Updated: Nov 1
The world of sales consulting today has shifted with the changing culture, technology, and world events, leaving business development professionals scrambling to adjust and find the best way forward.
Compared to 20 years ago, the world has changed dramatically, and people are buried in noise. The noise comes from the sheer number of digital and print communication channels, the astronomical number of emails they receive each day, and even the number of solutions available on the market for any given problem. In the midst of all this, buyers now have higher expectations than ever before, and as many as 58% of B2B buyers report that they do not get value from sales meetings.
For sales and business teams looking for a way forward, this creates a challenging atmosphere. It can feel frustrating and demoralizing. However, there is a solution, and it starts with the first stage of the sales cycle: prospecting.
Here is what you need to know about adjusting your brand messaging to differentiate your brand and see success.
1. Generating Interest From a Prospect Requires Insight
Understand that building excitement in a prospect requires you to have genuine insight into their needs. Trying to just sell transactionally will produce the lowest possible sales results. Instead, you need to help your buyer see potential and widen their scope of possibility.
Don’t leave your customers feeling as though they are being sold to; instead, spark a conversation that feels more like education. People generally feel open to learning new things, particularly when they see a direct connection to their personal situations and opportunities.
To build this rapport and offer the insight that provides genuine value, embrace the idea of sharing insight that might not focus on you as a solution, but otherwise sparks interest in the prospect. Even if the insight itself does not encourage the sale, the relationship the customer begins to feel with you will.
2. Emotional Connections to a Problem and Solution Will Differentiate Your Sales Process
Laying the foundation for this relationship can then help you build emotional connections in the next step of this process. You do not want to just sell based on a list of features and benefits. This will lower the potential value you can offer as a salesperson. The standard problem-agitate-solution selling framework can be helpful, but it can also create a situation where buyers might not recognize the difference between your business, your competitors, and the status quo.
Instead, you want to transform the buying process from being product driven to being customer centric. Focusing on building that emotional connection can help you differentiate your organization.
Work with your prospect to understand 2 visualizations: the current state, which they already experience; and the future state, which you can help them envision and embrace. You want them to see the future potential they can achieve with your solution. Create this environment by providing emotional contrast between these 2 states.
Lay the foundation for this transformation by creating a factual statement about the buyer’s current state and the negative emotions they have associated with it.
Not only are they spending more money; they are frustrated about the waste.
Not only are they struggling with product integrations; they are irritated by the extra steps they have to take.
Once you have this statement established and it resonates with your buyer, you can create a future state that is characterized by the opposite emotional reaction.
They will never be frustrated again by overspending.
They will feel content with an end-to-end solution.
You want your prospect to feel a drive to achieve that future state and the associated emotions.
3. Personalization Isn’t Enough; It Needs To Be Compelling and Relevant
As a seller, you need to embrace the idea that simple personalization is not enough – you need to be hyper personal and make sure your efforts are compelling and relevant to your buyer. Knowing the buyer's KPI can provide you with a good launching point, but you need to go much deeper and consider the personal implications of the problems they face.
You can look to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to understand individual development and the steps people go through to reach self-esteem and self-actualization. When your sales and marketing teams can anchor their solutions to the achievement of these upper levels of Maslow’s hierarchy, you will find you can genuinely connect with your buyers.
It can feel slow and frustrating to try and look at every aspect of prospecting through the perspective of psychology, but it can play a very valuable role in helping the sales team connect with the buyer’s higher sense of self. The prospect will feel more willing to listen and take a meeting, and this emotional and psychological connection can help to differentiate the business from the competition.
Sales Consulting and a Better Way Forward for Businesses
To see better business development results, you need to approach prospecting differently.
The world of sales prospecting may have changed considerably with the level of noise and distractions that sales teams now have to press through to build a rapport with prospects, but approaching prospecting differently is your key to success. Taking the psychological approach to personalization can help you communicate more effectively.
You can accelerate your success with this type of work by using a playbook approach, as described by the Harvard Business Review. With the playbook, you can create a standardized system to help sellers with what they need to say. This process can take your company’s business development to the next level and allow you to embrace the demands of the modern consumer.
Get White-Glove Sales Consulting From ALTA Consulting
At ALTA Consulting, we are your sales consulting team. We specialize in helping B2B professional services and technology companies create sales playbooks for across the sales process. Contact us today to learn more about what a playbook can do for your business development and your prospecting performance.