Retaining an agile value proposition to meet ever-changing buyer needs
2020 has seen changes in most sales professional’s working behaviours, as well as most businesses’ working practices. As expected, it has also seen a shift in the way buyers behave when making purchasing decisions.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that sales professionals across the globe are working hard, and often finding it difficult, to understand what is important to their customers today.
Unfortunately, this can lead to sales teams grasping at straws in sales pitches and presentations, perhaps to the detriment and dilution of the well-crafted core values of the business.
Perhaps the answer is to learn that, as businesses, we need an agile value proposition that’s reviewed regularly in line with changing customer demands?
Our value propositions need to amplify areas as they ascend our customer’s list of needs, with other previous sales messages becoming less of a priority.
Changes to business buyer behaviour 2020
According to research conducted by Gartner, “the B2B buying process has changed, and your sales strategy must too.”
Gartner states that the buyer journey has become harder in recent times.
Why? Added numbers of decision-makers in the process and increased access to data and information have overwhelmed buyers and created a lack of decision confidence or even decision paralysis.
In addition, research conducted by Forrester earlier this year found that the coronavirus pandemic is further accelerating these changes in buyer behaviours.
Forrester stated that “rapidly evolving environmental factors due to the coronavirus pandemic are driving profound changes in the behaviours of B2B buyers. This poses a risk to all B2B organisations unless they adapt quickly and pivot their strategy to be more customer-centric and digital.”
Overall, Forrester reported that buyers are now seeking experiences that are increasingly open, connected, intuitive and immediate.
- Open. “…more visibility and easier access to relevant information…”
- Connected. “More than 60% of buyers now say providers that are knowledgeable and address their needs have the most positive impact on their buying decisions.”
- Intuitive. “Intuitiveness demonstrates deep customer knowledge and understanding.”
- Immediate. “…immediacy requires being present and proactive at welcomed moments…”
Buyers are now comparing their professional buying experience with that of their personal consumer experience, with expectations increased as a result.
Customers will lean towards suppliers who can demonstrate a detailed and sympathetic understanding of their buying journey and favour suppliers that create an inclusive and personal buying experience.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, buyers will gravitate to the suppliers who offer the easiest and simplest buying process.
Is it any surprise then, that our salespeople are finding it difficult to win bids or close deals?
Old perceptions would lead us to believe that this is down to the ineffectiveness of the salesperson. However, recent research would infer that it is the difficulties faced by the buyer that is most likely to hamper the decision to purchase.
The value proposition in view of changing buyer behaviour
How, then, can a value proposition be adapted to address changing buyer behaviours?
Firstly, it is essential to make sure that you understand what your customer wants. Some sound and proven sales techniques and questioning should get you to this point without too much difficulty.
As importantly, we recommend conducting regular and detailed reviews of your value proposition to ensure that it reflects your customers’ behaviours and needs.
If according to Forrester, for example, buyers are seeking a more ‘open’ experience from their suppliers, then you must ensure that your value proposition reflects this.
Gartner’s research stated that “customers who perceived the information they received from suppliers to be helpful in advancing across their buying jobs were 2.8 times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease, and three times more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret.”
Therefore, demonstrating your ability to give access to, or provide relevant information such as costs and pricing, business practices, policies, and market feedback openly and transparently should:
- help to reduce buyers’ frustration
- establish trust and affinity
- and, most importantly, make the decision-making process easier.
Your value proposition is a set of clearly defined benefit statements that make your organisation’s products or services appealing to your clients. The formulation and articulation of your value proposition – the reason why people should work with you — is vital to sales performance yet undervalued by so many organisations.
A value proposition can quickly become dated and out of touch with current behaviours and requirements if not reviewed and refreshed regularly.
Maintaining an agile value proposition that meets the changing needs of your customer will give your sales teams the greatest chance of success.
If you’d like more information and insight into developing agile and successful value propositions, get in touch or visit our website at www.salesworxs.com.
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