In the last few years, there has been a profound change in customer’s behavior and buying patterns. Today’s buyers are educated and enabled by the internet to research and compare real time prices and reviews of your products and services. They have in essence, taken control of the sales process.
In fact, in most industries, customers are 60% through the buying process before they even engage a sales representative to explore a final purchase.
So what does this mean to your sales and marketing efforts?
First, your marketing must be more concise and integrated into an overall content strategy. Now, your buyers are doing most of their due diligence on line and their research will be solid. Remove the “marketing fluff” from your messages and include clear, concise value statements that help the buyer understand exactly what your solution will do for them.
Second, your sales team will need to become strategic advisors leading the process down a path of value discussion and a dollarized approached. Meaning, help the buyer make a decision by showing them the true value in your solution in real dollars. To make it stick – put your money where your mouth is and guarantee your solution.
Lastly, pull it all together. The sales and marketing teams should work in concert together. Think of them each as a separate instrument in a big orchestra and each must contribute its notes to make a beautiful sound. There should be a clear strategy that unites and integrates the efforts of both teams to deliver the desired results.
Since the buyer is going to learn more about you up front, your digital footprint should lead them to a conclusion and entice them to take the next action. Demonstrate your expertise via a thought leadership program by publishing articles, blog posts and commenting on other’s content. Think about a social bribe, by offering a special report of white paper on your website that offers insight and real value to the reader and lastly, track the hits on your website.
By the time the sales team is engaged, the process moves to specific value and solutions offered to that client.
Have you seen a shift in your customer’s buying patterns? Tell us more in the comments.