The evolving selling space, increasingly complex sales process, and changing buyer expectations present new challenges for sales teams and their directors.
The availability of online content and the growth of social media have made B2B buyers more educated and informed about their options than ever before. According to an oft-quoted Accenture study, 94% of buyers go online at some point in the buying process. So how do you make sure that you are heard above all this noise?
Sales directors are battling complex sales processs and changing buyer expectations at the same time that their traditional sales processes are becoming less effective.
To stay effective they need to understand this shifting landscape, why these changes are happening, and how to sell to today’s buyer.
Prospects have not had to engage with sales reps to obtain information on their services for years. They are well used to searching online to quickly find prospective suppliers and it is inevitable that they will expect to find reviews, quotes, and competitive comparisons just as easily.
But prospects still need the sales rep to guide them through the supply chain sales process, build bespoke solutions, and create the value-add that will deliver benefits and differentiate.
So buyers still want forwarders that really understand where their needs are, and are knowledgeable about their sector.
That is why you and your sales team should be seen as experts in your customers field, and you need to be able to convey that capability credibly.
You will stand out when you can provide informed perspectives on the market, which their prospect can interpret and apply to their own situation and challenges. So, while sales training can make your reps experts that will add value to some prospects beyond your competitors, many more buyers are now relying on web content to guide them through, from research to decision.
And while those prospects may easily find information, they may not necessarily be finding the right information.
The challenge for today’s forwarder is sharing relevant and engaging content that is appropriate to the prospect’s stage in the sales cycle and proactively offering additional resources that undo their apprehensions, demonstrate capability, and clearly show how value is added. This strategy will also position you as the expert and opinion leader for your prospects and wider market.
Online tools are available to automate much of this process, sharing the right content at the right time, identifying potential leads, and advancing the sales process.
Content production is just the beginning. Quality and relevance are important for engaging audiences and critical to attract new fans. Creative execution and distribution channels are equally critical − and subjects that will be explored in more detail later.
There is so much content in cyber-space that yours has to stand out from the clutter; it has to offer value to the reader.