This article first appeared on Raoul Monks' Flume Sales Velocity blog.
It’s tough out there!
Your customers’ priorities have changed and will continue to do so. Sellers are getting ghosted, buyers are more focussed on price than they were 6 months ago, and they only want to engage if you align with what’s important to them right now. Messaging how you did last year just doesn’t cut it – you need to listen to your buyers, and work with them to ensure you are giving them what they actually want, not what you think they want. You should be adding value in every single conversation.
Change is scary – and risky too.
Doing something different takes time, effort, risk and investment. There has to be an exceptional reason for doing so, because otherwise your customers will stick with what they’ve always done. Dig deep to find out what the case for change is – that means asking the right questions and actively listening to the answer. You can use the gap you identify to build a case for your solution, exploring the implications for your customer if they don’t make that change. Use stories, testimonials and insights to bring the change to life, and to help your customer imagine making that change.
Much like a kid in a sweetshop, many buyers are indecisive.
Taking a risk on a new approach puts them in the spotlight – and that’s not where they want to be if things go wrong. This risk leads to indecision, and many salespeople focus on the ‘fear’ of not changing. But why would you want to scare your customer? The risk of indecision grows because your client is now more worried than before, and less likely to make a decision. Instead, build their confidence by making recommendations, anticipating objections and raise them in advance, unprompted. De-risk the decision and make it easy for your buyer to say yes.
Buying committees are bigger and more senior than ever before
According to Gartner, there are now 11 decision makers in every B2B deal. Putting your faith and focus into just one stakeholder puts your deal at risk, as other stakeholders may hold strong opinions and be more influential. You need to assess and improve your relationship with each stakeholder. Identify what drives them, how committed they are to change, how closely they align with your brand and solution, and their ability to influence internally. This approach will illustrate opportunities and risks, and where you need to focus your approach.
Doing more with less.
As a scroll through your LinkedIn feed will make clear, companies and buyers are looking to save money, not spend it. Just because you’ve worked with partners before doesn’t future-proof your relationship. As well as new business, you need to maintain your focus on client retention and growing revenue from existing customers. How can you show what you’ve already achieved, add more value, and become a ’must-buy’ for the next round of growth?