- Every interaction has a 33% chance of generating a sales result. Hence, it is important that sellers tell the right story to the right buyer at the right time.
- Telling a story that will resonate with buyers over the long term has always been a challenge, but is now more difficult than ever with remote working, virtual selling and the need to replicate a successful strategy that complicates matters.
- Because of this, it’s critical for sellers to lay the groundwork early in the sales process to develop the most effective stories, rather than sending out content that has no impact.
- Sellers need to prepare their story by getting to know the buyer and their industry better than the buyer does. This can help sellers validate or challenge their POV when interacting with them and become a trusted sales advisor.
The hardest part of selling in today’s world is understanding what your target buyer actually needs. From there, salespeople need to formulate a story that resonates with them every time at every stage of the relationship.
To do this, sales teams need to know who to target. Regardless of the industry, this knowledge is critical to figuring out how to tell a unique, relevant, and personalized story that compels buyers to act – as opposed to sending generic content that has no impact.
Why is that so important? Businesses need every customer-facing employee to be able to tell a story that will resonate with their buyers, as each interaction has a limited number of possible outcomes.
In fact, there are only three: the wallet share will either decrease, stay flat, or increase. This means that every interaction has a 33% chance of getting a sales result.
While it’s long been a challenge for B2B companies to tell the right story to the right buyer at the right time, reaching them is harder than ever today – and more importantly, getting it right.
Dealing with disruptions
Over the course of 2020, several factors have come together to make life especially difficult for sales teams. Most of these, of course, are due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted the operations of businesses around the world.
For example, the majority of salespeople now work remotely, which can hinder communication and lead to disjointed processes.
As a result, sellers and buyers are interacting online more than ever. Salespeople have been forced to rely almost entirely on digital methods such as virtual selling without the personal relationship building that they traditionally relied on.
The level of competition in these online channels has increased significantly. Buyers are bombarded by more corporate marketing materials than ever before, making a quick-resonance story even more critical.
Given all these challenges, how can companies ensure that they can tell the right story to the right buyer on the order of every single seller in the organization? The first step, and the foundation for any future activity, is to prepare the story so that it stands out from the crowd.
For sales teams, it depends on advance planning and research to put themselves in the best position to tell a story that will resonate with buyers. But it’s not just about the buyer – sellers have to look both internally and externally.
Laying of the foundation stone
A seller’s focus should be on becoming unconsciously competent with the company’s history, the most important product offerings and the world of its buyers. The goal is to have enough understanding and familiarity with these areas that they become “second nature” and can be easily explained. This allows them to be seamlessly integrated into content and news.
This allows sellers to focus on the root cause of the buyer problem and outline the story they want to articulate instead of spending time asking questions relating to product features and functions.
It’s very hard to win consistently if the sales teams don’t do this work upfront. Sellers need to lay the groundwork and use appropriate care to understand where to aim so that their story resonates with the buyer. This is the discovery part of the sales cycle and the most important one in creating a story that engages the audience.
Sellers need to get to know the buyer and, if not better than, the buyer himself. That way, they have a clear understanding of the root cause of the problem and can offer a solution that will have a positive impact on the buyer’s business.
Sellers need to find ways to politely confirm or question the buyer’s point of view about the problem and solution. This is an important step in becoming the trusted advisor guiding the buyer through the sales cycle – but not possible without the initial background research.
Through this process, sellers learn to tell their story in a way that is easy to understand, address real-world weaknesses, and highlight their company’s strengths – the combination of which forces buyers to act.
It will also show that they understand the challenges buyers face. These challenges are likely to have shifted over the year, leading to updated priorities and new plans for the future. Hence, taking the time to understand the state of affairs for buyers and connect with them on a deeper level has never been more important.
When it comes to telling the most effective story possible, sales teams can’t afford to overlook the importance of preparation. More than ever, sellers need to dig deep to understand their buyers and the changes they are experiencing.
When you really get to know the buyer and where they are in the journey, sellers can tell the right story at the right time – one that will resonate with buyers, drive action, and drive sales.