One of business’ greatest challenges is striking the balance between the digital self-serve and a more traditional face-to-face sales approach. In my experience, most customers today are happy to do their own research at their own pace to find their perfect solution - especially when it comes to SaaS applications such as Capsule.
But, in many other sectors trying to work out what you need can be more challenging. We’ve all been there - comparing tech specs and features, but not sure what’s best for us and our organization.
While the preference may be to do our own initial research without engaging in a sales call, there can be times when we’d like them to knock on the door.
High performing salespeople have a knack for entering the room just at the right time. They understand the power of listening and responding to what customers are really looking for. Tuning into their needs and closing knowledge gaps for the organization while closing the deal.
The challenge is usually working out when to make that call, send the email or pop-in with those samples. In other words, how to ‘tune-in’ remotely and use technology to add a human touch.
The past two years in particular have forced businesses to rethink their approach. And in many cases it’s been a challenge for people to transfer their interpersonal skills online - especially without the right tools and know-how to operate in a virtual selling environment.
In fact, many B2B professionals admit that they’re not as successful selling ‘virtually’ as they are in person. According to McKinsey*, this figure could be as high as 20%.
*McKinsey ‘B2B Sales: Omnichannel everywhere, every time’ (December 2021)
But we also know that hybrid working is set to continue and grow. So, it’s crucial that sales teams can continue to listen to their customers and are set-up to capture and track their conversations - regardless of whether they’re interacting face-to-face, over the telephone, on social media or on email.
This is where a well-matched and configured CRM makes a big difference. Because success always provides a trail to pick back up on, and by using a CRM to capture what the most successful approach was, you can replicate that again and again.
Buying online means more data and therefore more potential insight into customer behaviors, product usage patterns and potential buying triggers. But, spotting the right time to connect can often be lost in a sea of disjointed spreadsheets and departments.
From what we see, part of the problem is that many businesses invest in over-complicated solutions that are too daunting or time consuming for people to manage. Another challenge is mindset.
Most people get excited about the potential that all this digital data presents. However, few are as thrilled about capturing and sharing it consistently.
Yet, we believe that a user-friendly and intuitive CRM space has the power to supercharge the sales team. It should be a knowledge bank that everyone can easily feed with information to make sure that sales have the ‘clues’ that the wider team is picking up on everyday at their fingertips.
That means having a system that doesn’t slow everyone down and introduces another layer of process, but integrates and interacts with other tools the business is using. It also means that everyone treats every piece of customer information as an opportunity to build rapport and help keep the sales team on the front foot.
For example, a note from customer service may give the sales team a reason to reconnect, listen and help them. Or, a brief entry from a previous call might remind the salesperson to check-in on how the customer’s extension is coming along - or how their daughter’s soccer team is doing.
Because, as every salesperson knows, a reason to ‘call’- whatever shape that takes in our digital world - is an opportunity for them to connect and work their magic. Human to human.
- Give your customers the option to speak to someone if they want to
- Treat every bit of customer ‘data’ as sales gold dust
- Invest in a simple ‘knowledge bank’ - your CRM