Your customers are shopping without you
If you have shopped for a new car recently you’ll understand it when we assert that 60 - 75% of both B2B and B2C sales cycles are now the responsibility of the Marketing department, not Sales. Customers only want to engage with Sales after they have reduced the potential number of solutions to their final short list. As we have seen recently, this includes some amazing technical and even custom B2B products and services. As a result, this requires a significant change in how most of us go to market.
Customers now expect to be able to research our product and/or services online, including formal reviews, opinions via social media and the costs of ancillary services (e.g. the cost of insurance for the car). The implications for your sales team are threefold: 1) unless your sales reps are prepared, your customer will probably think they know about your company’s products or services than your sales team does, 2) the customer will only want to discuss price and availability, and 3) your company may be eliminated from the competition without you even knowing you were ever in the game.
This dramatic change in buyer behaviour creates an opportunity for the savvy company. The key is to use CRM to align your sales and marketing processes to provide visibility of the prospect from the moment they first step foot on your website to the time that they convert to be a hard-won customer. Here are some top tips:
If your CRM can’t handle the above or it starts to get ridiculously expensive, have a look around for a replacement. There are best of breed solutions on the market that can be assembled to meet your needs, and with some professional services to assist you get your processes right, can help you to get ahead of your competition.
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