sales and buying

Customizing the Buying Experience

The consumer’s engagement in the buying process is more intense than it has ever been. With all the information available to us, it’s no wonder selling has become more and more difficult. When buying a product online, 92 percent of consumers spend time reading online reviews ahead of time and 40 percent of those consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews. They insert their own confirmation biases and make quick decisions based on how well that product is customized for their own pre-determined needs.

This kind of access to information is changing how customers buy across the board. And when you think about it—this new reality has made many activities accessible without the engagement of face-to-face interaction. From banking and dating to physical fitness and travel. Consumers feel empowered and want solutions tailored to them, or customizable.

What This Means for You

With this increased involvement from consumers, the sales process has changed and needs to be tailored in similar fashion. The buyer is going to be concerned about how much things cost, whether their opinion will be taken into account, and if they even have the time to listen. And the buyer is going to be armed with more information than they would have been in the past, which is going to make them a lot more confident than they once were.

As a result, sales professionals need a strategy—a sales process—that takes into account all of those pieces of the buyer’s mindset. It has to be flexible enough that they can tailor it to individual clients, but sturdy enough that it can be scalable and repeatable. There needs to be an element of predictability in the process despite the unpredictable consumer and their concerns.

Be Strategically Prepared

Once you are thinking strategically about the sales process, you can incorporate the tactics and skills you will need to use throughout the process. How? You’ll think in terms of if this, then that. If I get someone’s voicemail, what do I say? How do I deal with an objection about price? How do I give my impact statement? How do I present things in a logical fashion?

You’re also going to be developing skills that apply in any process: things like verbal brevity, resolving objections, being able to facilitate, selling over the phone versus selling in person. Remember, the sales process is simply the buying process in reverse.

In today’s marketplace, being a forceful, charismatic salesperson will not do the job. Consumers are different. They’re savvier, armed with more opinions based on the good and bad information. You need to have a repeatable system to address these and other complexities in today’s market. Learn more about what this proven and repeatable sales process is by visiting, the Tyson Group website or by purchasing your copy of, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business And Compete In A Complex World.

digital information

Separating the Good Data from the Bad

In the next couple of posts, I’ll be addressing how today’s information age has dramatically impacted the sales process. We all have more data at the tips of our fingers than we know what to do with. This most certainly plays a major role in any decision we make, from medical self-diagnosis to major IT investments for our company. Buyers have more information than they used to, which dramatically changes the dynamic between the consumer and sales professional. The identity, purpose, and involvement of a salesperson in the buying process is different than it’s been traditionally; they are no longer the primary information provider.

The challenge for sales professionals is the information available isn’t always good or accurate. It is estimated that 62-percent of organizations rely on marketing/prospect data that’s 20-40 percent inaccurate and 94-percent of businesses suspect that their customer and prospect data is inaccurate.” Data is the new major challenge for any sales individual.

Case in Point

People tend to believe just about anything they read on the internet, especially when it’s shared on a reputable site. Let me give you an example. My Inside Sales Manager once showed me a former Tyson Group employee’s LinkedIn profile, in which he claimed he won Rookie of the Year at my company. Trouble is, we don’t have a Rookie of the Year award. I sent him a note apologizing for missing the ceremony with a P.S. explaining that he might want to represent himself accurately.

It’s easy to accept what’s said just because someone said it in an opinion blog, an online resume, or a biased product/service/experience review. Inaccuracies, including the faulty information salespeople glean when they rely on the same online sources, ramp up the pressure on salespeople. They mean a salesperson has to be asking the right questions at the right time in live conversation or through thorough research. It’s critical throughout the sales process to take the temperature of prospects.

Buyers Are Requiring More

Not only has the role of sales professionals changed after meeting with a prospect, but the time and effort it takes to get to that meeting has also increased. Identifying an opportunity, pre-approach, and initial communication, are the most time-consuming parts of the sale process these days.

In B2B sales it takes six to eight touches to get someone interested enough to even talk with you and another six to eight touches get time on someone’s calendar. Those touches can come through LinkedIn, Twitter, even snail mail.

Making these critical milestones with potential buyers not only requires a steady, strategic sales process, but it also requires transparency. In a recent Inc. article, they cite a 2016 Label Insight Transparency ROI Study which confirms the need for more transparency from companies and their representatives because of the following reasons: consumers want to know everything about a product; consumers want to know about more than just your product; and if your company isn’t providing the transparent information, consumers will look elsewhere to get it.

Help your prospects make the best-informed decision they can make: be a source of accurate and transparent facts in an environment where they’re inundated with questionable information. Learn how to better integrate this into your sales process with the Tyson Group self-evaluation: https://tysongroup.com/evaluation/