January 18, 2021

Sales Process

How to Design a Customer Centric Sales Process

New tech, trends and company standards challenge sales teams to remain one step ahead of the curve. In this article, we’ll show you how to design a customer centric sales process fit for any business.

customer centric sales process, B2B, SaaS, technology, costumer relationship, CRM, seller experience, client, success

The sales landscape is in constant flux. The emergence of new tech, trends and company standards mean sales teams must always remain one step ahead of the curve in their respective fields. But what if the key to boosting sales was simple?

Keep your customer in mind by implementing a customer centric sales process and you’ll be better posed to help them find the best solution possible – and you’ll build resilient relationships along the way. Customer centric selling creates sustainable revenue streams by building lasting trust between clients and solution providers. Particularly in B2B SaaS where one-size-fits-all solutions are hard to come by, adopting the customer centric selling approach can play a pivotal role in maintaining a solution-oriented focus at every stage within the sales cycle. In an industry known for high complexity sales situations and specialized knowledge and experience, successful sellers must be able to identify buyer’s specific needs in order to provide viable and appropriate solutions.

In this article, we’ll show you how to design a customer centric sales process fit for any business as well as examine the concrete benefits of this sales principle.

What is Customer Centric Selling?

When integrated correctly at all stages within the sales cycle, the customer centric sales approach can be a significant catalyst for growth. What components make up a successful customer centric sales process and how do they add value to your venture?

Simply put, a customer centric sales approach places the customer experience above all else. In other words, instead of selling a particular product, your team should be devoted to providing your client with a viable solution based on your customer’s specific wants and needs.

In order to achieve this, your sales team needs to relate with customers and get to know their side of the story inside and out. Reps must engage with customers and ask relevant questions. Initially, this may entail questions such as: What problems are they facing and what solutions have worked for them in the past? How can I go about providing a viable solution which ensures maximum transparency and mutual openness? What makes their particular situation unique? By prioritizing customer experience, sales reps following a customer centric selling approach should gradually begin to take on the role of a trusted advisor to the client.

How to Implement a Customer Centric Sales Approach

Follow these simply steps towards implementing a customer centric sales approach within your team. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Jonathan Kemper)

Understand Your Client: Listen First

To enact a customer centric approach to sales, you must take on the role of a trusted companion to your client at all stations along the sales trajectory from pre-sale inquiry to post-sale deployment. To do this effectively, sales team members must gain a thorough understanding of who the client is, what their business is about and what their pain points are. Sales reps must lead with curiosity and empathy in all interactions in order to fully understand the challenges the customer may be facing.

Become an Industry Expert

Here, it pays to know the ins and outs of the industry and how to handling common concerns or objections specific to B2B SaaS, such as those related to data security and ownership rights.

Align Teams

Whether sales reps or digital marketing initiatives are the point of first contact, close collaboration among teams at various stages is paramount to establishing mutual understanding of challenges buyers face. Companies may benefit from additional cross-departmental training and exposure (e.g. allowing sales reps a glimpse into the role and responsibilities of a customer support specialist) in order to foster better understanding of potential issues clients may be confronted with at different times. Aligning teams and team members is a crucial part of ensuring sustainable long-term growth.

It's essential to ensure close collaboration among teams in order to establish a firm understanding of buyer needs and challenges. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Cowomen)

Prioritize Long-term Success (vs. Short-term Company Gain)

Instead of prioritizing the sale of your product and the added revenue of an additional customer in the short run, teams which incorporate a customer centric sales process aim to elevate long-term client relationships above more immediate benefits. One example of how business can do this is to adjust their sales cycle to align with the buyer’s timeline instead of their own quota deadlines. This also helps the sales team prioritize the experience they offer instead of sales metrics they must reach.

Create Value with an Exemplary Customer Experience

Another benefit to establishing a customer centric sales process as the backbone of your business is the positive reputation you enjoy once your abilities apart from the crowd. Sculpt a sales team made up of knowledgeable, motivated individuals into a group of experts in the industry and others will notice.

Surveys featured in the Demand Gen B2B Buyers Report from 2019 highlight an increase in the number of resources buyers are utilizing to research vendors’ solutions and inform themselves on potential purchase decisions. Fueled by a growing demand for detailed research and ROI analysis, the mix of resources buyers now use to consider vendor products and solutions increasingly include peers and colleagues, prior experience with the vender, industry experts, analysts and influencers, as well as review websites. At the point of purchase decision, buyers identified key variables such as solving pain points and ease of deployment as most important to their final decision, followed by reviews (63%), vendor knowledge of the industry (65%) and the sales team’s ability to demonstrate knowledge of the buyer’s company.

The role of prior experience and peer reviews within the buying process is changing. Sellers must be able to adapt and take advantage of every opportunity to improve customer experience. (CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Dylan Gillis)

This data shows how different facets of the customer centric approach to solution selling play a role in the determining current and future success of a business. No longer is your product the pivotal element of the relationship with your client. To ensure long-term growth, it’s important to provide one continuous customer experience exemplary in all categories.

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