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The accelerated speed of communication and the ability to access any information with ease is changing everything – including the way we buy and sell. To be successful, consider adopting the following topics that will keep you ahead of your competition in 2014:

1. Empathy is the new black

http://biancajchadda.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/empathy2.jpgFor years, you have been trained to sell to a need.  As soon as the customer expresses the need, your pitch kicks in and you convince the the buyer of why you should be the one to help them.  But what if by doing so, you actually limit yourself because not all prospects know or realize that they have a need? Leveraging empathy means that you are able to put yourself inside the shoes of another person, seeing the world through their eyes and better understanding where the problems in their business are.  Successful reps leverage empathy to create deeper and more meaningful relationships with customers. It builds long-term relationships, credibility and trust.

2. Customers want to learn new things

More than ever, customers who are ready to make a purchase are armed with information and insight that allows them to make the majority of their decision without ever contacting a vendor.   To add new value and steer away from price-based decisions, you must lead with insight and reframe the way customers think about their business.   When the customer is provoked to think differently, align the messaging to the unique propositions that distinguish your solution.

3. Customers are learning about your product elsewhere

The marketplace is brimming with buyers who increasingly use social networks to conduct pre-purchase research. To influence your customer, you now have to be right at the sphere where they go to get their information and opinions. Social selling is about tweaking your daily routine to align yourself with the new buyer’s behavior, leveraging both content and social selling tools to connect and convince customers and prospects early on.

4. Chasing the budget? Align with the right stakeholders

In today’s consensus driven sales environment, choosing the right stakeholders to engage in the sales cycle could be the most critical decision. Traditionally, you were always expected to align solely to the economic buyer, but is that the person that will make the purchase decision? The most successful reps understand that they must identify mobilizers within their customer who can help further the purchase decision. According to a study conducted by the Corporate Executive Board, engaging mobilizers within the customer’s organization helps improve closing probability by over 30%

5. Orchestrate a compelling sales experience


http://static.winthecustomer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/customer-experience-theme.jpgWe are in living in an experience economy, where experience clearly outweighs traditional factors such as price/value or your company’s brand and reputation.   Customers are increasingly making their decisions based on the quality of the experience that they have with you. In fact, research of over 4,900 B2B customers clearly shows that sales experience trumps all other factors when it comes to customer loyalty and a favorable purchasing decision. Making sure your sales strategy is orchestrated around a compelling experience where value is consistently delivered is essential.  You must continuously adjust and quarterback to make it easy for the customer do business with you.

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