The challenge facing business to business salespeople is getting tougher. The buying committee could be up to 14 people in technology sales.
How does a modern salesperson grapple with that level of complexity across a disparate group of individuals with potentially competing agendas?
Social and in particular, Linkedin is a powerful way to make connections across the buying team, and share appropriate content and insight to help inform them on their decision making journey.
In a recent piece of research from the team at Linkedin after interviewing buying committees, combined with my own experience the following provide some insights on modern sales approaches that will help the sales team to prosper going forward.
We have discovered that the buying team craves credible information from trusted sources when they decide to consume it. The speculative brochure through the post probably ends up in the bin. Buyers are researching in their own time, looking for insights beyond the corporate marketing speak.
Trust is a huge component, and lack of it can lose a deal for a salesperson. Laying the foundations, start even before the buyer has recognises they have a problem. Through social posts, a salesperson builds their credibility, demonstrates knowledge and can provide examples of where they have helped their clients, thus repositioning them in the mind of their prospects.
Relevance and responsiveness are essential to help a buying committee decide in your favour. Open, honest and well-timed communication can that can demonstrate that the salesperson is in for the client, and not just their quota can make the difference.
Clients want to work with organisations who are also in it for the long term. Turning up, near the end of the quarter, pitching the latest product because it's on a special offer, are no-nos. Clients want vendors that think strategically. It may be counter to the forecast cycle within the selling organisation, but acting long term pays off.
Finally, nobody wants a cold call. It is according to this buyer a "desperate act" that demonstrates a lack of confidence.
We call the above modern selling.
A modern sales team knows the answers, they consistently create informative content (on whatever platform) that generates reactions, stimulates conversations, and brings them closer to all the members of the buying team.
[Cold calling] is a desperate act, which leads me to believe they’re not confident in their subject matter.