When sales professionals sell products and services to prospective buyers, buyers want to know that the sales team understands their business needs at a deep and fundamental level. The more closely the sales team can demonstrate a connection between the buyer’s needs and how the solution will address those needs, the more likely the buyer is to choose that particular solution and trust the sales team over the long term.
Understanding Leads to Greater Trust
Understanding buyer needs is important not only for an initial sale but throughout the relationship between the supplier and buyer. It’s important because it ensures there’s a good fit between solving buyers’ needs and long-term customer success. No one wants to select, install, and use a product only to discover there’s a mismatch between what was promised and what the solution can actually deliver.
This trust factor is huge. In new relationships, buyers may be wary of trusting sales claims, especially if they appear designed to simply convince the buyer to sign a contract quickly. In other instances, buyers wonder if they can trust a rep who misrepresented their solution’s capabilities, even just a little bit.
Or perhaps the sales team didn’t overtly lie but failed to correct what they knew was a misperception on behalf of the buyer. Buyers naturally migrate toward sales teams that put buyer needs first, even if that means admitting their solution isn’t a perfect fit.
Banking on Trust for Future Business Deals and Buyer Recommendations
Trust can be quantified in two key areas of buyer behavior—Future Business Likelihood and Recommendation Likelihood. In our Understanding Buyer Needs research we found that:
- 68% of buyers are likely to do future business with vendors Click & Tweet! and 73% would recommend vendors when sales teams are deemed effective in understanding buyer needs Click & Tweet! .
- In contrast, 51% of buyers will not conduct future business with vendors Click & Tweet! and 64% will not recommend vendors when sales teams fail to understand their needs. Click & Tweet!
Establishing trust is especially important over the long term. Even if a sales team manages to convince a buyer that it understands his or her needs and can solve the thorniest issues, trust must be proven again and again. By demonstrating an understanding of buyer needs over time, successful sales leaders and account teams build that trust and parlay it into successful long-term relationships.
As buyer loyalty in the B2B industry has changed, building trust has become increasingly important. Instead of reliably buying from the same, single vendor year after year, B2B managers now look for the best value and the highest performance to solve their company’s needs. As KnowledgeTree points out, B2B sellers must turn sales calls into “consultative conversations,” demonstrating an understanding of “customers, their industry, and their unique challenges, goals, and priorities.”
Within this changing environment, a sales representative’s ability to understand buyer needs using engaging and relevant dialog is essential to winning new customers and renewing existing accounts. And it’s a factor that will set apart those sellers from sales teams that don’t take the time to understand this very important component within the B2B buying cycle: understanding buyer needs.
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