Modern sales are evolving with the development of new technologies. Ubiquitous access to knowledge and information is also changing the customer’s approach to the purchasing process. For years, we’ve been talking about the demise of traditional sales and the smaller and smaller role that salespeople play in the whole process. And how is it really? Here are seven challenges that are increasingly affecting the way sales, client expectations, and salespeople work.
Challenge 1. Customer experience above all
Customer Experience, that is, the customer’s experience in communicating with a company, is becoming the most important factor in sales success. A Salesforce study showed that companies that focused on measuring their clients’ experiences achieved above-average sales growth. Why is that? Companies are constantly fighting for customers’ attention, attacking them with numerous marketing messages. At the same time, they’re investing in innovation, constantly improving product quality, and cutting prices. As a result, the quality of products and services and the relationship between their value and price have less and less significance. The customer doesn’t see a significant difference between one brand and another. Their experience in communicating with the company is what makes the difference. What does this mean for you as a salesperson? Communication is the basis for building unique customer experiences. Your approach and the way you communicate with customers determines how they perceive the company you represent. Show the customer that they’re important, do something outside the box, something your everyday salesman wouldn’t do. This will help you build a new quality of relationship.
Challenge 2. The customer’s changing purchase process
Up to now, salespeople have directed the sales process. They contacted the customer, offered a product or service, and thus started the purchase process. More and more often, modern customers contact us when they’re already at an advanced stage the process. We have a limited chance to influence their decision, and we often act as the supplier offering the lowest price.
To shift this trend in your favour, you should adapt your activities to the current stage of the customer’s purchase process. Help them assess the severity of the problem and possible solutions, confirm that you’re ready to help them overcome difficulties, help individual decision-makers make decisions, or build the customer’s awareness of the problem. The stage at which you enter the purchase process determines which actions you should take.