Today’s customer journey is a mess. As buyers increasingly adopt digital, self-service channels, 43% say they’d prefer not to talk to a sales rep at all. While we can attribute some of this to evolving buyer preferences and behaviors, the reality is that most sellers don’t understand their buyers, creating an uninspired, uninformed customer experience.
With so much information consumption happening outside of sales meetings, the dynamic between buyers and sellers is suffering. Buyers feel unheard by sellers on their core issues, while sellers show up to sales meetings unaware of what truly matters. That makes it hard to convince buyers to buy and even harder to predict whether or not they will.
To accurately forecast your sales pipeline and ensure your sellers can close those deals, you must remove friction across the customer journey. How? Identify where it exists and replace it with engaging, data-driven buying and selling experiences.
The following four barriers are a good place to start.
Barrier #1: Underprepared Sellers
Today’s sellers find it harder to efficiently and effectively prepare for meetings. Why? By the time they get the elusive meeting, the buyer has already done enough self-guided research to understand who the seller is, what they offer, and who else they can get it from. But the seller knows next to nothing about the buyer, making it difficult to provide the personalized experience the buyer has come to expect.
Sellers struggle to meet buyers where they are and help them navigate the increasingly complex customer journey. According to one study, 58% of buyers say reps cannot effectively answer their questions. Yikes!
It takes more than a traditional sales enablement approach to give sellers the tools and intelligence they need to meet buyers where they are. Building a data-driven digital infrastructure gives your sellers the enablement they need when they need it. Arm your sellers with content management and presentation tools that ensure they find, present, and share your best content in any given situation.
Incorporate intelligence into your sales training and coaching to unlock the reality of an individual’s performance and ensure each rep gets coached to their needs. The benefits of a data-driven enablement program ensure you deliver just-in-time training to onboard and ramp faster, improve efficiencies, and uplevel more reps to attain their quotas.
Barrier #2: Static, Ineffective Content
Buyers spend only 17% of their time meeting with potential vendors. That means your content has the most influence over your buyers’ purchase decisions. And buyers are inundated with it. To stand out from your competitors, you must create content that engages, motivates, inspires, and differentiates. It also needs to speak to your buyers’ specific needs and challenges and communicate your unique business value – now that’s a tall order!
Create an engaging, self-service experience online while simultaneously giving your sellers interactive content to use during and post-meeting. Buyers and sellers prefer the personalized, interactive, and on-demand content experiences they have in their personal lives.
It’s time to think beyond content management to deliver the engaging content experiences your customers and buyers want. Use interactive content that enables people to choose their own adventure while creating personalized microsite experiences that encourage user engagement. Empower your sellers with video tools to record their screens and send personalized messages. Personalized and interactive content delivery is critical if you want to stand out in a competitive field, meaning it should be a top priority in your content strategy..
Barrier #3: A Traditional Product Pitch
Most buyers now require financial justification for any substantial purchases. Yet, according to 84% of buyers, sellers are ineffective at showcasing ROI when selling virtually.
Customized calculators can help your marketers generate quality leads through self-service channels, help your sellers make business cases for customers, and enable your success teams to quantify and communicate the ROI achieved from your products. Value selling significantly increases deal velocity and differentiates you from your competition while giving buyers the financial justification they need to make a confident purchase decision. (See how NxStage increased their deal velocity by 300% using Value selling tools)
Barrier #4: Limited or Siloed Data and Insights
As the B2B customer journey consistently evolves, your revenue teams (marketing, sales, post-sales) need to adapt. Your organization must become data-driven at every touchpoint so you can deliver the personalized experiences your buyers have come to expect. When thinking about intelligence, think deeper than data and analytics. Actionable intelligence means knocking down data silos and leveraging insights across the customer journey to effectively and consistently assess, predict, engage, and execute.
Less than 50% of sales leaders are confident in their forecast (Gartner), showing a lack of intelligence in pipeline management and forecasting. Reducing your tech stack in favor of consolidation and automation can help you eliminate data silos and leverage integrations to connect to all of your critical systems in one place.
Machine learning-powered solutions enhance your ability to understand each account through data and insights versus opinion and gut feeling, so you can take the guesswork out of pipeline management, measure rep performance, and forecast accurately. When you eliminate data silos among your revenue team, you translate account intelligence into guided selling with prescriptive recommendations, measure account health, and pinpoint confidence to close. Pull all of your data into one revenue intelligence engine to ensure you understand your sales pipeline and can forecast accurately.
Remove friction and take back control of the customer journey
Reconnecting your buyers and sellers is the only way to hit revenue goals and predictably grow your business. In order to prepare your sellers, create engaging content experiences, sell on value, and achieve confident forecasting, you must take a holistic data approach. When combined with intelligence, you can support the entire revenue team to overcome these barriers and achieve your goals
Mediafly has helped customers solve these and many other challenges to become more intelligent and achieve their goals.
Our new Mediafly Revenue360 platform is the only platform to combine enablement, activity, and intelligence in one unified solution. Our goal was simple: give revenue teams a 360-degree view into every deal and prescriptive next steps to better prepare sellers, improve customer engagement, prove business value, and forecast accurately.
Want to learn more? Contact us.