The world is slowly climbing out of the great recession as companies around the world begin to increase investment and hiring. But for B2B sales teams looking to recapture growth during these early days, it’s critical to understand who’s really paying their bills and keeping the lights on — and guess what? It’s not your customer … it’s your customer’s customer. And if your sales team doesn’t deeply understand the business problems of these folks, then you’ll lose to competitors who do.
Before I get into the reasons why this is, consider some of the big, underlying changes happening in the market today. As companies start growing and investing again they are spending money, but they have fewer people than they had before. This means less time to accomplish key objectives and an even stronger focus on developing efficient strategies and processes to drive revenue growth ahead of the competition. As a result, they are changing the way they do business, innovating in the vertical integration of their product lines and socializing their go-to-market, because if they can innovate and out-execute the competition in the way they serve their customers they can gain more market share as spending comes back.
To accomplish this, large companies are now talking about «business transformation» in their sales teams, «cultural transformation» in how they interface with their customers, and building a «social business» as a new way to look at their internal collaboration process. With all these trends, the end objective is the same: How to better solve their customer’s business problem and so gain market share.
And so how do you solve your customer’s problem? Well like you, their challenge is revenue, profit and market share. So when your sales team understands their customer’s customer — and the business dynamics, competition and growth opportunities that their customer has — magic happens.
Here are the top 5 reasons:
1. You can focus on the customer’s business problem, not your products
It’s a cliché, but a true one: your customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions. But you can’t sell them a true solution unless you know what problem they are trying to solve, and understanding their customers will give you the insight you need to hold a useful conversation with your customer.
If you pitch product you become a tactical vendor; if you can discuss their customer and how they are serving their customer you become a member of your customer’s team. For example, is their customer driving price down on them — and so is your opportunity to help them take cost out of their operating expenses? Or are they focused on revenue and end user growth — and can your solution help your customer reduce their time to market?
Understanding the customer’s problem is sales 101, right? But it is surprising how many sales people still pitch product. It’s essential you provide your sales team with the intelligence and systems to stay on top of the customer’s ever changing end-business problem (see #5). Continuar leyendo «Top 5 Reasons to Understand Your Customer’s Customer»