Carlos Hidalgo, Founder & CEO of VisumCx and author of Driving Demand: Transforming B2B Marketing to Meet the Needs of the Modern Buyer, joins me on this episode.
- Carlos says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today, especially seasoned reps, is understanding that the way they used to sell no longer applies. The buyer will only contact those on their short list.
- Customers, according to CEB, are already 57% along the way to a solution. Carlos says to talk to customers in depth about what they are solving. The customer may need a broader view. There is usually another decider.
- Carlos discusses the customer experience within the buying process — before a purchase is made. It is the arc from brand engagement to customer advocacy after the sale. A great buying experience is essential.
- Carlos asks organizations how they enable, equip, and empower their staff in every area to deliver the type of experience that the customers are demanding. Doing what’s best for the customer benefits the organization.
- In the buying process, customers want to gather the information they need to make a good decision with the least investment of time and effort possible. The customer does not intentionally stretch out the process.
- Is the selling process aligned with the customer buying process? Ask the customer ahead of time what their buying objective is. What are they trying to achieve? There might not even be a fit for your solution.
- The deal resolves more quickly and closes faster when the rep takes a buyer-centric approach. The price may not even be a factor. Build trust first.
- Carlos says SDRs should be asked to validate the lead by asking a few questions before handing the lead to sales. Carlos describes a warm hand-off with an introduction, not just setting an appointment.
- The SDR has an important role, and it should not be a throw-away position. It is not training for field sales. It may take years to get good at it and improve the customer experience.
- Carlos explains designing the customer experience, based on what they expect. Know the experience your customer wants and make sure you deliver on that expectation. You may even find you’re targeting the wrong customers.
- You have to go into the field and talk to your customers about what they expect from you at every touch point. You may hear that “your baby is ugly” and you can’t be defensive about it. You have to learn how to improve.
- Carlos praises the customer experience quality of two companies — Apple and Subaru. They have each earned his loyalty and advocacy through their attention to him and to his expectations.