
Understand the value of their solutions.
Research showed over 80% of buyers expected sellers to know about their solutions.
This seems obvious but this is not something that all salespeople do very well.
As a minimum, a rep must know the ‘data sheet’ information. To excel you need to go a step further.
To differentiate in the mass of sales teams you need to make your data sheet information relevant to the buyer. Help them to see why they need to care about this issue and the value your solution brings.
Bring innovative ideas.
The study showed that more than 70% of respondents highly valued innovative ideas from salespeople.
This is a key differentiating behaviour for the best performers, as seen through the eyes of a buyer.
Buyers have a tough job to do themselves, often keeping so many plates spinning, so they value proactive innovative ideas.
How are you stepping up from feature-based selling, towards value-based selling? What are your relevant and innovative ideas to help your customers succeed?
*The research study was completed in late 2015 by a project team at Sheffield Hallam University, completing this as part of their Masters degree in Marketing.