Sales Leaders Will Need To Implement A Buyer Persona Driven Sales System To Adapt To New Buyer Behaviors And Preferences
The past year of 2020 into 2021 will be looked at as one of the more transformative years to hit B2B sales in many a decade. Rocked to a standstill by the Covid-19 pandemic, sales have been making the slow climb back by experimenting with virtual selling. I believe B2B in general and in particular B2B sales will be entering a new era. An era that will redefine the seller-buyer relationship in ways we only have a hint of today. And in unimaginable ways throughout the post-pandemic recovery. Recovery as well as a societal transformation that could take five years or the rest of this decade.
In the next few years, we will see the introduction of new digital technologies, emerging millennial leaders, new buyer interaction design, and a rise in self-serve buyer-seller interaction capabilities. These will have a radical effect in two significant ways:
1 – Buyer Interaction preferences will change
2 – Seller Interaction and Engagement will be reengineered
The implications for B2B sales are they will need to re-engineer how they interact with prospects and buyers. Over the years, B2B sales have adopted a multitude of processes, systems, methodologies, and technologies to facilitate B2B selling. The pandemic has only compounded sales leaders’ challenge – how to align sales processes and systems with buyers.
A recent look at any visual of the available sales tech stack is a very telling sign of where B2B sales are today. The sales tech stack is growing and I cannot see how Nancy Nardin’s familiar sales tech stack landscape can fit any more logos. You have to wonder; has the enormous growth of marketing and sales tech stacks caused B2B to be so busy managing their marketing or sales operations that they forgot about the buyer?
The new shift in buyer goals and interaction preferences will lead to a return of focus on buyer insights and understanding buyer persona goals. Winnowing out the over-focus on tech stack and bringing back laser-like attention on how we help and engage buyers.
Aligning With A New Era Of Buyer Interactions
To align with a forthcoming new era of buyer interactions, B2B sales leaders will need to develop systems and processes that are buyer insights-driven. But does not stop there. Through the use of integrated buyer persona-based tools, sellers are able to become interwoven into the fabric of buyer goals and issues. Right now, they are not as this recent interview tells us:
“Look, it always comes down to the fact that they don’t know what we face day in and day out. They don’t know what issues are important. The deadlines we face. What we’re trying to accomplish. So, if I’m detecting that, then I’m cutting it off because it is a waste of time.” – Vice President, Operations
This is a clear example of being out of touch. The pandemic unfortunately has intensified an unhealthy focus on processes and technologies. Rather than becoming a part of shifting buyer goals and a new future of buying.
Preparedness for a new era can be achieved by adopting a Buyer Persona Sales System. A system that prioritizes several key elements:
1 – Buyer Insights are acquired and enable sales
2 – Sales can engage with sufficient knowledge of who buyers are
3 – Sellers are capable of addressing buyer goals and issues
4 – Buyer Interactions are designed around enabling buyers
5 – Sales can clearly demonstrate how they can be interwoven into buyer situations
6 – Sellers can close on clear-cut value towards accomplishing goals
By placing a priority on these types of elements, the use of processes and sales technologies can reach their full potential. As of today, much of the sales tech stack consists of empty shells with interactive puzzle pieces in them. Capable of doing much. That is if selling organizations are clear about their buyer strategies and the processes that support them.
A Buyer Persona Sales System can help to address a critical recurring cycle bound to be a part of the new era of B2B. Which is, buyers will continue to have shifting goals, issues, preferences, and adaptations. Sellers will need to be equipped with buyer insights and descriptive buyer personas to know when shifts occur and what the shifts represent. And how to adapt their processes and technologies to match buyer persona preferences.
In synch with buyers in real-time. Not out of touch and out of synch.
(To learn more about how sellers can be aligned with buyers, visit the Buyer Persona Selling Masterclass page.)