Four Mistakes to Avoid During Customer Conversations
Awesome Inc*. had made a fortune selling its awesome widgets, solutions and services. In the last few years the competitive landscape had heated up and the company had increasing pressure to sell more and more using limited resources.
They had armed the sales team with new gadgets and shiny tablets loaded with digital marketing content created by their awesome marketing division.
The team could now showcase the awesome marketing content to our new and existing customers. “Awesome stuff”, the customers would exclaim, as new customers became big customers and big customers became bigger customers.
That was the plan.
The reality was that despite having all the awesome content in a mobile device, all those shiny widgets, fancy tablets and great content were not working as effectively as they should. This inference was made based on customer feedbacks and customer call coverage analysis.
So Awesome Inc. sales leadership spoke to a sample of the customers and uncovered this list of mistakes they were making. Mistakes to avoid during customer conversations.
Mistake 1: Having the same conversation again and again.
Awesome Inc. had a lot of widgets, solutions and services in their offering list – and therefore a lot of marketing assets. It was impossible to track the specific variant of sales collateral that had been showcased in the past – especially when several of these digital assets were used in each meeting.
Mistake 2: Giving redundant information to the Customer.
Awesome Inc. had provided their sales team a tablet full of awesome digital content created by their awesome marketing team. The content was carefully designed to address specific segment of audience. But despite this, the showcased content was often times not relevant due to unavailability of relevant customer profiles and the mechanism of matching content with profiles.
Mistake 3: Using inbound or new customer marketing content for existing customers.
Awesome Inc. was trying to dominate the inbound marketing realm with awesome content that created waves of web impressions; clicks and web based lead generation. Really great content, but all this content was not relevant for existing customers. It was impossible to guide the sales team on when to use this content and when not to. Talking about things that are not relevant provide lesser time for relevant conversations.
Mistake 4: Letting tactical follow-ups highjack the valuable conversation time.
There were instances where the customer asked for a product specification and the entire meeting time was spent searching for it. An enquiry about the status of a follow-up from last meeting tool claimed a significant chunk of the allotted time.
Needless to say, it was extremely important to avoid these mistakes to keep the customer conversations focused and effective because it impacted the sales cycle directly. Also, efficiently managed conversations helped the sales persons to stay closer to the planned call schedule – primarily due the ability to complete the planned call objectives within the scheduled time. This efficiency was lost if customer conversation mistakes were made.
So how did Awesome Inc. solve the problem? The solution was actually very simple – by matching right content to right customer profile.
But the key challenge in this initiative was to account for changing customer profiles and dynamics of sales opportunities being tracked in the CRM simultaneously and then map these to matching content. This would enable the sales team to not only position the products and services earmarked for short term sales, but to also enable longer timeline customer journey cycle strategies.
At BSharpTM, we had figured out how to do this through our awarded & patent pending sales enablement. We helped Awesome Inc. to address these problems.
Here are the results.
* Based on real customer case study. Names changed to protect privacy.
Prithvi Banerjee is a seasoned technologist and entrepreneur. He has worked in technical and leadership capacity in several companies and has created solutions for top Digital Marketing agencies of the world.
He holds a B. Tech in Electronics Engineering from IIT BHU, Varanasi and a Masters in Engineering & Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massahusetts.