Buyer 2.0 part three: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
This is the third part of a three part deep dive guest post about Buyer 2.0 written by Darren Stordahl
Continued from Buyer 2.0 part two: From Flat to Fantastic!
Connecting these two potentially disparate discussions can help correct fractures in a modern engagement funnel and increase the relevance of experienced analog sales-people in a digital world. Buyer 2.0 won’t wait for you. They are probably tweeting your competition right now for pricing or configuration information. What can you do, with the tools and technology available, to stay relevant and build your business?
- Sprint to the Car: Make every effort to make a good first impression. Engage quickly. Be polite. Maintain focus and intensity throughout the ever-shortening sales cycle. For those in the customer engagement end of the technology spectrum, this means using both marketing automation and CRM efficiently, correctly, and with a prioritization for managing KPI’s associated to response times.
We can’t (and wouldn’t want to) compel a customer to get a technological flat tire at a time and tempo of our choosing. We also can’t expect Buyer 2.0 to comply with how we want to progress them through our sales funnel. When given an opportunity, we want to sprint to Buyer 2.0, get them through the sales process quickly, effectively, and back on the road with minimum hassle and maximum value. Every time.
- Give Buyer 2.0 Some Free Beef: Les Schwab offered something of value beyond the tire-oriented transaction. In this case, it was something that he had available, he also valued, and that could be stored, shared, and enjoyed by his customers. If that means sharing new supply-chain insight to your buyers, or new product functionality to provide better visibility into your distributors’ inventory levels, use your technology tools and insights to give something more.
Don’t just send the obligatory seven emails, call it good, and abandon the effort. Add relevance and content. While not everyone can give away free steaks, we can all look for ways to make each interaction with Buyer 2.0 richer and more valued.
- Provide a Puncture-Proof Guarantee: Appropriately implemented, support technology can help consolidate communications, prioritize engagement, and confirm problem resolution. Providing (or purchasing) a robust and auditable maintenance or customer care agreement can do more than maintain system up-time. It can help improve communication quality across (often) distributed teams with multiple priorities and pain-points.
While we all work to resolve customer complaints quickly and generously, committing to something beyond the transaction helps Buyer 2.0 build trust and engage more as a partner.
- Take Pride in Partnership: Flat tires happen, and sometimes systems break. While we can’t always guarantee that our systems will never break, we can promise to make fixes fast, effective and practical. Buyer 2.0 drives a complex business system of integrated components, engines, gears and gee-gaws. A flat tire, or hung process, can slow the entire enterprise, or even cause escalating damage.
When Buyer 2.0 calls, texts, tweets, or activates their brand new IoT bat-signal, be prepared to move with speed and intensity to diagnose, address and resolve issues. Technology and attitude--in combination--support swiftest resolution.
- Participate in the community, and get social: To address the unique needs of Buyer 2.0, a modern sales team needs to do more than parse knowledge. Connect with the customer to understand what represents value from their perspective (because they likely already know all about the systems, products, or services for sale), confirm their business problem, manage the timeline with intensity, and apply the best technology tools to the problem.
To discuss this blog series, or to explore options for accelerating the engagement with Buyer 2.0 through enhanced CRM or collaboration solutions including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, NetSuite, Sharepoint, please contact FMT Consultants by filing the form below.