Last week we published some thoughts from RainToday editor Michelle Davidson, who offered three great points about what buyers want from sellers and marketers. The very first point she made was that buyers want to deal with knowledgeable sales and marketing teams. As she stated, today’s buyer has no need or patience for a sales pitch. They want answers, analysis, and advice.
This is a message we are passionate about and feel it cannot be stated often enough: trust in B2B selling and marketing is built on credibility.
In the past, knowledge mostly meant knowing everything about your product or solution (as well as that of your competitor). And credibility was about how you acted — prospects preferred to buy from vendors who were helpful, honest, and delivered on their promises.
Those things still matter, of course. But credibility today now encompasses knowledge of a more sophisticated nature. As I wrote in a blog post last year, I believe buyers now take for it granted that you’ll include a business case as part of your sales pitch or proposal. I believe credible sellers and marketers are those who can answer “yes” to the following questions:
- Do you understand your prospect’s business challenges and do you have tools to help you express those business challenges in financial terms?
- Do you understand how to highlight business/financial challenges the prospect has but might not be aware of?
- Can you demonstrate an awareness of how the prospect’s options (buying from a competitor, doing nothing, or buying from you) compare to one another?
- Can you talk about ROI knowledgably with the Chief Financial Officer and/or CEO?
Beyond looking for integrity in all the traditional realms, buyers today trust vendors who can demonstrate this level of business acumen. Today, you must help prospects see their problems, envision solutions, overcome internal objections to investing in your solution, and achieve measurable results. That is how we need to start thinking about credibility as sellers and marketers.
How well do you score on the credibility scale? Share your thoughts in the comments section.