As Forrester stated this year, the customer obsession gap has widened and 'many companies have underestimated the magnitude of change needed to operate a customer-obsessed business.' With the rise of hyper-personalisation thanks to advancing business intelligence and marketing automation tools, buyers are expecting a one-to-one buying interaction from every sales rep they encounter.
There is a lot more to winning a deal than just getting the prospect and company name correct in an introductory email. Sales reps must be personable and engage with their prospects on a high level to reduce the risk of falling behind. According to Forrester, more than half of the time salespeople are not prepared for the questions they ask, don't understand the prospect’s issues and where they can help, and do not have relevant examples or case studies to share. The bottom line is that customer experience matters more than ever, and sales reps must adapt—quickly.
Here are a few tips for sales reps to seal the deal every time, in this new age of the customer.
- Teach reps to be detectives. Sales reps should know not only basic information about each prospect they reach out to, but they should have an idea of what their pains, struggles or inefficiencies are before speaking with them. If reps are preparing themselves for a call by putting themselves in customers’ shoes, they are more likely to make that conversation customer-focused, not product - or process - focused. In your reps’ prospecting training, help them identify target titles, industries and personas and tie general pains to those individuals. Then, ensure they touch on these in their introductory calls and emails.
- Think of each customer outreach like a snowflake. If your reps are sending the exact same stock email or opening every prospect interaction the same way, prospects will just treat it like every other sales pitch. Reinforce originality and personalisation in every email and call so your reps stand out among the crowd. Referencing the person’s name, company, and industry are a given; encourage your reps to find out more about a prospect than what’s available on their LinkedIn profile.
- Foster continuous learning. At Seismic, our sales team is constantly sharing successful email templates, subject lines and phone dialogues with each other to try to repeat success. This helps teams know what works and what doesn’t for specific prospects. Your sales team should meet periodically to discuss various prospect conversations and interactions in order to fine-tune messaging and positioning that keeps prospects interested.
- Give reps the content they need to be successful. No matter how rigorous your training and onboarding processes are, your reps will never remember everything they’ve been taught. They’re going to draw blanks when it comes to specific case examples, competitor information, and persona pain points. By putting this information directly where reps are interacting with prospects—email and CRM—they can easily reference helpful assets while on calls or sending emails without missing a beat. Sales leaders should be able to serve up customer - and industry-specific talking points, case studies, relevant content, and battle cards directly within a rep’s email or CRM so they have exactly what they need to have a meaningful prospect conversation. If reps are able to easily personalise that content without leaving email or CRM, they’ll be even more engaging and relevant to the buyer.