A recent study from McKinsey on the basics of B2B sales success notes that “B2B customers say they care most about product + price, but what they really want is a great sales experience.” Hmmm …
Are buyers getting valuable sales experiences? I wonder. As firms have moved to squeeze more revenues from sales teams, they’ve created activity-based accountabilities; sales cultures in which if what you’re doing isn’t working, ‘try harder’. Do more with less. The result: sales people are often too busy to be helpful to buyers. As a consequence, the hardest thing for buyers to find, these days? Help.
It’s created a stark disconnect between what sales teams do + what buyers seek. Sales teams are communicating value. Content distribution + consumption metrics are king. Lead scores emerge. Sales calls get made. Activities get recorded. Everyone on the sales team is really busy. Often so busy they haven’t the time to be exceptionally helpful. They’re spending half their time NOT selling. Perhaps being busy is counter-productive.
Buyer’s confirm it in McKinsey’s findings. Of the many habits that undermine the sales experience, over 1/3 involved contacting customers too frequently.
Their findings suggest customers want fewer, more meaningful interactions with sales people. This aligns with what sales experts like Neil Rackham, Jill Konrath, + John Monoky have been saying. Sales teams should shift from being busy to being productive; from communicating value to creating value. Give buyers help that’s so helpful, they’d pay for it if asked. To the helpful will go the rewards. The gold in this conclusion? McKinsey estimates hi performing sales teams can boost their share of their customers’ business by 8-15%.