The 5 Toughest Challenges when Selling To Empowered Buyers

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We all know: The only constant in life is change. And this is nowhere as evident as it is in the world of digital marketing.

Traditional practices that worked less than half a decade ago are outdated. While the marketing evolution has opened new vistas for companies, it has simultaneously placed immense power in the hands of consumers.

Let’s take a closer look at the challenges sales teams face because of the fast-paced digital world.

1. Getting Cynical Buyers to Trust Us
The modern buyer is well-informed, and, as a result, often quite cynical. Customers are bombarded by an endless amount of messages on a daily basis. The average buyer is overwhelmed, and has learned how to separate an authoritative and meaningful voice from the noise.

To be that company that buyers listen to, we need to gain consumer trust – and that means delivering content that is engaging and meaningful. At the end of the day, sending a sales rep into a world of ready-to-buy buyers is a waste of valuable resources if prospects perceive us as untrustworthy.

2. Buyers Enter the Funnel Prepared
According to HBR, nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision is made before a prospect contacts us. They have already researched the industry, have learned where you fall into the mix, and have investigated how you stack up against the competition.

Customers no longer need to be walked through the sales process from on-start. They are already way ahead, which means that we have to adapt quickly to where they are in the funnel. A one-size-fits all approach doesn’t work. We need to enable our sales reps with more targeted messages if we want to see conversions. Prepared buyers mean buyers that are ready to make a purchase decision. And we have to be there, ready to meet their needs at the right time with the right messages.

3.     It’s No Longer a Linear Process
The problem with a linear funnel is that the buying process is no longer linear. It’s not a simple matter of putting through new prospects into the top of the funnel and converting a percentage to sales at the bottom.

Today, buyers have more complex relationships with brands and companies. They may be your customers and social followers without actually buying. Or they may be your customers and social followers that are ready to buy again or for the first time.

Our sales teams are confronted with a non-linear set of problems and opportunities – and they need to be engaging with us no matter where they are in their purchase decision.

4.     More Buyer Empowerment Means a Customer Driven Future
Tiffani Bova, a leading analyst at Gartner predicts that “the sales force of the future is going to be a customer driven sales organization – customers begin their journey the way they want to buy, number one.” Customers are empowered already, and will be more empowered in the future.

Sales reps need to be prepared to meet customers on their own terms.

5. Complex Processes Require More Expertise, Less Hype
Buyers don’t just need access to more content – they’ve already done their homework. With the ever-evolving B2B environment, and an increasingly complex sales process, customers are looking for the kind of sales rep that can deal with their challenges.

Customers don’t want reassurance, or a hand to hold – they want expertise. Sales reps needs to be more than just a suit – they need to be experts in their field.

Looking to navigate through these challenges in the most cost-effective way? Sales enablement can get you there.


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