Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that apply traditional sales models.
- 55% of consumers are willing to pay more if a great experience is guaranteed.
- 66% of consumers who switched brands did so because of poor service.
- 87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.
- Companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers.
Traditional linear sales process is now obsolete, it assumes buyers and customers know little about you, your company or products.
Invesp states it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep one. Customers loyalty is the new currency and life-time value of the customer is engine. What action you take after the purchase is as important, as the relationship building acquisition process because providing a great customer experience is the way to winning your customers’ loyalty and repeat purchases.
I promote that sales professionals must stop selling and instead build relationships then buyers and customers will purchase more. No one likes to be sold too. To build relationships you must understand the buyer’s perspective and their specific wants, acknowledging how you can add value and supporting their needs to make an impact.
Buyers buy what they really want, need and care about, answering any or all 4 questions:
- What will it do to my business?
- How can it save me time?
- When will it make more profits?
- How much will it increase my efficiency?
While the seller wants to:
- Reduce cost of acquisition.
- Shorten the sales circle.
- Increase the conversion rates.
- Reduce conversion cost.
It is easy to get lost in the company targets. However, loyal customers take time to nurture and you must leave them wanting to return for more. Giving your customers and buyers the best possible experience, is the best way to solve both the buyers and the seller wants.
To consistently deliver excellent customer sales experiences, the process of selling must be more than customer focused but customer-centric i.e. you must be a company-centric company, to engage in whole company selling. This is playing the long game, when customers are loyal they keep coming back for more business.
Accenture research reveal that customer experience investment is ineffective in at least 50% of all global B2B companies across industries. The customer sales experience must be seamlessly aligned whether talking to sales, operations or finance, customer support or your account management functions
To consistently deliver excellent customer sales experiences:
- Understand What Your Customers Want
The reality is that your customers do not care about what you want. Customers only care about their problems and what they want. This is the only reason your product has value in how it solves their problem. The only communication with customers is to discover the specifics of “you” and “yours”.
Your customers only see you as channel partners if you understand their business, their customer, are a customer advocate, are easy to work with and easily accessible, solvers their problems and helps them to achieve their goals. To be all this you must dig deep enough through effective questioning and active listening to find out what really keeps them up at night and how you can solve it and improve their business?
- Understand Why Your Customers Wants
Customer centric selling depends on drawing out what the customer needs instead of just a stated want, with probing questions, such that you can better serve them and tailor your selling and offering accordingly.
All customers have some concerns and fears, your job is to get to the root problem not the symptom. Customer-centric selling is speaking to those underlining concerns and fears and how your product makes those fears disappear. (my article 26 Ways to Capture Buyers Emotion and Accelerate Decisions talks about how buyers buy on emotion and justify on logic).
- Understand How Your Customers Wants
You already know that active listening is at the heart of a customer-centric sales, but you need to make sure you are listening to the right person in the customer company. Who is the most relevant person or persons in the decision-making unit.
Knowing how your products will help each customer with their own unique needs is only part of a successful sales process. Ditch the company-centric jargon and industry-speak if it is not how your buyer speaks. Active listening involves picking up on and using their language to explain your terms of what specific solutions you can provide your customer.
Customers are not backward on coming forward with feedback in face to face meetings that gives them the opportunity to be frank with points of improvement.
If you adopt customer-centric selling and you will notice the difference. Your customers will be more willing to listen to you, buy from you, and refer you and your business. This is putting your customer at the centre of all your business decisions and sales process.