At the SiriusDecisions Sales and Marketing Summit in May, I heard an alarming statistic: 71 percent of sales leaders say it is the salesperson’s inability to articulate value to the customer that separates high performers from low performers. Which means only 29 percent of sales conversations hold any value to a customer.
To the sales people out there, I have one thing to say: stop trying to “sell.” You know what I mean: you need to stop boring customers with what makes you unique. Stop talking about all your nifty features. Stop talking about your awards.
Why? Because your customers don’t care about you.
The ways customers interact with brands has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. Communities, forums and advocacy-as-a-service (the customer experience equivalent of software-as-a-service) options are gaining ground. As a sales professional, if you aren’t helping customers understand how and where they can engage with your brand and with other customers, you’re just another self-centered vendor trying to sell what’s in your trench coat. Salespeople need to be out among customers, encouraging community participation, sharing insight and learning what holds value to the customer base.
I run our sales enablement function at Vision Critical and even though sales keeps me busy, I make it a point of spending time with our customer success team. They’re a fantastic group of people who love our customers, and they have fascinating insight into how our customers gain value from leveraging our platform.
Insight into how customers get value from your product is invaluable. Sellers can then take those nuggets and tell the story to potential customers. And because the insight came from the customer base, the story is as compelling as an episode of Empire:
- The customer, not our platform, is the hero. It’s their insight, it’s their value; our platform just happens to be powering it behind the scenes.
- The customer goes on a journey: They were in one place before, they undergo a transformation, and they end in a new place changed for the better.
- The customer lives happily ever after, as they are in a better place and gaining value for their business.
The best sales people lead with insight and wrap themselves in stories from their customers. They bring prospective customers new information they haven’t considered that can help their business. They are competent, confident and compelling. How are you leveraging your customer insight to empower your sales organization?
The best sales people lead with insight and wrap themselves in stories from their customers. – @MelissaMadian (CLICK TO TWEET)