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Sergio Zuniga 12.07.2021 6 min read

3 Tips for sales leaders to adapt to the changing buyer landscape

Selling has always been more about the buyers than about the sellers. So, it is no brainer that every sales model must change, evolve, and adapt to the changing buyer landscape.

For centuries sales teams have relied upon the AIDA model where a buyer's journey starts from the Awareness stage, moves to Interest, and then to Action. In each step of the sales funnel, the sales team is supposed to perform a series of tasks, often sequentially, to close a deal.

However, if we look at the Global State of Sales Report 2021, we can see that buyers now love virtual sales. The global, ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further reinforced the fact that many companies are going virtual. Looking back at the report, we see that 50% of the population said working remotely made their purchasing process more convenient.

In fact, the Gartner prediction comes as no surprise, stating that "by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels."

So, sales professionals have no other choice but to reframe their sales funnel and adapt to the changing buyer landscape. To thrive, sales leaders have to be agile and adapt.

Here are three tips to help sales leaders devise their sales strategies and adapt to the ever-changing buyer landscape.

1. Putting buyers first

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that sales have always been about putting the buyers first. The pandemic just validated the fact, and now, sales leaders need to consider buyers' circumstances and context as their own.

The Global State of Sales Report revealed that only 23% of buyers agreed that sellers put the buyers first, although 65% salespeople said they always put buyers first. Maybe it's time to embrace a different approach.

Instead of focusing only on numbers and metrics, sales leaders need to empathize with their buyers. It's high time that they ask themselves this question, "How well do we know our buyers?" Every sales leader needs to ask their team, "What did you do differently to show our buyers that we care?"

To answer these questions, sales leaders need to spend time understanding the problem their buyers are facing.

So, if you’re a sales leader, talk to your buyer and find their pain points. Only when you know the ailment thoroughly will you be better positioned to prescribe a solution that works for your buyers. Spend more time everyday learning, do it consistently, block time every day in your calendar for buyer interactions; only then can you devise a solution that will bring immense value to your buyers.

2. Make a relationship

Most of the time, salespeople and sales leaders are under tremendous pressure to reach their monthly targets. This leads them to bombard their customers with sales pitches when they are not even ready to buy. What can you do in that scenario?

Start with building a long-term relationship with your buyers. Although your ultimate aim is to solve a customer problem, creating a long-term relationship will help you set the foundation strong. And when the buyer is ready to make a purchase, you'll be on top of their mind.

An easy way to make a long-term relationship is to connect with them in real-time. Don't connect with them with the purpose of selling. Talk about anything other than your product. In short, connect to build the trust so that you can pull the string to influence their buying decision when you need to.

3. Make a common ground for buyers and sellers.

It’s a fact that Virtual selling is here to say, which means it gets even more challenging to connect with your buyers. Leverage the power of content. Creating meaningful content is good enough to grab the attention of your customers.

Remember, the more you can share meaningful content, the more exposure your brand will receive. Today's virtual world allows us to share content on a more personal level. We can see each other's homes, kids, pets, workspace. Leverage these moments to connect with your buyers on a more personal level.

Final Note

We have come far from the days when a firm handshake or a great product could just bring in business. The buyer landscape is evolving, and sales leaders who embrace a human-centric approach to virtual sales will have a competitive advantage over their peers—prioritizing long-term relationships, offering valuable content, and having a buyer-first approach can be game-changers in the coming days.