This crisis has fundamentally changed the way buyers behave and sent a shockwave through tech sales. If businesses are to succeed in this most challenging of environments, they need to get their story right and completely change the way they message buyers.
Update your buyer personas
Life has become much more challenging and uncertain for many buyers. They are focused on themselves and surviving in their role, but they are being bombarded by sales people delivering generic, product-centric sales pitches.
Now more than ever, buyers need to feel that they have been chosen for the right reasons and that the sales approach has been tailored to them specifically. That requires a deep, psychographic buyer persona.
Key to getting there is to switch perspective and look at the world through their eyes. When we do that, the right way to message becomes clearer. Make sure that your sales people can answer the following questions for each of the buyers in their pipeline- if they can’t, consider that opportunity at risk:
- What do they spend their time doing?
- What are the results they care about?
- What are the challenges that you can help with?
- How they make decisions?
- What criteria do they care about?
Understand the ‘Why’
The truth is that buyers have never been particularly interested in us or what we sell. Not least because, for them, technology solutions often sound the same. In fact, according to the CEB, 86% of buyers don’t see a big enough difference between what you’re selling and what your closest competitor is selling to pay a premium or to advocate for it internally. A concept called the ‘Golden Circle’ is a great way to consider how salespeople can position themselves with buyers. Simon Sinek created the idea, based around the concept that the leading companies in the world messaged to their audience in a far more powerful and totally different way than anyone else. This concept is super relevant to our industry. Tech sales people have a habit of spending way too much time telling clients what their solution does, when, according to Sinek: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. What buyers have always cared about, is finding solutions to the challenges that they’re facing, so, showing that you understand the challenges that buyers are facing and linking that to why you exist should be where your messaging starts.
Lead to your differentiation
Making sure that a buyer knows why you are the only choice is obvious, but the way to achieve this with the most impact is a little counter-intuitive. Your sales people will know your differentiators and USP’s are and they probably shout about them all the time; however, from the buyer’s perspective, how much do they care? You may have the best functionality, but do they need it all? You may have the longest established brand, but maybe they want to be perceived as modern and innovative? Suddenly your differentiator is not as powerful, or, at worst, it puts them off.
If a buyer is not looking for a company who does something different in the way that only you do, then it is unlikely that your differentiator is going to cut through. The strongest sales people focus on helping the buyer choose in a certain way, before revealing that they are the only (or best-placed) solution to fit with these criteria. They teach the client what they need, before showing them why they are the only fit.
Flume Sales Training are committed to leading the charge on helping re-define sales excellence for a changed world. Click here to download Flume’s ‘Sales Excellence for a changed world benchmark’.