Have your sales reps adapted to the age of the customer?

customer concept shown in light bulb

In the dawn of business intelligence and marketing automation tools, buyers expect a one-to-one buying interaction from every sales rep they encounter. Many sales managers think that getting a prospect’s name and company right in an introduction email will cut it in this age of personalization, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As a sales leader, how can you make your sales reps customer-obsessed to ensure you don’t lose out? Learn about how sales coaching can help make the modern manager more productive.

According to Forrester, buyer expectations and sales interactions are much more misaligned than sales leaders might think:

  • 70% of executive buyers claim salespeople are not prepared for the questions they ask.
  • 77% of executive buyers claim salespeople don’t understand their issues and where they can help.
  • 78% of executive buyers claim salespeople do not have relevant examples or case studies to share with them.

Forrester stated that the customer obsession gap has widened, and that “many companies have underestimated the magnitude of change needed to operate a customer-obsessed business.” The bottom line is that customer experience matters more than ever, and sales leaders that don’t adapt to a customer-led market through personalization will fall behind and suffer major customer churn. Discover how these industry dominating women gained recognition for innovating, enabling and leading in the business world

Teach reps to be detectives

Sales reps should know not only basic information about each prospect they reach out to, but they should have an idea of what their pains, struggles or inefficiencies are before speaking with them. If reps are preparing themselves for a call by putting themselves in customers’ shoes, they are more likely to make that conversation customer-focused, not product- or process-focused. In your reps’ prospecting training, help them identify target titles, industries and personas and tie general pains to those individuals. Then, ensure they touch on these in their introductory calls and emails.

Think of each customer outreach like a snowflake

If your reps are sending the exact same stock email or opening every prospect interaction the same way, prospects will just treat it like every other sales pitch. Reinforce originality and personalization in every email and call so your reps stand out among the crowd. Referencing the person’s name, company, and industry are a given; encourage your reps to find out more about a prospect than what’s available on their LinkedIn headline.

Foster continuous learning

At Seismic, our sales team is constantly sharing winning email templates, subject lines and phone scripts with each other to try to repeat success. This helps teams know what works and what doesn’t for specific prospects. Your sales team should meet periodically to discuss various prospect conversations and interactions in order to fine-tune messaging and positioning that keeps prospects interested.

Give reps the content they need to be successful

No matter how rigorous your training and onboarding processes are, your reps will never remember everything they’ve been taught. They’re going to draw blanks when it comes to specific case examples, competitor information, and persona pain points. By putting this information directly where reps are interacting with prospects—email and CRM—they can easily reference helpful assets while on calls or sending emails without missing a beat. Sales leaders should be able to serve up customer- and industry-specific talking points, case studies, relevant content, and battle cards directly within a rep’s email or CRM so they have exactly what they need to have a meaningful prospect conversation. If reps are able to easily personalize that content without leaving email or CRM, they’ll be even more engaging and relevant to the buyer.

Forrester concludes its predictions report by stating that the shift towards customer obsession needs to happen now:

“In the future, more disruptors will emerge…and create a market that operates as a speed not seen before. Laggards will experience accelerated churn, and many will begin the slow process of failing.”

It’s time to get your reps customer-obsessed through personalization and engagement, so your company doesn’t fail in the age of the customer.