“19 out of 20 ain’t bad.” Make it easier on your sales professionals by investing in your customers

happy customer

Managing the sales cycle and predicting when deals will close has always been, and will always be tough. Sales professionals fundamentally spend their entire day trying to get people to do something they probably would not have done otherwise and that is spend money on your service. It is important that the entire organization make it as easy as possible for sales professionals to navigate the complex selling process. And to make matters worse, for most organizations, it is very difficult to be patient and let B2B sales cycles play out. That said, one of the most straightforward hurdles that we can remove for sales professionals is to make sure that current customers are successful.

Buyers do their homework

57% of people are well down the path to making a decision before they ever interact with your sales people. They will interact with your website and the customer success stories you tell, and many will reach out to their network of peers to get perceptions of your company. Buyers trust their peers and their assessment of you well before any of the sales collateral with which you arm your sales team.

To this end, invest in people and skillsets that allow you to carve out time to ensure that your customers are successful. This means hiring people that will go the extra mile to solve problems for your customers. Your customers are looking for help thinking about their business or organizations in new and more effective ways. Being thought partners for your customers and getting to deeply understand the issues they are trying to solve takes time and resources (maybe even 10-15% of revenue). That said, when the reference call from a prospect comes, you will rest assured that your current customers will share a glowing review of your team and ultimately your service.

19 out of 20 customers gave a positive review

I saw this play out recently with one of the sales professionals with whom I work. She was working on one of her largest deals to date, at a price point much higher than our competitors. Unbeknownst to her, the prospect found and called 20 of our customers. This level of buyer research is impressive and frankly abnormal, but she was happy to tell me that 19 out of 20 customers gave our business a positive review. This was a real testament to the efforts of both our product team for building a robust service, but also testament to the people entrusted with providing ongoing support and service to each one of those 20 customers.

It’s not a foregone conclusion that the deal will get done, but I’d much rather have her go into the final negotiation knowing that she has 19 of our customers with her at her back.