It’s time to rethink the sales process. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, you’ll find that your customers are increasingly doing the traditional job of selling all by themselves. The role of your salespeople is changing dramatically.
The New Role of Salespeople
It’s become less important to do hard selling because people have usually made up their minds about what they want to buy before they call you. The beauty of the Internet is that it empowers consumers to get all the information they need on specific topics by themselves. Then when they feel confident enough to talk to a salesperson, they’ll make that jump.
In light of this, salespeople should focus on two jobs:
- Fill in any knowledge gaps so customers make the best possible purchase
- Upsell when appropriate
That’s pretty much it. Sometimes people will call in thinking they have all the answers, but you can probably still offer some expertise to make sure they have all the facts they need. They also might not be aware of other services or products that could work well in conjunction with their purchase.
What You Should Do
Most of the selling process doesn’t take place on the phone anymore. A lot of it happens through search engines and Web pages. Your task right now is to create useful content that will guide potential buyers as they mature from casual seekers to intent purchasers.
Here are a few ideas on how to do that:
- Have a well-designed website to convert traffic into leads
- Create a blog (or multiple blogs) with posts that cover useful topics
- Write an ebook and ask people for their contact information to get a copy of it
- Create an email campaign to keep in touch with potential customers
- Guest blog and get your content published in targeted publications/websites
- Be active on social media. Don’t just talk; listen
You can read more about this in the Harvard Business Review article “If the Customer Is Always Right, You’re in Trouble.”