“Value selling” is becoming quite the buzz phrase these days, and with good reason. Over the past decade there has been a definite change in the way B2B buyers are approaching buying decisions and interactions with sales people. Today’s buyers are more empowered, skeptical and frugal than ever. But at the same time, their purchase process has gotten more complex – they have more stakeholders to answer to, more resource constraints, and more pressure to evaluate, select and justify solutions in less time. Buyers need consultative advice and help from vendors, and these days, are looking for a value-added sales approach (versus the traditional transactions approach) in their interactions with sales personnel.
The good news is that many marketers and sales enablement managers have realized this shift in buying behavior and have increased investments in value-focused content and interactive assessment tools. The bad news is that even with the increased awareness and investment, buyers consistently indicate that sales reps are not adding enough value to engagements. It appears the majority of engagements are still being perceived as transactional and not value-focused. In fact, Forrester research shows that less than 1 in 10 sales engagements are perceived as committed to customer’s outcomes, realized value and success!
These statistics continue. At Forrester’s annual Sales Enablement Forum, buyers were asked to characterize the agenda of a typical meeting with a salesperson, with these results:
- 27% of buyers indicated that sales only wanted to tell them about their products/services (a transactional focus)
- 41% said sales listened for a keyword or two, then launched into a prepared pitch (not really listening for the buyer’s issues and unique needs)
- That means only around 1 in 3 sales professionals are perceived as adding any value to the sales process!
So how do sales professionals leverage sales enablement technologies to help improve these engagement metrics? It takes a bit of behavior change. Sales needs to do much more LISTENING and much less TALKING in sales interactions to reveal the real issues your buyer is trying to solve. Then you have an opportunity to practice consultative selling by providing the RIGHT value-added content your buyer is looking for, in the FORMAT they are looking for. Sales enablement software, like RO|Enablement, helps increase value-added engagements by enabling the creation of customized web pages for your buyer, showcasing the content and collateral pieces speaking specifically to their challenges…even if not all the content is your company’s collateral. Showing that you thoroughly listened to the buyer’s challenge and providing them with collateral that speaks to the solution are ways to increase engagement and the perception of value in your sales interactions…everything buyers are yearning for to close the deal faster!