Discussion with Hank Barnes about sales authenticity means focus on customer value.

Video Transcript: Sales Authenticity means Focus on Customer Value

Some of it comes back to the practices that we see. What it really is about shifting their focus, from it’s about their products and services to make it  about the value that they provide to customers.

When we asked buyers what the valued most in their sales interactions, and as I mentioned they are willing to interact with sales very early in the buying process, because they are starting to do this trust evaluation and they are looking for help they can sift and take what you have to say versus what they’ve already learned about you.

But they were very clear about this and they are really not interested in the general company overview sales pitch. They’re not really interested in hearing about you following up and nagging them because they signed up for content. What they’re interested in is tailoring information to the company need or problem that they have.

They’re interested in having discovery sessions where you work with them to uncover additional needs and determine if your company is a good fit for them. They’re interested in anything that makes it about them, and adds value beyond the information that they can already find.

Actually one of the most fascinating things that we heard from them is again, we asked what type of interactions they value, and as I mentioned we talked about the importance that they looked to peers, they leveraged customers, they want to hear about customer case studies. But the least valued sales interaction they told us was a sales arranged reference caller visit. And with the survey instrument we couldn’t ask them individually why, but when we looked at it across the rest of the survey we think we know, and that is that I as a customer can find your customers of a customer of a vendor on my own. And I can have an unfettered and unrestricted conversation with them. If you arrange that, I suspect it’s going to be scripted. I suspect you’re going to coach the reference on the things that you want them to bring up and not bring up. And I’m not going to be comfortable with that authenticity.