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Sell How Your Customers Want to Buy w/ Kristin Zhivago [Episode 471]

In this episode, we elaborate on how so much of the purchase decision happens without a sales rep present, and what smart reps can do about it.

Kristin Zhivago, President at CloudPotential, and author of Roadmap to Revenue: How to Sell the Way Your Customers Want to Buy, joins me on this episode.

Kristin’s book explains how customers want to buy. In the years since she wrote it, revolutionary trends have arisen, due to mobile and Google. People find you, and want you to fulfill their needs right now.
Sales organizations still do outbound, but they have to be prepared at the moment of need, with the desired product or service. Voicemail is a barrier to those who are ready to buy but have just one more question. Answer when they call!
Andy’s book, Zero-Time Selling, is based around the urgency of the customer when they contact you. Customers have tools to find you. When you are found, be ready.
Sellers need to think like the customer. There is a GAP (Gross Assumption Problem). Find out what the customer wants from your product. (It’s not what you are promoting.)
Kristin says even between different industries, there are trends of what the customer needed from the purchase. Seven interviews with existing customers will reveal trends. Give them what they want, and they will buy. Use big data.
The job of salespeople is to ask questions, listen, and find out where the customer is in the buying process, what their next decision point is, and not to bore them with what they already know, and to help.
If sales methodology at an organization does not allow customer-centric behavior, it’s a problem to solve at the top. The CEO needs to understand it’s not just smiling and dialing.
Kristin’s book covers four levels of scrutiny. There is a lot of skepticism, especially in the software industry. Everyone has been burned, and no one wants that to happen again. Explore issues with the customer, to see if there is a good fit.
Salespeople must master deep thinking. The first answer to a question is not usually the whole answer. Don’t just skim the surface, but get to the customer motivation.
The book Absolute Value shows that buyers can come very close to experiencing the value of your product, before they even speak to you for the first time.
Kristin talks about the structure of a purchase, from need, through purchase and referrals. Kristin says to follow the scent. Map the real decision points along the way.
The NADA notes that the average car buyer visits one dealership to buy a car. B2B is headed that way. The role of the salesperson is to answer the buyer’s specific questions, and have the tools available to do that, in a timely manner.

The Sales Enablement Podcast with Andy Paul was formerly Accelerate! with Andy Paul.