Why Have a Customer-Centric Approach That Aligns to Your Sales Technology?
And Signs It’s Time to Get Help with Your Sales Technology Stack
The way of doing business has changed. Any company not laser focused on the customer and not aligning the buyer’s journey to their sales technology stack risks losing ground to their competition.
Here’s what every organization today needs to know about a customer-centered approach.
Think about Relationships, Not Transactions
In any business, it’s incredibly easy to become transactional. Companies spend a fortune on marketing to get their customers to buy (and then to buy again). Especially at the senior leadership level, it’s all too often about keeping the cash register ringing and the company moving forward.
The way to do that in today’s buying landscape, however, is not by thinking transactionally but by focusing on customer success and relationship building. With the right content and utilization of external resources, you can help your clients continually see value from your product or service, and you can drastically improve every step of the buyer’s journey.
Still thinking about the buyer’s journey as a simple funnel? Marketing guru Neil Patel wrote this interesting article about how the customer journey has changed today. Couple that with insight from our webinar on best account strategy practices, and you’ll be well positioned to have more success with today’s buyers.
Know Your Customers…Inside and Out
It’s not enough anymore to just identify your buyer personas. You need to know your customers to a much higher degree than just some cursory demographic information. The more you understand your customer, the more you can incorporate the relevant information into your strategy as a whole.
How do you know your customer? It’s largely about empathy. Put yourself in their shoes. Be curious. Ask questions—even if the answers are difficult or painful. Identify their pain points, challenges, needs, and wants. What goals are they trying to accomplish? When you’ve identified that, you can create content that speaks directly to them. When you’ve got your potential customer’s head nodding and when you’ve elicited engagement, that’s when you know you’re providing real value in your messaging.
This content can then be incorporated into your sales technology stack solutions to automate or to improve the process, saving your sales reps time and allowing them to get back to the important work of selling.
Alignment, Alignment, Alignment
The cross-functional alignment, cooperation, and information sharing between previously siloed departments is essential to a truly customer-centric approach. After all, you need the insight and expertise of every department to get this strategy right.
The process should often start with sales because they are closest to the customer. Give top performers a space and latitude to share their knowledge. Let that inform your content building. Bring in marketing to provide their insights into effective messaging and branding. Even consider implementing a revenue operations (RevOps) position to consolidate and to serve all revenue-generating units.
The exact processes and strategy will be different for every company, but best practices will always come from within. A team selling environment where everyone learns from each other and works together to reach customer goals is a great way to surpass competition who are still mired in more traditional ways of conducting business.
Prioritize Internal Adoption
Once you’ve changed your mind-set around how you approach the customer, it’s imperative to get a sales technology stack that supports your efforts. The right tools used in the right way can get your customer 80 percent of the way to a decision, and then engagement with a rep can come at the end for the last push.
Internal adoption of these solutions isn’t always a given, though. (In fact, adoption is an area where most companies fall down. That’s why we’ve compiled these tips for driving sales technology adoption.)
One of the biggest keys to success here is focusing on quick wins. Rather than trying to solve every problem at once, start small. Get those initial results, build the credibility of your sales technology stack, and that will establish a foundation for a system you can build on as you grow.
When Is It Time to Ask for Help?
These business changes involve a lot more than a few process tweaks. It’s an overhaul of mind-set and approach, but getting it right can be the difference between having tremendous success and being overtaken by competition.
Lots of companies who face these kinds of changes turn to consultants, but all too often a consultant will offer some advice…and then walk away. Just as businesses need to reconceptualize their selling approach, consultants too need to change how they operate.
The right consultant
- is not a person who comes in, offers a strategy, and leaves; the right consultant is the one who’s looking to become a trusted partner and to take the journey with you.
- doesn’t need to be prohibitively expensive.
- shouldn’t make you wait a year for your results.
- will conduct a budget audit to identify how to better allocate the money you’re already spending.
- isn’t your best friend; the right consultant is there to ask tough questions and to help you make decisions about capabilities and budget based on hard data and information.