Time-based branding makes it as easy as possible for your customer to find you and buy from you. Get this right and you will unlock new growth in even the most competitive of marketplaces.
In the first of this two-part series on how to adopt this winning approach in your organization, I showed you why you need to shift to one-stop shopping. That means consolidating what you offer based on the needs of your customer—reducing their risks in the buying process while boosting personalization.
The second step builds on those winning conditions: build a better buying process focused on what your customer needs. That means you must identify every friction point that slows down a customer from getting what they need or want. Fix that and you make it easier for them to buy from you. Get it wrong and you risk losing plenty.
I struggled with this first-hand recently when I shopped for a big-ticket CRM system on behalf of one of my clients. We knew what we wanted, needed it ASAP and we were ready to cut a check. The only thing that held us back was the seller. You read that right.
The seller insisted on putting us through a painful, time consuming, multistep process to sell to us slowly…when all we wanted to do was buy from them now. By handing us off repeatedly to different people—each one asking us if we would like to try their free 30-day trial—it left the impression the only thing they were working hard at was to NOT make a sale. And they succeeded: my client and I ended up buying from another company.
Learn from that costly mistake. Put a stop to redundancy in your buying process. Make things better for you by making them easier for your customer.
Here are four ways to make that happen.
Reset your expectations.
Your customer’s needs—not yours—must define your buying process. That means having a solid understanding of what that customer expects when they contact you. Don’t just guess at what that might be. Never make decisions on how you structure your process based on unchecked assumptions. Take time to put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if what you’re offering is sensible to them, based on their buying process and on the problems they’re looking to resolve. Remember: the buyer’s problem contains the solutions you’re looking for!
Rethink who does what and why.
Be willing to ask yourself uncomfortable questions. Why do you have all those Sales Development Reps (SDRs)…really? Do they help or hinder your customer from getting what they need in a business transaction?
Manage data seamlessly.
Insist on having an information capture process that accurately obtains everything about a buyer’s needs just once, and then shares it with each person who’s active in that buying process. Any process that requires multiple sellers to ask the same questions over and over is a buyer-repellant process. Opportunity dashboards in your CRM are a great way to ensure relevant information is being captured and used by everyone who talks to the buyer.
Hire those who can perform well at all stages.
Far too often, companies staff their SDR positions with junior people and poor performers. And yet these can be the toughest jobs in sales! This leads to high turnover rates, expensive attrition and frustrated buyers. If that sounds familiar to you, think how backwards that is. Your most important task—finding qualified buyers for your best products—is being left to your most junior, least experienced sellers. Take time to hire skillfully here. Find experienced people who can perform masterfully at every stage of the buying process.
Design a territory dashboard that’s built for outcomes.
There’s no point in collecting data if it doesn’t directly help you close more sales in less time in a manner that makes sense to your customer. Make sure the dashboard that drives your business is designed sensibly. Many are not. Does yours require that information be re-added each time there’s a handoff in the buying process? Are your sellers able to access it easily without having to perform redundant tasks? You’ve paid a lot of money for that CRM: it can only do its job well if you use it purposefully.
So get to work now on embracing time-based branding in your organization. Doing this well is how you eliminate a wide range of risks for your buyers. Building on those winning conditions, you create deeper customer loyalty, a better understanding of what your customer truly wants from you, and helps you stay on track to accelerating sales year after year.