The hard sell rarely works: it’s a turn-off, likely to lose you as many customers as you might gain.
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? We’ve all experienced persistent calls from that company – that sales team – that somehow can’t seem to accept that you’re not interested, or pounced on by desperate-looking sales people the instant we enter a shop. Most of the time it’s annoying and off-putting, right?
But, if we know this as consumers, why do we struggle to get away from the “sell, sell, sell” attitude when the shoe is on the other foot and we are the business looking to grow?
The importance of sales alignment
Times are changing. With the growth of the internet and as new players enter the marketplace, people’s buying habits are changing. Each subsequent generation is more socially conscious than the next, and this – together with the increased choice – has empowered consumers to vote with their feet if they are put off by any element of a company’s approach or operations.
The sales function has had to adapt. Rather than pushing the hard sell, today’s top performers are working hard to provide useful information that meets the needs of their prospects and customers and helps them make up their own mind whether or not to buy.
Aligning sales efforts with customer needs requires a business to understand and unpick the journey its customers go on from first contact to purchase (the buyer journey), and then provide prospects with what they need at each stage of that journey.
From this sales alignment comes the concept of frictionless selling. This is the art of making it as easy as possible for someone to buy from your company by removing barriers and roadblocks, and giving them the information they need at the point at which they need it.
Sounds straightforward enough but, in order to be successful, businesses need to shift their focus off the hard sell and ensure everyone that comes into contact with their company feels like they have benefitted from it in some way, whether by finding out something from a blog or report, or by purchasing something that will solve their problem.
It is this shift in mindset from overtly trying to sell that will generate more sales in the long run for businesses that get it right.
A guide to frictionless selling
So, how do you get it right? Here is our six-step guide.
- Start with your website
Most prospects will be introduced to your company through your website, so fill it full of interesting and informative content that gives them what they need.
- Get your sales team on board
Make sure your sales people understand what you are trying to achieve and why. They talk to your prospects every day and will be able to tell you who they are, what they need and the sort of content they like.
- Identify good fit leads
Invest in a good quality CRM system that will help you prioritise your leads and identify those that are worth following up. Your sales people won’t waste time on people that will never buy from you and can focus on helping prospects find the information they need or make buying decisions.
- Connect in a fresh way
Introducing conversational marketing tools like chatbots on your website will help you guide people towards the information they need and avoid the risk of them clicking off your site if they fail to find it. Consider using video as a fresh way to answer questions or demonstrate how something works.
- Explore your buyers’ needs
Take an in-depth look at your prospects’ needs and consider how you might be able to help. Don’t be limited by the size of the budget you are offered – base your solutions on the problem you are trying to solve. If budget limits you at a later date, so be it.
6. Be the expert
If you’ve done everything right up to this point then your prospect trusts you to be the expert on what they need. Don’t be afraid to advise and guide them towards the best solution to their problem or challenge, even if it is different to what they think or thought they might need. They need you to deliver results, not just be a “yes man” to get their money. Remember that’s why they came to you in the first place – your expertise in this area.
To find out more about to achieve frictionless sales, give us a call today.