7 Inbound Sales Tips To Create Positive Buyer Experiences
Written by Fes Askari
May 16 2016
Looking at the 2016 HubSpot Sales survey data, we wanted to explore the buyer experience Inbound sales teams think they deliver, vs. the experience of buyers themselves.
Addressing The Buyer Experience Disconnect
Whatever your role, there’s always room to review and improve strategy. When it comes to sales, of course the goal is to always be relevant and appropriate; helping leads along their purchase journey.
But according to HubSpot 2016 Sales survey data, sometimes, even when sales professionals think they’re delivering a positive sales approach the data doesn’t always match up.
Based on HubSpot’s survey, we’ve examined the main areas of disconnect, and identified 7 key ways that sales executives can use an Inbound approach to create even better buyer experiences.
7 Inbound Sales Tips To Create Positive Buyer Experiences
Image courtesy: HubSpot
1. Avoid Being Pushy
50% of sales people say they avoid being pushy, however 84% of buyers with negative sales experience say sales did not.
Where traditional sales works to an ‘always be closing’ mindset, Inbound sales aims to ‘always be helping’. Part of that involves recognising the stage of the Buyer’s Journey a prospect is at, and nurturing them - helping through education - to the next stage.
A pushy, or interruptive sales approach is not what buyers want when considering your product or solution. Instead, help them understand the value, benefit and problems that your solution solves; and let them progress when they are ready.
2. Listen To Prospect’s Needs
83% of sales people say they listen to a prospect’s needs, however 62% of buyers with negative sales experience say sales did not.
It’s common sense really - but don’t keep pushing your product or service at someone who doesn’t need or want it!
Understanding a prospect’s main challenges, and helping them solve them is the prime aim of an Inbound marketing and sales approach. To maintain successful lead relationships and create positive experiences, it is crucial that buyers feel sales staff understand their needs, problems and concerns. Listening to a prospect’s needs is the first step in developing understanding and offering the right resolution.
3. Provide Value To The Prospect
82% of sales people say they provide value to the prospect, however 34% of buyers with negative sales experience say sales did not.
Aligned with listening to a prospect’s needs, sales staff need to prove value back to buyers in order for them to recognise why they need a product or service. If sales reps can quickly align the benefits of their solution with a lead’s challenges (that the product can solve), value, and positive sales experiences immediately appear.
4. Research Prospects Before Calls
74% of sales people say they research prospects before calls, however 45% of buyers with negative sales experience say sales did not.
Again this point goes back to understanding your buyer. Know who a prospect is and what they need, and buyer experiences will be more positive.
With a complete Inbound marketing and sales strategy, closed loop reporting provides sales teams with access to all of marketing’s historical lead data. This lets execs know the content a lead has been interested in, when and how they converted, and every interaction they’ve had on your site. That means Inbound execs know who a buyer is, what they are looking for, whether they are a good-fit, and exactly where they are in their purchase journey before picking up the phone - improving the quality of sales calls no end.
Researching leads before having a conversation (particularly via their site and social channels) can add to this data for sales enabled Inbound teams and traditional sales execs alike.
5. Try To Be Helpful
77% of sales people say they try to be helpful, however 44% of buyers with negative sales experience say sales did not.
‘Always be closing’ is dead. It’s irrelevant, it’s unhelpful - and it’s an attitude unwanted by buyers.
Instead, sales teams must ‘always be helping’ prospects reach the solutions they need, educating them, answering questions and building trust. Sales staff are no longer just deal closers. They must become trusted, expert sources of advice.
6. Tailor Pitches Based On Customer’s Needs
71% of sales people say they tailor pitches based on customer’s needs, however 37% of buyers with negative sales experience say sales did not.
Pitching a product or service that doesn’t speak to a buyer’s needs won’t result in a positive buyer experience.
Instead of blindly calling and pitching, sales staff should:
Research prospects and use available lead data to ensure they are a good-fit, are ready to speak to sales, and you can identify their initial need
Offer other helpful, nurture content, and start to build a relationship
Explore additional, deeper needs that the solution can solve, and continue to advise
Always listen to what the buyer wants and needs!
Outline the direct correlation of lead needs and problem / solution benefits to prove value
7. Prove How Your Product Or Solution Can Make The Buyer Successful
48% of sales people say they work to prove how their product or solution can make the buyer successful. However 33% of buyers with negative sales experience say sales did not.
Nobody is going to buy a product or service that if of no use to them. The next step after understanding a prospect's challenges and needs, is proving value by demonstrating how a solution can directly improve a buyer’s success. Consideration stage content such as case studies, webinars, guides and vendor comparisons are prime value-proving content formats, so make sure sales staff are well equipped with these before they make that contact.
Switching To An Inbound Sales Approach
Positive sales experiences result from timely, appropriate and considered interactions that understand buyers as individuals, with unique needs rather than pitching blindly.
That’s exactly what the Inbound sales methodology prioritises; so work with your buyers, help them, and you’ll see your own buyer experiences improve.