Being a human isn’t adding value

Paul Nolan

Relationship selling is not a sustainable competitive advantage, says Brian Signorelli, who leads HubSpot’s sales consultant and cloud services team. “People sometimes buy from people, but not because they want to – usually, it’s because they have to.”

Technology is the preferred buying channel. Sales and marketing teams should view it as an ally. Simply being human is not the value in “value-add.” Signorelli offers these steps to adding value along the sales journey:

  • Stay current on industry trends impacting your buyers. The best marketing content addresses what prospects are wrestling with. What are the top three things your prospective customers are concerned about today, and what are the best companies doing to fix it? If you don’t know, you don’t read enough.
  • Experience your customers’ pain. In his first 30 days on the job at HubSpot, Signorelli had to build and launch his own website as if he were a marketer – the very persona he was selling into. The project made him far more effective at selling to prospective customers.
  • Be the expert on your company’s product or service. If you don’t care enough to master your own product, why should prospects? Nothing replaces superior product knowledge.

Signorelli says there continues to be too much “alligator” sales and marketing – big mouth and small ears. “To understand what truly matters to your prospect, they must explain it to you in their own words – before you consider positioning your solution as the one that will solve their challenge. Understanding the problems they are trying to solve and why makes you more valuable to prospects, which increases the chances of them becoming a customer.