It’s hard for sales organizations to stand out in the market—and it’s especially challenging to engage buyers who have progressed significantly down the purchase cycle before ever engaging sellers for input.
One important way for sellers shape and grow deals is to help buyers identify and prioritize their needs, but now buyers often wait until they are ready to negotiate to engage them. This creates a serious challenge for sellers—with little time and space to differentiate themselves, all sellers start to look alike to buyers. Less than one-third of buyers find that one seller outshines the rest, according to the CSO Insights 2018 Buyer Preferences Study.
It’s critical that sales organizations develop a B2B sales strategy that helps their sales team gain a competitive edge—and one way to do that is to bring perspective to every sales conversation. Conceptual Selling with Perspective, the newly updated methodology from Miller Heiman Group delivers effective selling strategies sellers can use during sales planning to frame their messaging, differentiate their solution and move sales opportunities forward. By adding perspective to this methodology and our iconic Green Sheets, sellers can bring insights and education to every conversation they have with a prospect or customer, helping them reframe their thinking.
Conceptual Selling with Perspective teaches sellers and sales organizations how to provide value to their customers every time they interact. Here are three strategies you should adopt now:
1. Tailor the Messaging
When selling, it’s important to connect the dots between your customer’s goals and what your organization brings to the table. But salespeople can’t just show up and monopolize the conversation, spewing out facts and overwhelming buyers with an information dump—particularly if a buyer brings them in late in the the purchasing cycle.
Sellers need to know two things each time they meet with buyers:
- Where the buyer is in the decision-making process.
- What information is likely to resonate with different decision makers. What’s important to a finance officer likely won’t be the same as the vice president of operations because information that convinces a finance officer to move forward won’t be as compelling to a vice president of operations.
Sellers need to display their business acumen and understanding of a client while avoiding a one-sided conversation. By asking questions designed to elicit insights during conversations with buyers, salespeople gather the information they need to inform their recommendations, enabling them to highlight their expertise, convey a deep understanding of the buyer’s business model and express their unique strengths in a way that resonates with the buying influence.
2. Answer the “So What?” Question
Customers find even the most innovative features available on the market meaningless if sellers don’t describe them in a way that offers them value.
That’s why it’s important for sellers to understand their buyers’ pain points and focus on how their solution assists in mitigating those points, rather than sharing features and facts related to it.
Sellers need to substantiate the feature’s worth to buyers, convincing them that a positive outcome is in reach—and that their solution makes that outcome achievable.
3. Provide Perspective
The strongest sellers, the ones that exceed expectations and become the seller that distinguishes themselves from others, always look for opportunities to help customers do whatever it is that they want to do. It’s taking a customer-centric approach to all selling activities. It’s offering perspective—the ideas, insights and other information that encourage buyers to think and act differently.
That’s easy to understand, but difficult to execute. The key to delivering perspective is to unearth the value drivers that motivate buyers.
Sellers should focus on four key value drivers in delivering perspective:
- Unseen or unrecognized problems: Provide value by helping buyers see issues or risks that they weren’t aware they needed to address
- Unanticipated solutions: Bring buyers creative solutions that would be faster, less expensive or better quality than their current state
- Unseen opportunity: Be seen as an expert by helping them discover a new market or product opportunity.
- Broker of capabilities: Bring buyers solutions that create partnerships and synergies to fill gaps in their capabilities. If they lack the ability to perform a task in-house, connect them with a vendor that offers that service so you’re seen as a solution-based partner. This gives sellers an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the company, business acumen and industry knowledge at the highest, most strategic level.
When sellers deliver value in these four areas, they bring buyers perspective that sets them apart. This goes beyond reputation—CSO Insights research shows that sellers who offer perspective have significantly better win rates and are more likely to have deeper customer relationships.
Start Creating Messages That Bring More Perspective and Win More Deals
To create a winning B2B sales strategy supported by effective messaging, sellers need to tailor their sales conversations to their buyer’s role, explain the value of their solutions in terms that matter to buyers and share perspective in every interaction.
Grabbing your buyer’s attention by providing value opens the door to deeper sales conversations and is the key to effective selling. When you uncover the skills that help you develop perspective and build better relationships, you’ll gain stronger commitments and master the ability to ask your buyers the right questions.
Ready to get started? Learn more about Conceptual Selling with Perspective, now available in digital or instructor-led training modalities.