Only 28% of sales leaders say their account managers regularly meet cross-selling and upselling targets.
Today’s buyers are independent and research-informed, making them less susceptible to traditional selling methods. B2B buyers follow a complex and non-linear path, spending less than one-fifth of their buying journey meeting with potential suppliers.
Sales reps are starting to feel the pressure. Old-school tactics like product-driven promotions, the hard sell, and barrages of phone calls are backfiring and pushing modern buyers away.
To drive growth, now and in the future, selling needs a revamp. Organizations must empower their reps with a fresh sales methodology. One that helps to build trust with buyers, solves customer problems, and nurtures long-term relationships.
The answer? Embracing customer-centric selling.
What is customer-centric selling?
Customer-centric selling is a sales methodology that requires sales teams to shift their mindsets away from extracting value from customers to providing value to customers.
Companies that embrace this selling strategy actively listen to their customers’ problems and ask thoughtful questions to understand their needs. They then use this information to design tailored solutions that help customers reach their goals.
This approach is a significant departure from traditional product- or transaction-based sales techniques. Traditional methods have sales teams focus on the product or solution they’re trying to sell and generate revenue as quickly as possible.
Instead, customer-centric strategies put the customer front and center. The focus is on building empathy, helping customers accomplish their unique goals, and nurturing long-lasting relationships.
By focusing on the customer instead of short-term profit, organizations are more likely to achieve long-term prosperity.
Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than competitors without a customer focus.
Customer-centric selling is more than a nice to have
By honing in on the customers’ needs, organizations can create personalized, relevant, and timely engagements that increase customer loyalty and, ultimately, improve revenue.
In today’s product-saturated, digital-first market, customer-centricity is a competitive differentiator. Organizations excelling at it experience achieve 15% lower churn and a 20-40% increase in sales win rate.
Here’s a closer look at the benefits of a customer-centric selling methodology.
- Nurture long-term relationships: Rather than pushing to close deals, reps must position themselves as trusted and genuinely helpful advisors. When customers view salespeople in this way, they are more likely to reach out when they need support, advice, or are shopping for a new solution. All of which enhance the likelihood of long-term revenue growth.
- Shorten sales cycles and improve customer loyalty: The longer it takes to convert a lead, the more money a business spends. By understanding prospects and personalizing interactions, organizations can quickly meet buyer expectations and close deals. This heightened personalization and sense of being understood boosts customer loyalty and satisfaction.
- Stand out from the crowd: Today’s B2B buyers want the same seamless, personalized experiences they encounter as consumers. By embracing this strategy, organizations can unlock the revenue potential of the consumer-like B2B experience.
The cornerstones of customer-centricity
It’s time to reimagine your sales team’s approach and aim for customer-centricity. Of course, overhauling your sales methodology doesn’t mean letting go of previous key metrics. Customer-centric selling is more of a mindset shift: the customer has to come first, even if it means a slight dip in sales in the short term.
Embracing this approach can be difficult for some sales teams, especially if they’re used to traditional, product-focused tactics. So, to help you embed customer-centric selling into your organization, keep the following cornerstones in mind:
Understand the true value of your product or service
You have to truly know and understand the value your product or service brings to your customers and how they use it. Only then can you shape a customer-centric experience.
Differentiate through personalization
In today’s highly-competitive marketplace, personalization is vital to attracting buyers’ attention. 85% of buyers will dismiss a salesperson in the first interaction if they don’t receive tailored information.
Sellers must deliver bespoke, contextual interactions that meet each buyer’s unique needs and goals at scale. However, despite the personalization imperative, moving from vision to reality is challenging for many organizations. This is because departmental silos and improper tools often inhibit sales teams from creating congruent personalized buyer experiences.
Fortunately, sales enablement tools like Pitcher unify disparate data streams into one single source of truth. They amalgamate insights from many business applications to boost the efficacy of sales, marketing, and customer service teams all at once.
Using the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence, Pitcher empowers sales teams with hyper-personalized content, tailored omnichannel engagement recommendations, and a 360-view of customers. The result is the ability to support buyers at the exact moment they need it with relevant and timely recommendations.
Embed empathy into every engagement
Many buyers have preconceptions about sales reps, still viewing them as pushy and overly aggressive. To boost engagement and nurture customer loyalty, sales reps need a new strategy for connecting with customers. One focused less on sales outcomes and more on understanding customers’ problems, needs, and goals.
Rather than playing a numbers game and thinking about the quickest route to making a sale, salespeople need to:
- Lead with empathy: listening to understand instead of replying
- Learn about their prospect’s situation
- Offer tailored, relevant solutions to buyer problems
The aim is to show buyers that you care, understand them, and can help them reach their accomplishments. Do this, and there’s a higher chance they’ll put their faith in you.
Simply telling your sales reps to “be empathetic” won’t bring about the strategic changes you need. Equip your salespeople for success by implementing guided selling and customer-centric coaching that train your sales reps.
Pitcher’s sales enablement tool helps you prepare, coach, and train your sales force to use your key messaging effectively to engage customers and prospects.
Master relationship building at scale
In a customer-centric sales organization, closing a deal isn’t the end of the relationship between buyer and seller. It’s just the beginning. These teams understand the importance of integrating sales with marketing, customer service, and product development to create a holistic customer experience.
They know they need to listen and learn from customers throughout the lifecycle, uncovering new opportunities to respond to their customers’ needs in real time. This is the essence of successful relationship building: delivering cohesive, personalized experiences on a continuum, enabling customers to feel like they’re having ongoing conversations with a brand over time.
Pitcher makes it easy for organizations to create a unified, frictionless relationship with customers. It enables your teams across departments to engage customers and nurture strong relationships.
Empower your customers
Customer-centricity is, at its core, about making customers’ lives better. While it’s natural for sales reps to focus on making the sale to hit their quotas and boost conversions, they should only attempt to move prospects down the funnel if they genuinely believe their product, solution, or service can help.
If it can’t, advise the buyer to look elsewhere, even if it means losing a sale. For many sales teams, this approach might feel uncomfortable at first. However, it pays off in the long run. 86% of buyers trust online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations over all other referral types.
By positioning themselves as trusted advisors, sales teams will boost their trustworthiness and instill confidence in prospects and customers in the long run. Over time, this approach helps nurture genuine connections, builds strong, long-term relationships, and improves brand loyalty. All of which fuel business growth, profit, and new revenue streams.
The better way to succeed
It’s time for organizations to let go of outdated sales methodologies and forego impersonal, pushy tactics in favor of a unified customer-centric approach.
By unlocking the power of data-driven insights across the customer lifecycle, sales teams can meet their buyers where they are, nurture fruitful long-term relationships, and, ultimately, create mutually beneficial value for their customers and their organizations.
It’s possible to embrace customer-centricity at speed with Pitcher. A platform that empowers your sales team to deliver tailored, personalized 1:1 interactions across channels and at scale.
Find out how Pitcher’s sales enablement solution can help you unlock new revenue streams and boost sales performance today.
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