As a marketer, I have a theory about why certain sales forces become disengaged: the once critical and all-important “selling process” is really a “buying process.” Yup. As much as sellers want to guide and control the process, it’s really the buyers who are in charge.
Research shows that most buyers are already 60-70% through their buying process by the time they first engage with a seller. For some sellers, this might be a good thing as all the early stage “busy work” stuff is done. But for most sellers, it also means the buyer has already made significant stage gate decisions in the absence of any conversation with the seller. That’s not good because the seller doesn’t have an opportunity to frame the conversation around value. Instead, sellers are left to spew on about features and benefits (yawn) rather than precise value propositions. Sellers spewing is never a good thing.
The authors of this HBR blog post suggest what TechCXO sales and marketing partners have been preaching for a long time: oodles and oodles of data mean little if such data isn’t presented to potential buyers in customer-precise value propositions early in the buying/selling process.
Want to reinvigorate a sales team? Give them access to tools like DecisionLink which helps them automate the production of customer-precise value propositions. That will juice them up.
Value is at the heart of any sale. It’s also the secret ingredient that spices up a sales professional’s life.