By Joseph Caprio, Sales Director at InsightSquared
The sales world has changed, and buyers are becoming smarter and beating sales reps at their own game. Fifty-seven percent of a purchase decision is now completed before there is even any interaction between the customer and the seller. The new sales 2.0 model is quickly superseding the door-to-door, aggressive field sales technique of the past.
By 2020, at a current annual growth rate of 7.5%, there will be 2.6 million inside sales representatives in the U.S. The advent of technology and the evolution of the educated customer has forever changed the way salespeople work.
As customers become smarter and more independent in their buying decisions, how should salespeople evolve? Start with these five strategies.
Understand the modern buyer.
Today’s deals are much more complex than the one-and-done sales of yesteryear. Your potential customers want to feel like they are receiving a personalized consultative experience before they take the plunge. Touting product features is not enough—the modern buyer wants to know exactly how the product will benefit his or her business and their specific pain points.
Tone down the aggressive push.
Door-to-door sales strategies meant that you had about a minute to close a deal. Understand that informed buyers make the sales process exactly that—a process. Change your game by being less pushy, and more empathetic to better understand what the prospect is saying.
Be a strategist.
Focus on the customer’s top pain points and counsel them through making a smart decision. Salespeople today should be a value-add for customers who already have most of the information needed, and just need to take a final step toward completing the sale. If you position yourself as a smart strategist to their biggest problems and pain-points by providing very specific solutions based on your product offering, they will see personal and tangible benefits.
Salespeople should have data at their fingertips because metrics and analytics can help close deals. Be comfortable talking about ROI and real numbers in an analytical manner. Numbers speak louder than elucidations, so evolved sales reps should have the analytics to back up their story.
If you’re going to be a salesperson of the next generation, you must be part of evoking the change. Be the end of the archaic and aggressive sales era by thinking ahead. Think outside of the box by treating every sale as an individual experience. The best sales habits come from trying something for the first time, and figuring out if it will work in most scenarios.
Say goodbye to the door-to-door, pushy salesperson era and say hello to personalization and a consultative approach. Today’s breed of sales reps are much more evolved and involved—and your customers expect this 2.0 approach.
Joe Caprio is the Sales Director at InsightSquared. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Bentley University and has a background in B2B, SMB Sales. Joe is passionate about Sales Process and Strategy, and is a Salesforce.com Best Practice Expert.