Prepare Your Sales Team for Well-Informed Leads

According to a Pew Research Poll, we’re all better informed than ever–or at least think we are–thanks to the internet. That’s true of your sales prospects, too. A simple Google search will get your sales prospects most of the information they need to make a decision, giving them access to online reviews, resources, and other data. In fact, over 60% of the buying cycle is complete before prospects even contact the company.

Over 60% of the buying cycle is complete before prospects even contact your company.

That should make closing the deal easier than ever, right?

Sadly, no. With increasingly well-informed leads come scarier customer objections, and 60% isn’t 100%. The more well-informed the lead, the more time they have invested in your solutions–so they’re likely to have well thought-out objections that your sales rep will need to overcome in order to seal the deal.

Objections can generally be classified in three ways:

1. What’s the Price to Quality Ratio?

Customers are really weighing risk here. While they may be objecting to cost, they want to know how it affects quality of service and, overall, their ROI. Customers who have done their research about your company, have likely looked into others as well and are comparing you to one or more competitors on pricing and features.

2. “Trust, but Verify”

Objections or concerns with trust mean that they haven’t discovered materials or had interactions along their customer journey that make them a believer. This is an opportunity to demonstrate that your solutions are waiting for them on the other side of that trust fall. Provide client testimonials and case studies, or even a trial period to demonstrate that you’re the real deal.

3. They’re stalling

When a customer is stalling on a decision or objecting to deadlines, it means they’re feeling the pressure or are uncertain that they can make changes this far down the line. Rehash, rescope, remind them what drew them to your solutions in the first place.

The days of just dealing with customer objections by floating the same canned sales binder full of information are long over. Well-informed, empowered prospects require answers tailored to their specific needs.

Be disrupted

Empowered customers are totally disruptive, and they require a transformed sales approach. If you’re part of the 77% of sales teams that don’t yet utilize sales enablement systems as their single source for content and information, chances are that you and your team are scrounging in several places to find what you need. Risks with this method (or lack of method) include late replies, outdated and inaccurate information, and wasted staff time.

According to Forrester Research, we are in The Age of the Customer: “The most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.”

The most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.

So, reinvent already

In response, sales executives are transforming their teams by providing access to well-designed, targeted and organized selling content to fuel them through the Age of the Customer. They’re not just looking for sales, but premium, top-of-the-line results. Sales pros must have the tools to deliver compelling insights in response to well-informed customer objections to 1) communicate value, 2) demonstrate trust and 3) close the deal.

As the customer journey (generally in Marketing’s wheelhouse) has intertwined with the sales cycle, it’s even more critical that Sales and Marketing are tightly aligned, particularly as reps work to customize information to the specific needs of prospects. Sales informs content, and content informs sales to create an authentic guide to what prospects really need for a solution and want from a sales team.

Guide the customer more effectively with Just-In-Time content

Compiling and updating content is nothing new to anyone who has labored over sales training binders, portfolios, and seminars, but implementing solutions that customize content in a useful way is where sales reps and customers alike are seeing the difference. Sales executives are innovating the process with what is known as “just-in-time” content. These solutions make it faster and simpler for salespeople to find the right thing to say, to the right person, at the right time and advance the sale — knowledge, optimized. Just-in-time content is easily searchable, accurate, up to date and exactly the information required to prepare your sales team to effectively tend to the customer objections of their well-informed prospect in real time.

Sales executives are innovating the process with what is known as “just-in-time” content.

For a sales team, trusting that they have the information they need, handy in their mobile device, empowers them to redirect the sale to new, valuable information when necessary. It gives them the confidence to counter objections with accurate data and better guide the prospect along the sales journey — from the first 60%, through to close. In this new world, respecting the new, well-informed lead and transforming resources and responses will help the business realize premium results.