What buyers want: insights and service after the sale

Paul Nolan

CSO Insights asked B2B buyers what attributes of salespeople influenced their decisions. What made them more likely to buy or less likely to buy? These four characteristics appeared at the top of the list:

Understand my business (know me) – Consumer websites have gotten people used to the idea that sellers already know them and can make recommendations. So there is a huge disconnect when a seller shows up to a meeting and says, “Tell me about your business.”

Demonstrate excellent communication skills – Today, the customer expectation is that every call is crisp, compelling and concise. Every interaction has to be worth the time. This covers the basics such as active listening and advanced questioning, but also includes negotiating, virtual presentations, storytelling, business case/ROI analysis, providing perspective and social selling techniques.

Focus on post-sale – Sellers aren’t perceived as focusing enough on, or demonstrating enough commitment to, what happens after the sale.

Give me insights and perspective – In an environment where buyers see little differentiation among their vendors, adding perspective can be the difference between a buyer engaging early in a buying decision, being willing to step backwards in a buying process to reopen a discussions of need or deciding to relegate sellers to simply providing contract terms, long after a decision has been made.

When looking at these four seller capabilities together, perspective is the one that provides the greatest opportunity to differentiate and the greatest opportunity to exceed expectations, the report states. It is a critical part of a sales methodology and deserves focus and attention.