As the B2B sales landscape becomes more complex, traditional sales processes no longer entice, engage, or win over modern buyers.
In order for sellers to remain competitive in today’s fast-changing business landscape, they must understand and adapt to new buyer behaviour and effectively exceed expectations at every turn.
So, what are the traits that make up winning sellers? Let’s take a look at their anatomy and the steps that leaders can take to nurture more successful reps.
Top-performing sales reps diligently plan for early-stage buyer interactions, which are key to establishing credibility. Given that 74% of buyers choose the sales rep that was first to add value and insight, this preparation phase is essential for laying the foundation for success.
Top-performing sellers in today’s B2B environment have one thing in common — they understand that modern buyers do their homework, traveling 57% of the buyer’s journey before interacting with a seller. As a result, buyers expect reps to be highly knowledgeable and provide new, insightful information beyond what they have already researched. Proactively preparing for early-stage buyer interactions is imperative to a seller’s success given 74% of buyers choose the sales rep that was first to add value and insight.
Today’s sellers have to move faster than ever to stay ahead of their prospects and competition. Sellers who provide timely, valuable responses have greater success rates with today’s buyers. A survey conducted by Demand Gen Report found that 76% of B2B buyers said that a timely response from a vendor was important to their decision-making process.
Sellers can no longer expect that cold calls and trade shows will result in quality interactions with prospects. Instead, they must take an omni-channel approach to sales and meet buyers everywhere they are, wherever they are. Still using email as the primary modes of communication? If so, that’s not enough either. Only 22% of emails that are sent by businesses are opened, and 13% are deleted without ever being opened or read.
When stakeholders involved in a purchase decision are finally ready to engage with sellers, they expect to receive a personalised response with subject matter expertise. Research by SiriusDecisions reports that not only do buyers receive 22% more content from winning reps, but the types of content they receive are used to demonstrate industry expertise versus vendor expertise.
Winning Sellers Require Great Tools and Training
Content that is rich with value-added guidance and subject matter expertise has become the cornerstone of buyer and seller interactions. As today’s buyers conduct their own research and travel most of the buyer’s journey alone, sellers must be prepared to provide valuable content that maps to their stage in the buyer’s journey, almost immediately. The challenge? Studies have shown that sales reps spend 40% of their time finding or creating content. If sellers are unable to locate the content they need, they will not be adequately prepared to beat out the competition for the modern buyer’s business. As a result, today’s sellers require tools that will allow them to organise and find the content they need when they need it. With the ability to quickly find the right content, sellers can have more engaging conversations with prospects which increases the chances of closing the deal.
Today’s buyers expect sellers to be nimble and knowledgeable enough to immediately send content that is valuable, personalised, and aligned to their journey. To navigate these new set of expectations, sellers need access to guidance that is easy to use, dynamic, digital, and intuitive — such as a digital sales playbook. A study conducted by Aberdeen Group uncovered that 42% of best-in-class companies use sales playbooks, resulting in better attainment of quota, higher rates of customer retention, and higher lead conversion rates.
As modern buyer expectations continue to evolve, ongoing training and development become a necessity. A SiriusDecisions survey found that high-performing organisations were 56% more likely than others to indicate that training delivery and reinforcement methods are highly effective. This reiterates the importance of equipping sellers to learn and evolve with their buyers, allowing them to sharpen their skills while adapting to the business landscape.
If organisations hope to create winning sellers, they must first enable them with the tools and training they need to navigate the increasingly more complex sales process. If they are not equipped, sellers will lose to more nimble and better-prepared competitors, and high-performing sales reps will seek out new opportunities.
Check out the full infographic here for a breakdown of successful sellers and how they win over the modern buyer.
In our latest eBook, available for download now, you’ll learn that before sellers can go beyond buyer expectations, they must be enabled with modern tools and training and adopt the characteristics of top-performers. To learn more secrets to creating winning sellers, download your copy of the eBook now.