In today’s age of instant gratification, wooing customers has become harder than ever, and keeping them even tougher. In such a scenario, ensuring business success and sustaining it is extremely challenging. The one simple thing that differentiates leaders from laggards is that while leaders drive change, laggards focus on responding to it. And, not surprisingly, the third category – ones that are change-resistant, are doomed to cease sooner than one might expect. So, it’s up to you to decide your business’ fate.
Speed matters, but what matters more is knowing who you are competing against. In case this reminds you of that other business that offers a similar portfolio of products and services as you do, you need a take a step back and rethink. As weird as it might sound, you are competing against your customers – with the only difference that your objective is not to defeat them but to delight them. Having said that, it takes a lot to sell effectively to Buyer 2.0 – the well-informed technology geek who knows the exact specifications of what she wants, and how much she is willing to pay for it.
The first step to Selling 2.0 is analyzing how the buyers’ buying process has changed over the years. Be it an electronic gadget or a holiday in Thailand, you are no more selling products to an individual buyer, but to an entire buying team. Yes, in an era characterized by ‘everything social’ our social groups impact our buying decisions like never before. Research suggests that over 75% people buy using social media, and nearly 57% of the buying process is over even before the seller comes to play. Further, almost 90% decision makers don’t respond to outbound communication, and approximately 1% recipients are likely to respond to cold emails. These numbers speak volumes about the the new age buying process, which warrants some step changes in your selling process.
Aligning your sales cycle with the customers’ buying cycle is key to your success. To make it to your customers’ shortlist you need to ensure that you provide the best customer experience consistently at every touch point. This necessitates seamless interaction between systems across the sales cycle. Make ‘social, mobile, analytics, and cloud’ the core of your business strategy. It’s been observed by researchers that social sellers are 51% more likely than traditional sellers to achieve their quota. Practice social selling as the way you do business, to anticipate your prospects’ needs, engage them during the first half of the buying cycle – even before other vendors come into the picture, convert them to customers’ during the latter half, and finally ensure higher retention rates.
About the Author
Ms. Garima Rai is Head of Marketing for APAC at InsideView Technologies. An MBA from INSEAD, world’s top ranked business school, she has over 8 years of experience in B2B technology marketing. She has a track record of driving sustainable returns on marketing investments, and her experience spans areas including content marketing, digital campaigns, go-to-market plans, marketing research, and product marketing. A social media enthusiast, Garima is also a keen blogger.