Why buyer-focused selling matters
In the modern B2B world, sales has become increasingly focused on the buyer. Yet many buyers seem to think that salespeople could do more: In the 2021 State of Sale report by LinkedIn, 65% of sellers say they put the buyer first, but only 23% of buyers agree with that statement. To improve the buyer-seller relationship, sales teams should implement buyer-focused, or buyer-first, selling — which is when a business’s entire goal is to bring value to a customer’s journey while building a long-term relationship. And digitized sales processes can facilitate that method.
“Overall, virtual selling has driven rapid digital transformation in sales. Early adopters were ready technologically for the sudden move to virtual, and now laggards are investing in technology infrastructure to support their reps,” says Craig Rosenberg, distinguished VP-analyst at Gartner, in the report.
Modern B2B business can no longer rely on slow deals that take months to close. Sellers need to eliminate roadblocks in the sales process and focus more on the customer’s needs. To do this, companies need to make sure they’re supporting their sellers in a way that can help them become more buyer-focused. If sellers and buyers become more aligned, sellers increase revenue, and buyers have more satisfaction with the product or service they bought.
Here are other benefits of buyer-focused selling:
- Improve conversion rates by staying in tune with what your buyers are thinking at any given time.
- Improve sales forecasting by preventing opportunities from being moved to a later stage in the pipeline than they belong in, thus improving your chances to win and beat your sales forecast.
- Revive closed-lost opportunities more effectively by having a more accurate sense of why they became closed-lost in the first place. This can also build relationships that pay dividends when buyers’ needs change and they come back months or years later to talk.
Despite the benefits of buyer-focused selling, not all sellers are adopting this method. According to the LinkedIn State of Sales report, 43% of existing sales talent lack the right skill set, 42% emphasize meeting short-term sales and revenue goals, 41% have limited budgets, 41% have limited commitment to training, 38% have inadequate coaching, and 38% don’t have the organizational culture set in place for buyer-focused selling.
Businesses incentivize their sellers to meet quotas so revenue goals can be met. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that what sellers should be focusing on is bringing as much value as possible to customers. And buyer-first selling does mean that everyone in the organization is striving to maximize value to customers — but because of the lack of training, coaching, and budgeting, sales leaders and reps are limited in how they can bring value to customers and still sell.
When a salesperson doesn’t build a strong connection with buyers, they may feel like they are only a bunch of dollar signs. Gallup’s analysis of B2B industry employees found that only 62% of them strongly agree that their company delivers on its promises. When Gallup asked customers if their vendors deliver on their brand promises, the percentage was even lower — only 46% strongly agree.
B2B companies need to execute a rapid change to stay connected to the buyer. The difference comes with Collective[i]. Our artificial intelligence (AI) technology makes the buyer feel valuable and emphasizes the buyer-seller relationship to promote trust. This improves your chances to win and hit your sales forecast.
Collective[i]’s wide range of services gives buyers reliable metrics so they know how their pipeline is doing and can identify potential risks. Its services can enable forecasting that is 98.6% accurate, and they even go beyond forecasts by recommending actions that sellers can take to move deals forward.
In Virtual DealRoomsTM, every member of the selling team can review buyer activity to coordinate timely and effective responses together. Lawyers can negotiate contracts. Marketing can support the sales journey. Sales can talk to multiple stakeholders. Everyone is informed, accountable, and armed with AI-driven recommendations to help align sales activities with optimal execution.
With C[i] RecommendsTM, users receive a daily list of recommended actions, news, risk alerts, and more to drive the best results throughout the organization. Collective[i] studies the actions of top salespeople across its Intelligence NetworkTM to surface which activities are the most likely to have an outsize impact on outcomes.
Intelligent InsightsTM uses artificial intelligence to give selling insights that help sales teams navigate a world where buyers are in control. Our technology uses vast data sets of buying behavior and market data to provide recommendations and coaching prompts that shorten deal cycles and improve win rates. Intelligent Insights eliminates the friction in transactions, improves resource utilization, and automates complex processes so sellers can get back to what they do best. It also shares opportunity odds, recommends buyers, and shares risk alerts.
Lead the way in the modern world of B2B sales. See the Collective[i] difference for yourself: Click here to explore our Intelligent Insights and Virtual DealRooms.Explore Collective[i]