As most of us are acutely aware, both consumer and business buyer behaviour has transitioned immensely during the last few years. Accordingly the requirements that the buyer needs from the seller have too.
The sales team used to be a source of information with which (together with competitor quotes), the buyer would determine their optimum supplier and do the deal accordingly. Whilst stats are different across different industries, it would appear that at least a minimum 50% of the buying decision has already taken place for the client meets a business development person.
So the question the buyer is more likely to be asking 'Why you'? as opposed to 'What can you do for me'?
So logically, no longer does simply sending a well timed email or telephone call mean you've stood out from the crowd to today's well-informed buyer. Ten years ago maybe.
So to compete we still need to be relevant, have great timing and be of (at least perceived) value to the buyer but now at least as important, is to stand out from the crowd.
Be better than our peers.
But was does better actually mean?
In reality, despite all of the information available on websites, forums, opinion sites, blogs etc, buyers don't always end up with the best solutions/suppliers. The flip-side of the coin for all of the information available would mean that every purchase would take months, as the buyer finds time to absorb everything.
So what does all this tell us?
It tells us that the modern day buyer is generally speaking, going to have the following behavioural traits:
- likely to be/feel (could be two different points) fairly well informed regarding what solution they need for the problem they have, before speaking with any sales people
- they are unlikely to have a complete understanding of which precise solutions and suppliers are the answer to their problems
- they are likely to be far less receptive to a traditional cold email or cold telephone call, mainly due to receiving so many of them
- they are likely to be irritated by mass marketing (volume emails for example)
- likely to have a considerable expectation that any sales people they do interact with has a strong grasp on the problems the Buyer faces, together with the solutions to fix them
- likely to expect that when they do interact with sales people, that what is discussed is retained and applied in the future for mutual behaviour, as opposed to having to start all of the info gathering part again.
So the solution is clear.
To stand out from the crowd, we need to understand the buyer. That means the industry they're in, the company they work for and even to some extent the person themselves. Thus, the precise solution can be built and communicated, once the problem(s) is better understood.
This process requires marketing (for the information gathering, research and communications), to work hand in glove with the front line sales team, who in turn need to articulate and build on top of the interaction thus far, maintaining the company's position as offering the (perceived or otherwise) optimum solution.
Of course there is more to it than that (best media channels and timings to communicate, aligning the sales and marketing messages, the correct marketing collateral and of course well trained sales people) but at the core of successful business development now, is personalisation without any question.
Franklin Wall Solutions help with these and numerous other sales and marketing challenges you may be facing.
If you get chance, send us an email HERE with your questions as to how we would support you or call us anytime on 0161 820 2340 and we'd be delighted to talk through how we help countless business get heard and stand out from the crowd.