Facing an Evolution of Buying Behavior
Sales people today are confronted with dramatically new and different sales situations. Customers and prospects are becoming increasingly independent of the sales person, and sales must adapt to a much more autonomous customer who has other expectations on sales people than customers used to have. The “one-sales-method-fits-all” no longer exists.
Mercuri International’s Differentiated Selling© model defines different customer mindsets, based on how autonomous the customer is and what preferences they have towards you as a supplier.
The buyers’ autonomy (knowledge about their needs)
The buyers’ attitude towards the seller
Depending on where in the matrix a customer or prospect is, sales must adapt.
Buyer autonomy is now the rule
Our global studies – both the Sales Excellence Study and Procurement Study –showed that buyers most often expect low added value from sellers and have a clear preference for their existing suppliers. This serves a major challenge – and opportunity – for sellers who must transform themselves and learn Assertive selling©.
New customer acquisition requires totally new skills
In today’s business environment new customer acquisition is tougher than ever. To win new customers you need to develop Assertive selling© and Consultative selling© skills.
- Assertive selling©
Salespeople encounter customers who know their needs and are dismissive towards the sales person. In this case the sales person faces two hurdles; the customer does not want any contact with him and does not need anything, or is satisfied with his or her current supplier/s. This serves a major challenge, as the sales person must change the autonomous customer’s mind. This requires totally different skills and behaviour than the ones embedded in the majority of sales organizations today.
- Consultative selling©
In this situation customers seek advice from a supplier, but they have a negative attitude towards you. In this situation, traditional demand analyses are ineffective, as it will be too difficult to reach the same level as other preferred suppliers. The sales person’s only chance is to position the company not as a supplier but as a consultant, and to make a truly creative and differentiated offer. Consultative selling hence demands special skills among salespeople. In addition to product knowledge, they must also possess sector knowledge and commercial awareness to be able to beat competitors.
Learn more about your situation
Mercuri International offers a diagnostic of the buying situations your sales force is facing and a diagnostic of your sales force’s capacity to cope with these situations. We then analyse, plan and implement a program to ensure your sales force is able to handle the challenges they face in this new world, to create true sales transformation.
Don’t hesitate to contact your local Mercuri International consultant to learn more about Differentiated Selling©.