Anyone who's in marketing and sales (be it modern or legacy) will tell you that the modern buyer has influenced the way today's sales get conducted. You become tasked with having to redefine your approach to sales, if you wish to compete in the modern world and have your tech offering stand out from the rising sea of competitors.
What does redefining your sales approach entail?
Differentiating your business could be a highly sophisticated renovation or a really simple excursion from the norm. It all depends on the size of your company and your individual ambitions. What is the core component of redefining your approach? Positioning the buyer as the most important aspect of your sales and marketing campaign should be your main concern. This is a drastic shift from traditional marketing, where the product/service and what it can do for you once took the spotlight.
This format refers to the Inbound Marketing approach where, not only is the sales strategy based on the buyer, but the entire experience is personalised according to the buyer's context as well.
"Due to the proliferation of marketing materials on the internet, the modern buyer is no longer dependent on salespeople to access information to make purchase decisions." - HubSpot
The Power of the Buyer
Buying power is solely in the hands of the consumer as information is now relatively easy to come by. Users everywhere can do research and price comparisons with just the click of a mouse or handheld devices.
It's advantageous for the modern business, and business owner, to accept this fact and reposition your sales strategy to cater for this 'next level' consumer. By tailoring your approach and researching who your buyers are and what they're searching for, businesses may actively become involved in the buyer's journey. You can begin to create hypothetical buyer personas with the aim of creating specific marketing and sales campaigns to target clients who are interested in your products and services.
Inbound Marketing and Inbound Sales
By looking at the Inbound Marketing Methodology stages – Awareness, Consideration, Decision – Inbound Sales may then parallel these stages with tailored content and strategies which form the Four Legs of the Inbound Sales Journey: Identify, Connect, Explore, Advise.
1. Identify – The Identifying stage of Inbound Sales is concerned with the Awareness phase, where strangers become leads through being served valued and tailored content. Before this happens, Inbound Sales people have already sourced the correct customer through the use of tools and technology. They have already identified the level of interest of the buyer and where they are in their buyer's journey.
2. Connect – Connecting is the continuation of the Awareness phase in trying to convert strangers. This stage is concerned with making contact with the buyer only once they have expressed interest or are searching for a solution.
3. Explore – During the Exploration phase, the Inbound team ascertain whether they can help the qualified lead to solve their problem. Like the Consideration phase in marketing, Inbound Sales people leverage the buyer's interest and their credibility as a thought leader to delve deeper into the prospects specific goals and the various challenges they face.
4. Advise – The Advising stage deals with the Decision phase in marketing where an opportunity has been identified and followed through with the prospect now firmly established as a customer. Getting to this point means that the company would have to offer some value to the buyer, as identified during the explore stage, all the way advising and guiding the prospect to the right conclusion.
Are you Smarketing yet?
Another interesting departure from the traditional marketing approach is the alignment of marketing and sales, Smarketing if you will. By aligning your marketing and sales efforts, no lead, be it marketing or sales (MQL or SQL), falls by the wayside. With these two teams operating side by side, lead nurturing through the various stages or phases of the buyer's journey gets comprehensively tracked. Aligning your marketing and sales efforts means that your buying funnel takes on a holistic approach with only the most qualified leads being passed on through the sales funnel.
Becoming a Thought Leader
With technology so prevalent in today's buying world, what's the point of even having a sales division? If consumers can visit your site and get all the information they need, and even make a purchase, why would they want to talk to another salesperson ever again?
Establishing yourself as a thought leader in your respective industry is the final step in ensuring interest and return patronage. It instils trust in your products or services and is the key to redefining your sales approach. It means that your traditional sales team gets transformed into thought leaders who are knowledgeable and informed about the industry and marketplace. They are truly concerned with finding a solution to the prospects' problem, instead of pushing a product on them, an approach that goes a long way in turning your customer into a promoter.
For more information on how to differentiate your tech company in the competitive, modern world, have a look at our comprehensive guide below.