Five Problem-solving Tactics to Turn B2B Prospects into Buyers
The pandemic has presented huge challenges to B2B companies worldwide. The savviest sales teams were able to continue seeking out opportunities to solve problems for their customers. Now, as the pandemic begins to subside, is a good time to take a deep breath and revitalize the ability to consistently convert customers into buyers. There’s no shortage of people who claim to have the key when it comes to unlocking the secret to closing sales. The bottom line? When it comes to solving problems for customers, the classics are still a hit.
1. Get to know your customer’s problems and be their counselor
Before you offer solutions, start by asking questions and get to know their pain points. When a potential customer comes to you with a problem that they want to solve and concedes that the problem is difficult enough that they have decided to reach out for your help, take the time to listen. Much like when seeking out a counselor for life advice, a customer will first need someone to understand their problems before they’re ready to buy into solutions.
Even if you already have great solutions for the problem they’re presenting, taking the time to listen will solidify in the customer’s mind that you’re there for them. When a customer knows in their mind that you are on their side, they’ll be ready to follow you.
Here are some examples of questions to ask, and don’t forget to ask the same questions to all the decision makers involved in the sale. Each stakeholder has their own perspective based on their role in the organization and area of responsibility. As such, each is likely to give you a different view of the challenges they want resolved. Counsel them accordingly. Collectively, these views will give you a broader understanding of how your solution fits the organization’s needs.
● What has consistently been troubling your business?
● How has it prevented your business from reaching its goals?
● What is your biggest problem today, this week, this month, or in the past year?
● If you could have one problem solved right now, what would it be?
● What do you worry about?
Want to be an expert at problem solving? Take the time to listen and understand where a customer stands and what their needs are before applying a solution.
2. Pinpoint areas where your solutions can bring value
Your product or service can add tremendous value to your customer. Your customer wants to accelerate the time to revenue, improve their ROI, create expansion opportunities. Naturally, you’ll help them achieve these goals, but how does the value of your product or service dovetail with your customer’s solution vision?
The authors of a recent McKinsey study contend, “Top-performing solutions sellers excel at understanding customer needs, delivering on the value proposition, and negotiating and closing deals compared to their more transactional peers.”
Recognize that you can carry your customer to the top of a mountain, but you need to make their legs stronger and their pack lighter. One way to do this is to figure out how your value proposition, as well as your company’s core values, will inspire your prospect to do business with you. Keep in mind that your brand, your response time in answering questions, your reputation for excellent service, and your overall credibility as a business partner all have value, as does your individual experience and expertise. Parlay these values in your discussion with prospects. Connect these to what is driving your prospect to talk with you in the first place.
3. Share testimonials and case studies illustrating how your company has solved similar problems
You’ve been successful in solving other customers’ problems in the past. And thanks to you they made a purchase and they are thriving now. Let them do the talking now.
Forrester has identified four types of customer advocates, one of which is dubbed as educators. “These customers love to share their experiences and swap best practices.”
By all means, you should tap into these customers’ willingness to sing your praises for your future customers to hear. To solidify your unique position to solve problems for a company you’ll not only need the advocacy of your current customers but also any solid data to back it all up. In a Forrester survey, 82% of technology buying decision makers said that it is “important or very important” for sales reps to have relevant examples or case studies to share with them.
They specifically referenced ROI case studies, value studies from credible third parties, soft metrics like employee productivity, and others. What’s clear is that your customers want clear data that support the value that your company offers.
4. Create personalized content addressing the customer’s problem
The days of slinging content around to see what sticks are far gone. To move to the forefront of your market you need the right data, you need it organized, and you need to listen to what it’s saying. Insight-driven marketing is the new trend. You want your content to relate to the customer and to do that you need clear insight into how your customers see the world.
Is your customer comparing you to other vendors, and if so, which ones and on which channels? Did they spend an especially long time on one of your company’s website pages? What’s catching their attention? Are they asking questions or posting comments on your social posts? Once you see the world through their eyes, you’ll know how to present the right content directed to solving their problems.
5. Tell a great story
How do you sell the wheel, an invention that’s been around for centuries and is far from cutting edge? You can sell it as if you are showing your friends pictures of your family.
In the finale of Mad Men Season I, the central character, Don Draper, stands before a group of executives and convinces them to change their entire marketing strategy for a new product. To do this, he tells them a touching story that reaches them on a personal level; a colleague even cries and runs out of the room at the end. What’s left is a room full of executives, mouths agape, ready to seize a new idea that they’d never thought of before and no one else is offering.
Without this story and the feelings left lingering in the listeners’ hearts, The Kodak Carousel slide projector would’ve been just another part of a pitch.
Storytelling reaches beyond data into the hearts of your customers, allowing you to make a sale. Yes, every customer wants solutions that work, but they must believe your solutions will work before you can implement them. They have to feel it, and a great storyteller knows how to make their customers feel.
Get to know your customers as well as you can. Only then can you truly solve their problems.
MarketSource has an extensive track record helping B2B companies build relationships with prospects and turn them into customers. Now it’s your turn! LET’S TALK.