By 2025, sales strategies will need to change to meet the needs of the millennial B2B buyer as they will form more than 50% of the market, making critical purchasing decisions. Like no other generation who have gone before them, millennials feel face to face meetings are unnecessary, often preferring to complete their research. Therefore, standard sales approaches will need to adapt to suit the new faces of influence. To build positive sales relationships, you need to be aware of what is essential to the new generation of buyers, including recognising the significance of peer-to-peer recommendations and reviews, being digitally savvy and letting them lead the way in terms of communications.
With the landscape of the sales industry-changing but building customer relationships in sales staying as relevant as ever, understand the importance of tailoring your sales approach to your buyer and discover how to go about this moving forward.
Why is tailoring your sales strategy important?
Millennials working across all industries, from technology to marketing, are gaining key decision-making positions within businesses as older generations start to retire and be replaced by their younger counterparts.
With this in mind, the tried and tested sales strategy your business utilised 20 years ago may not work anymore. Tailoring your approach to selling is important, and it’s vital to take a different approach to a sales pitch depending on who you are selling to.
Benefits of a bespoke sales strategy include:
- Boosting sales – A tailored approach to your pitch ensures the messaging is personalised to the audience (a potential buyer). Pitches are more persuasive when you consider the direct needs of the customer and the ethos behind their business. The more persuasive you can be, the more likely you’ll convert a meeting into a sale.
- Improving loyalty – Competition continues to increase, meaning loyalty is a highly prized commodity. Understanding how best to approach businesses and having a strong understanding of what makes them tick can create a personalised strategy that encourages retention levels.
How to tailor a sales strategy
There’s a lot to consider when tailoring a sales strategy to new decision makers, including:
- Research – Strong knowledge of the needs and aspirations of the business you’re addressing is vital. Conducting in-depth research before a pitch into their history, business model, successes and challenges can ensure you cover everything important to the customer.
- Listen – Your pitch shouldn’t feel like a monologue. Ask thoughtful questions and encourage conversation, engaging your potential buyer. It also offers the opportunity to get a better understanding of their needs.
- Make it about them – The pitch isn’t about you – it’s about the buyer and their business. Buyers want to know how you can assist them. Explain the ways your offering can help them overcome challenges and achieve their goals, pitching yourself as a partner rather than a supplier.
- Demonstrate – Reading off a long list of benefits your products or services offer the buyer can be quite dull. Instead, show them the potential results, with screenshots of previous work and charts demonstrating success. Showing the buyer why you are the best option using visual elements is key.
- Evidence – Nothing speaks to buyers more than evidence of success. For the new generation of buyers, this is likely to be in the form of reviews. Direct your potential clients to online review sites to show them evidence of happy customers you’ve worked with in the past.
- Time – The rise of the on-demand generation means it can be difficult to pin someone down to a specific time. If this is the case, don’t try to force a sales meeting. Simply drop your sales pitch in an email or message and let them digest it at their own pace. It’s all about knowing what communications methods work best for your client.
Building customer relationships in sales
A tailored sales pitch shouldn’t stop at the end of the meeting. Whether they’re a new or existing client, maintaining sales relationships is important. Any good salesperson will be looking to ensure their customers return time and again, and developing a good relationship between you and the customer ensures this.
Keep in touch after the pitch – whether it is successful or not. Ask about how your product or service is working and for any feedback. Or see if they have any new thoughts or challenges. Investing time into a relationship helps build trust and loyalty. Continuing the conversation after a sale completion keeps the customer feeling valued. Any feedback gained can be used to further tailor your services too.
You can also send over company updates or newsletters to remind the buyer of your offering. However, don’t overdo it and jeopardise your relationship between sales and customer. Nobody likes to receive hundreds of emails or phone calls, so keep an eye on how your communications are received and take it from there. Take the lead from your client too. If they’re keen to meet face to face, try to set up more frequent meetings, or if they’re more comfortable on the phone or on video calls, use this knowledge to your advantage to improve overall communications.
It has never been more important to ensure your sales approach is tailored to your potential customer with the continuing rise of the millennial B2B buyer and the demands of this new generation.