How can digital selling improve the relationship between buyer and seller and pave the way to the sale? It’s all about understanding the dynamics of the delicate relationship between the parties, which can be summed up in one statistic: according to analysts at Forrester, the percentage of B2B buyers who prefer to search online for answers to their questions, rather than consulting a salesperson, has recently risen from 53% to 68%. Along with the inevitable ‘information bombardment’ typical of the Internet age and mobile connections that make anyone reachable by company messaging, there are also a series of limits linked to the interaction between the customer and the seller.
Interaction between the parties is fundamental, because if it is missing, it is impossible to develop the relationship of trust that considerably increases the chances of success. Generating interactions is the result of several factors including soft skills, sales techniques, and finally technology. As far as techniques are concerned, the proactive approach can be introduced, i.e. the ability of the salesperson to anticipate the buyer’s needs and resolve critical issues related to product adoption in good time. In addition, it is essential to approach the customer with the intention of solving a problem, not selling a product. But the most important element is to base the relationship on total customization of the offer. This is the pivotal point that affects the interactivity of the relationship. In fact, customers lose interest in offers that they feel are not relevant to their company. Therefore, it is the salesperson’s task to prepare not only a ‘custom’ proposal aimed at specific needs, but also all the materials needed to support it, from brochures to presentations.
On the need to personalize the offer and – above all – in the whole relationship with the buyer we can see the importance of technology, because tech and digital are interactive by definition. In front of the customer, using an integrated sales tool is a huge step forward. It’s not just a matter of eliminating errors, speeding up processes and executing them professionally, but also of building an effective and, indeed, interactive relationship with the customer.
The starting point of digital selling is sales support materials. If the process is based on appropriate tools, the seller has the possibility to show the customer digital catalogs, but above all relevant news about the product or how to use it. Interactive brochures, which allow the customer not only to discover and learn more about the product, but also to connect it to the company and its activities are also very interesting. Digital selling allows the seller to sell better with the help of videos, (customized) presentations and web pages. All this can be integrated with a bit of healthy improvisation based on relevant news, case studies and infographics, perhaps created ad hoc or simply published on the web. Stimulating the buyer’s curiosity is undoubtedly the first step in giving dynamism and interactivity to the relationship, on which to then build a lasting bond based on trust.
Digital sales processes give interactivity to the relationship with customers also – and above all – in the offer configuration phase, which by definition must be personalized. But it is one thing to rely on a traditional scheme in which the salesperson, having listened to the customer’s needs, configures the offer and submits it to him in the form of a quote or lists the options. It is another thing altogether to configure it together. In this way, the potential client can observe, with the utmost transparency, all the options allowed by the system and, above all, interact in the formation of what will be, to all intents and purposes, a tailor-made quote. In doing so, both parties contribute to the success of the operation and create a bond that could not only lead to a smooth sale, but offer numerous business opportunities in the future.