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How To Quicken The Customer Buy Cycle
Guest articles > How To Quicken The Customer Buy Cycle
by: Drew Stevens
There is a fundamental reason why sales managers are having issues with their sales teams not meeting quota – they are transactional. If sales managers truly desire to close more business, gain more revenue and have representatives more success, then they must ensure that sales agents are creating customer-centered relationships.
Customers today are too busy. Before they purchase buyers research information about your company its products and services. They know prices, competition and an array of other things. Therefore transaction will not work. Buyers know more than your sales staff. Consumers invest in those they know and trust. If they want transaction they obtain commoditized goods from retailers.
There are several reasons to create customer centric relationships:
1. It shortens the buy cycle – Consumers that build trusting relationships buy continuously.
2. It heightens productivity – As customers become more enamored with the relationship they become marketing avatars and tell others.
3. It manifests brand – As clients trust builds the continuous good will provides visibility and helps build additional community.
Customer centric relationships enable sales representatives to work smarter not harder. They engage in proper conversation that allows them to become a trusted peer of the buyer allowing for the heightening of a partnership. All else are vendors.
Sales managers must formulate a sales coaching structure so that they mentor their teams in customer-centered relationships. The strategy is not difficult and will reap huge rewards.
So what is the best way to begin?
The important things to recognize are that buyers desire to do one of two things 1) improve their competitive position or 2) return profits to shareholders. Much of this relates to strategy and driving force so it is vital that sales representatives gather as much information as possible. This requires that sales agents invest heavily of their time and talents with sales intelligence. They need to gather content about the company, the industry and the competition. To become a trusted peer denotes understanding the customer’s business so that consultative ideas percolate that help improve the buyer’s condition.
This requires that sales individuals spend less time in the office and behind windshields and more time on research. With the array of available services there is little excuse for agents to procrastinate on this vital sales process.
Second, too many representatives focus inwardly. They are more concerned with unit sales than buyer issues. Customer- centered representatives’ focus on the issues of the buyer. Sales agents ask questions that focus on client objectives and outcomes. These provocative questions keep the buyer engaged and provide more value.
Third, the only issue that concerns true buyers is value they receive from using your firm’s products and services. Value is obtained from those conversations that focus on the outcomes and the measurements of success buyers realize. When discussion focuses on measurements and returns conversations are buyer centered.
Finally, the only manner in which to gain trust is to be visible. This crazy world in which we live provides too many excuses for agents to run and hide behind email, voice and other electronic communications. Sales managers must ensure agents are accountable to clients with actions and activities that illustrate consistent visibility.
Drew Stevens Ph.D. President of Stevens Consulting Group is one of those very rare sales management and business development experts with not only 28 years of true sales experience but advanced degrees in sales productivity. Not many can make such as claim. Drew works with sales managers and their direct reports to create more customer centric relationships that dramatically drive new revenues and new clients. He is the author of Split Second Selling and the founder and coordinator of the Sales Leadership Program at Saint Louis University. Contact him today at 877-391-6821.
Contributor: Drew Stevens
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