2021 Buyer Preferences Study: Reconnecting with buyers
Buyers are becoming harder to please, and sellers are failing to prove their value. Discover how sales organizations can overcome this gap.
In today’s business selling environment, change is a constant. That makes selling — like everything else — a moving target and a tougher proposition than ever before.
In fact, our 2020-2021 Sales Performance Study showed that only slightly more than half of sales representatives (53%) are meeting or exceeding their quotas.
What can help sellers hit their sales targets? Improving their selling process by building relationships, focusing on two elements: perspective and, within it, the buyer’s valid business reason (VBR) for engaging with a seller.
In sales transactions, buyers — who are consumers first — are becoming accustomed to a world in which human interaction is less and less central to the sale.
Buyers are more informed than ever. They know that they can accomplish many daily tasks like ordering groceries without ever needing to interact with a human in any way. And online sales are even further removed from the relationships that used to drive purchasing.
So why would buyers expect that they would need to engage with a salesperson on a business deal, much less build an ongoing relationship with that person?
Despite these changes in the buying process, relationships still drive sales. So, you have to give buyers a valid business reason to trust you and engage with you. This goes way beyond having a solid selling process and reliable product information. In short, you have to offer the buyer a knowledgeable perspective.
Research has shown that buyers who build longer-term, more fruitful relationships with sellers expect several things from salespeople. One top expectation is that the seller shares insights and expertise, or what we call “perspective.” Sellers who offer perspective find themselves armed with a key differentiator from their competition.
How can you offer that perspective? Buyers want sellers who help them progress their buying process, change their vision, and expand their expertise. That knowledge might take the form of market research that helps your customers change the way they’re thinking about a problem. It might be information that your prospects can take back to the office and share with their peers and managers. Or it might even be the kind of advice that helps your prospects become better at their job.
Whatever form it takes, a seller who’s established this perspective still needs to share it with potential buyers—which is where the valid business reason (VBR) comes into play.
A VBR is your customer’s reason for agreeing to meet with you. Oftentimes, the VBR is not the same for each of the stakeholders that you meet with, which is why it is important to understand what a buyer’s VBR is before the meeting.
An effective VBR shows that you’ve given thought to your customer’s unique challenges and that you have solutions that will help them resolve their pain points. Our sales training programs help your sellers develop a VBR and present it to buyers.
What does a VBR look like? Its name is instructive, but it has these key characteristics:
To ensure that your VBR will help you hit your sales targets, ask yourself the following five questions.
Here’s an example of an effective VBR:
“We’ve had a lot of success in helping businesses like yours improve revenue — by up to 20 percent in some cases — by giving their salespeople more time to devote to selling. I’d love to meet you next week to see how we can do the same for you.”
Now it’s your turn to start building deeper relationships with your prospects based on perspective. It’s time to define your VBR.
Contact us and learn more about how we can help your organization with advanced sales training courses.