If you want to be successful in selling, it’s important to understand what your customers need and want. Building strong relationships with your clients is key to success, as is creating a customer-centric culture within your organization. Customer centric selling processes will help you ensure that you are meeting the needs of your customers.
And finally, measuring success by how well you satisfy your customers is essential for any business looking to thrive in today’s competitive market.
The 5 Key Principles of Customer-Centric Selling
The game of sales is very different than it was in the past. Because technology continues to influence consumer behavior and companies, the old selling strategy no longer works. There are many ways to sell, given the important and ever-changing role of sales.
Everyone is looking for the magic bullet that will increase sales in emerging or traditional industries.
What is customer-centric marketing?
Customer-centric selling means elevating your customer and empathizing their needs at all stages of the sales process. You can adapt to your customer’s needs through a two-way dialogue, adapting to their schedule and being their greatest problem-solving friend.
By helping others, you make the world a better place.
Why is customer-centric selling important for your company?
Customers have access to more information and options than ever before. To stand out from the crowd, you must be able relate to your customers’ goals, challenges, and needs. To build a lasting, successful relationship with your customers, you must approach the sales process as an opportunity to help them.
How can you create a customer-centric approach to sales?
To build a customer-centric sales team, you must change the way that your sales reps interact with customers. Your sales team should be able to relate to customers every day. Sales can be a catalyst to a better future. They must ensure alignment at all stages of the customer relationship as well as in all areas of an organization.
How to prioritize customer-centric selling
To implement a customer-centric approach, you must change the way that your sales reps view customers. To maintain a revenue stream, sales reps must meet key metrics. Their actions must align with the larger purpose of helping people every day.
Customers-centric businesses understand that long-term success and well being of customers is more important to them than short-term profits.
Consider how your sales team matches (or doesn’t match) these key principles. These key principles can make a big difference in the way your team interacts with customers and your company.
1. Encourage customers to show empathy
Sales leaders must first find the right salespeople. Sometimes, stereotypes about the most successful personalities can prevent teams from building a customer-centric team.
Professor of sales strategy Steve W. Martin found that top-performing salespeople have modesty and conscientiousness. When integrating customer-centric sales into your company, empathy is a key trait.
Salespeople who are the best don’t put their business interests first. They listen to customers and make decisions in the best interests of the customer. They also raise their team (product, engineering, customer success and support) to be key players in turning customer challenges into assets.
Develop a plan to encourage empathy for customers who are in difficult situations. Help Scout uses Whole Company Support to allow everyone to work in the customer service queue for one week. Transparency in customer issues allows team members and customers to bond and feel empathy.
Some companies create scenarios that mirror the customer’s pain points. By putting your team in situations that offer deep insight, you can empower them to see the value they add to real people. You can be creative and help salespeople understand the real problems customers face every single day.
2. Lead with curiosity in every interaction
Salespeople who are curious and lead allow clients to achieve their goals. It’s not surprising that 82% top-performing salespeople have high levels of curiosity. The best professionals are more interested than trying to force others’ visions onto them.
The ideal salesperson asks intelligent and insightful questions to find out how they can help. This applies whether you’re selling a product, or an enterprise-level SaaS service. You need to address the root cause of the problem.
Imagine that you are looking for a suit to wear on a job interview. A great salesperson will ask friendly, warm questions to help you find the perfect fit for your day.
- Congratulations on your interview! What is the job description?
- Do you feel the office is too formal?
- Do you have style preferences?
- Are you planning to wear it on other occasions as well?
- Are you able budget?
The customer experience is improved if you ask more questions. These questions are the foundation of a great salesperson. They want customers to feel happy when they visit important moments in their lives.
3. Help a customer overcome obstacles
What is your goal when you start a sales conversation? Is it to achieve your quota or something else? Or to empower a client?
John Holland and Michael T. Bosworth, authors of CustomerCentric Selling, suggest that sales conversations can be fraught with inherent pressure. Customers are reluctant to listen to sales reps who apply too much pressure without prioritizing their needs.
Salespeople can help prospects solve problems by being open and knowledgeable. This sets a different tone than selling products to customers. Bosworth and Holland state that customer-centric salespeople should be open to the possibility of being fired if they aren’t able to empower customers to make the necessary changes.
Tension can be created within an organization by pushing through a bad fit. This can make it difficult for post-sales staff to keep a promise that they didn’t make. According to Daniel H. Pink, a sales expert, To Sell is Human, salespeople can benefit by asking two questions in order to determine if they’re helping a potential client.
- If the person you are selling agrees that they will purchase, will your life be easier?
- Your interaction will make the world a better place.
If you don’t answer any of these questions, you aren’t demonstrating customer-centric sales.
4. Be a part of a group that shares the same values and has a common voice
Customers are more aware of how they spend their money and make buying decisions that reflect their values. Edelman, a global marketing company, found that almost two-thirds of consumers will either purchase or boycott a brand based upon its position on a social or political issue.
People believe that companies are more powerful than governments to make positive changes, which is why they are changing their buying habits. This dynamic forces brands and organizations to think outside of their own interests and be advocates for their values within and outside of their organizations. In every aspect of your company, you must reflect the values and voice your customers.
Salespeople need to be able to talk to customers about company culture and ethical implications of purchases. Let’s say you want to help a diverse audience. To diversify the voices in your organization and the wider field, you must create a diverse sales team.
This emphasis on values is how you communicate with your customers. Instead of trying to dictate what you sell, be sensitive to the needs of your customers. The only way to cut through the noise is to mirror the voice and tone of your customers. Perhaps casual conversations are more appropriate than formal presentations.
5. One continuous, exceptional customer experience
There are two ways of looking at sales. One sales philosophy separates the customer experience into pre- and post-sales. The second philosophy sees sales as a seamless beginning to a dynamic customer experience.
Customer-centric selling is a great way of going because it aligns with the second philosophy. If you place emphasis on customer experience, from customer-centric marketing to product development, sales can be integrated with all aspects of your company.
This philosophy extends to Support Driven growth. It is the deliberate process of distinguishing yourself by providing excellent service and leveraging support to income-generating activities.
Pink stated, “If you feel tempted sell someone else, stop doing that and instead focus on serving them.” Do not try to increase their capabilities. You can do more than you think for them.
This insight will help you create a great customer experience that unlocks revenue. It allows sales to do their job. Referrals can be a powerful tool to help you follow up.
Every time a customer recommends your product or services, they are putting their reputation at stake. Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth conversations in customer-centric selling.
Frederick F. Reichheld, a former consultant stated that “The only way for profitable growth may be in the company’s ability get its loyal customers to become, in essence its marketing department.” These loyal customers can be compared to an external marketing team. They are the best ally for a sales department. Don’t be too hard with them.
Use the customer service platform that your customers love and your team will love.
Help Scout makes it simple to create teams in minutes. It can double your productivity and save you up to 80 percent on your annual support costs. Take a free trial to see what Help Scout can do in your organization.
Customer-centric selling creates respect and reciprocity
Help Scout’s Sales team is more of a service unit. Our job is to assist customers in achieving their goals. We wanted to create a sales process that was centered around customers and that could be adapted to their needs. Our job is to help customers understand the noise and achieve their goals. This is customer-centric selling.
Companies can go beyond traditional sales to give customers the freedom and flexibility they require. Integrating a customer-centric approach into all aspects of a company, including sales, will help to build meaningful relationships that go beyond just sales transactions and allow for sustainable growth.
Selling is all about meeting your customer needs. By doing customer centric selling, you can ensure that you are always putting the needs of your clients first. This will help build strong relationships with your clients and increase sales in the long run.