Today the buyer has reviewed a lot of information before they ever talk to you. They have more options than ever before and their expectations have never been higher. So what does this mean for you? Your number one job is to be friendly, personable (and human) and ask questions about what they’re looking to do.
You can no longer expect to move buyers through your own self-serving internal sales process. In fact, the only way to execute an effective sales process today is if it fits neatly into the buyer’s own discovery and information collection process.
Executing a sales process is what your job used to be. Now your job is to help people buy. You are their tour guide, recommender, and trusted advisor throughout the buying process.
You can craft even more personal conversations with the buyer when you use firmographic, demographic, technographic, and behavioral data to understand buyer intent.
Buyers don’t care about your sales process. They care about how you can fulfill their needs and desires.
Before we dive in, let’s level-set to understand the principles of Conversational Marketing & Sales. It’s useful for us to think about this in terms of a framework: The new (or customer-centric) approach vs. the old (or business-centric) approach.
Conversational marketing & sales always puts the buyer and customer first.
Being more helpful and buyer-centric will pay back ten-fold in the long run. You’ll have a much higher chance of a buyer converting if everyone at your business follows the conversational marketing & sales principles.
With conversational marketing and sales, chatbots start conversations and qualify buyers so you can have the right conversation at the right time with the right buyer and customer.
In the past, chat was typically a tool for support teams and it was siloed. You had to dedicate people to use sales chat, it was filled with noise, and you didn’t have enough people to triage everything else.
Sales folks can continue their normal prospecting activities, but now they’ll get notified when a buyer wants to engage. This can happen when the buyer is on your website, they open an email, they click on a sales sequence, or when they watch a video.
You’ve already been using real-time intent signals and with conversational sales you’ll get even more of these signals. You probably get excited when you see a buyer forwarding that email you sent to a lot of people.
You’ve been chasing someone for a long time and they finally reply or finally pick up because the timing is right. This is what you’re going to experience every day with conversational sales.
You’ll be able to engage with a buyer on their terms because marketing has designed it so only the buyers that are ready and want to have a conversation will connect with you.
Here’s another example. It’s the end of the month. You have a deal out there and someone viewed a PandaDoc proposal. You get a real time notification that the document is being viewed. And then the buyer texts you back because that’s how people communicate today.
You might be thinking that you should treat conversational sales as its own channel and hire dedicated reps for it. We don’t recommend that because you should have this be a natural part of an SDR’s and AE’s day-to-day. You need to have more buyer-centric conversations.
Here are 7 ways to have buyer-centric sales conversations.
- Always understand what the buyer is trying to achieve (and why) before offering a solution. This is done by asking the buyer to clarify and elaborate.
- Be present and use active listening. You’re trying to understand where they are in their process. Use authentic stories to convey why they should care and take the next step.
- Be passionate. If you’re not fired up, they’re not going to get fired up.
- Confirm your buyer’s questions.
- Be transparent with your buyers on what you’re doing and the next step.
- Share examples…. always, always… always…. A quick; “hey would you like to see how (blank) is working for a business like yours?”
- Help the buyer buy. Help them navigate the buying process. Keep them in mind and consider their position.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that buyers have a very structured and rational buying process but the truth is that humans are irrational and buying processes are messy. They want what they want, when they want it. Never trash your competitors. Doing that makes you look insecure and doesn’t help your buyer make a decision. Help your buyer make a decision by clearly communicating your positioning and strengths/weaknesses vs. your competitor.