Flume have picked out 6 of the most important sales facts, stats and insights that B2B salespeople cannot ignore. These ideas shape everything that we do and below we share a few ideas on how to adapt to the new reality of sales.
Clients are looking to overcome challenges and achieve the results they need. Once they have identified the issues or objectives they will begin the search to find the right solution for them. This stat is scary for salespeople because what happens if we haven’t been in a position to influence the client’s decision-making process early enough? However, do not fret – there are ways to ensure that you are one of the lucky few suppliers they do choose to work with…
Content is everywhere but the key to successful content marketing is ensuring that it has to lead your clients to you.
You may have valuable insights or thought-provoking statistics to share but unless these start your client on the path to choosing you then there’s a danger that your hard work could end up winning the business for your competitors. How can you ensure your content leads to you and you alone?
Firstly, identify your true USPs. You may only have one USP or you might have several but it’s important that no other competitor can claim them. Why is the client not prioritising your differentiation in their business? What is the impact on the client’s business of not prioritising this differentiation? What will the client need to learn about their own business in order to prioritise your differentiation? Whatever the insight turns out to be, this could be the foundation for your potentially game-changing content piece that drives clients to you. We recommend reading CEB’s excellent book Challenger Customer for more depth on the power and practicalities of creating and leading with insights.
The “sales experience” refers to everything you do with your client. Despite what clients often say, cost is not the most important factor in deciding which supplier they work with. They need decisions they make and the actions they take to work. When your client’s boss asks them why they chose to work with a particular supplier, saying “it was the cheapest” is not going to cut it. Today’s top sellers understand that clients want to work with sales people who prioritise client results and focus everything they do to that end. The reality is, you are the differentiator.
Today’s top sellers are teaching their clients how to navigate their challenges and achieve their desired results. One powerful method for teaching clients is coaching; you encourage them to come to the right conclusions through structured, logical (but not scripted) questioning. Other successful methods for teaching include the use of research and insights as well as storytelling. The clearer it is to the client that their current approach or beliefs are not going to help them achieve their goals, the greater their urgency for change. If you have the solution to help them then you are in a very strong position.
Research produced by Regalix shows that (for a number of years now) one of your client’s top priorities has been trying to understand how their customers (your audience) make decisions and what messages and media platforms to use in order to influence that process. If you were wondering “what can I teach my clients?” then this is one example. It may seem obvious but it is remarkable how little the audience is considered when putting together effective campaigns.
When a customer chooses a drug online he is looking for a low price, not a drug property.
Clients and salespeople will often stick to what they know, what they’ve done before or what they hear is the latest and greatest approach in the market. In reality, the only reason why a campaign will work is because it is right for the audience and will progress them towards choosing your client’s solution.
Help your clients navigate the complexities of their customer’s decision-making process, the right messages to use and the best platforms for delivery.
This number has almost certainly gone up since it was first published and the impact on sales is huge. Each of these decision makers will influence the outcome of the sale and the more people involved, the harder it is to win the business. It will probably take longer for the decision to be made, too.
The reality is that selling to your personal contact is only a small part of the process. Successful sellers work with their contact in order to navigate the buying process quickly and successfully, putting together powerful proposals that sell to the group, not just their contact.
So, what are the main lessons to be drawn from the above?
At Flume, we’re committed to helping B2B sales teams adapt to the modern buyer. We’ll review your organisation’s sales structure and see how your team measures up against the strongest salespeople, then give them the skills to become just like them. Get in touch today to find out more.
Sales have got a lot harder.
How does your team measure up?
We look at each stage of the CONNECT, CHANGE, CHOOSE, CHAMPION model in our Sales Excellence Benchmark to describe what top sales professionals are doing differently.
Sales kick-off meetings: How to use the momentum to power long-term change
17th May 2022
Drive retention and performance through a sales academy
9th March 2022
Call AI: The sales coaching technology you need in 2022
22nd February 2022
Drive real results from sales training in 2022: Why the traditional model doesn’t work
2nd February 2022
Sales Engagement Summit – Hosted by Raoul
16th December 2021
How business development reps can give buyers the confidence to say yes
3rd December 2021
The biggest mistake sales development reps make (and three things you should do instead)
9th November 2021
Five myths you need to know about customer success teams
11th October 2021
The four levers you can pull to increase sales velocity and how to make an impact
1st September 2021
Outcome Based Selling
3rd August 2021
Why most sales training doesn’t work and what to do about it
1st July 2021
3 reasons why writing a proper proposal is worth your time
18th March 2021
How to win a sales pitch…
26th February 2021
Sales Professionals: Why you shouldn’t assume you’ve got remote selling nailed
15th January 2021
Is your sales team ready for 2021?
4th January 2021
Selling Virtual Events
26th November 2020
Why salespeople must be ‘long-term greedy’: A five-step approach to winning more sales
13th November 2020
Closing skills: Why the pandemic has made it even harder to close that deal and what to do about it.
1st November 2020
Post Covid: How to fill your B2B pipeline with customers who do want to speak to you?
5th October 2020
3 steps for monetising virtual events
15th July 2020
18th May 2020
5 tips for closing in the crisis
4th May 2020
Using audience insights to engage with customers
20th April 2020
Biggest challenge of leading a remote sales team
15th April 2020
“Clients don’t want to engage with me”
6th April 2020
The world has changed – what should I sell?
31st March 2020
Leading remote sales teams
30th March 2020
Selling in a crisis
25th March 2020
Proposal writing research: Why your proposal doesn’t work
17th March 2020
How to accelerate your sponsorship revenue
17th February 2020
How selling to the individual increases your chance of them buying by 2x
7th February 2020
New Year, new rules. How to deliver sales training that actually works!
2nd January 2020
Half of B2B sales people will miss their 2020 targets. It’s time to shift perspective.
18th November 2019
Questions that drive more sales
15th November 2019
How to speed up prospect decision making… PART TWO
21st October 2019
How to speed up prospect decision making – PART ONE
14th October 2019
The biggest mistake salespeople make… and how to avoid it
26th July 2019
You have the right to demand more ROI from your sales training (and here’s how you get it)
16th May 2019
How to grow customer accounts this year
22nd March 2019
5 big sales mistakes from this year
23rd December 2018
How to turn the marketing trust crisis into sales opportunity
5th October 2018
Why is it so hard to find great business development talent?
21st September 2018
It might be hot outside but you still need a SCARF.
12th July 2018
The Peter Principle: Great Salesperson, Crap Manager
25th June 2018
The ‘great deal graveyard’ and how to avoid it
8th June 2018
The secret to selling in today’s market: Old-school to New-school
22nd March 2018
Why people DON’T buy from people they like
28th February 2018
What salespeople can learn from Nike
5th February 2018
Why “yes” doesn’t mean YES
26th January 2018
Take charge of your sales career in 2022
15th January 2018
How sales and marketing must work together to deliver results: tips from the front line of B2B selling
20th July 2016
6 facts and stats B2B sales people cannot ignore
26th May 2016
The amazing power of stories and 5 ways to make them sell
15th October 2015
The trouble with Blitz Days and how to increase their effectiveness
7th October 2015