The number one area we should always strive to improve in sales is how we can provide the best experience for our buyers.
The best experience is when all the chips are on the table, and buyers know all of their options and have complete information to make the best decision for their business.
A great salesperson is a trusted resource and guide who provides all of that information up front.
This creates a better buyer experience by allowing buyers to make decisions faster and easier.
Consumer behavior is changing, and speed, transparency, and expertise are more important to buyers than price when it comes to a deal and their experience.
Because people want to move quickly, they need information in real-time, and putting up blockers and withholding information wastes their time. Your buyers are begging for a more transparent process.
What is true transparency in sales?
When referring to the need for transparency in Sales, I mean the need for transparency on both sides: from the seller and the buyer.
On the Sales side, transparency is being more upfront about the sales process, competition, pricing, and the whole landscape versus hiding specific details to manipulate a buyer’s decision.
We also need buyers to be more transparent about their internal processes and the people involved, but they won’t be unless Sales is transparent first.
When people purchase things as consumers, they know the price as they’re researching that house or plane ticket, they see the price on the menu before ordering, and they see the price tag when they grab a t-shirt off the rack.
In B2B, we’re moving towards a world where people expect this same transparency and will be more transparent themselves once that trust on both sides has been established.
We need this trust, transparency, and collaboration, or we can’t be a proper resource or guide.
The old school vs. new school mentality
Most of us in sales are familiar with the old school, command and control method. We were taught that we don’t talk about pricing until later in the process, and we hold certain nuggets of information close to the vest. We absolutely never talk about competition because we don’t want buyers to get any ideas or evaluate the competition.
Operating in the new school group is understanding that buyers already know everything - or mostly everything. They have an idea of price, and they’ve probably already talked to or researched the competition.
Buyers today have much more information at their fingertips. What they need from sales is speed, less friction, and they need a guide.
The future of sales is a transparent buying process
Many organizations are already changing up their scripting in the first and second meetings to be more transparent and are introducing the concept of a mutual success plan.
But many teams still aren’t very comfortable with talking about some of these details. How to talk about pricing without locking it in prematurely or being transparent to the level that helps buyers understand all of their options.
We have to view the role of Sales as more of a consultant whose job is to help buyers make the best decision by benchmarking, sharing, and gathering all the facts instead of forcing them into a solution or hiding information.
The sellers, teams, and companies who can do this are the ones that are going to win because they understand changing buyer behavior and needs.
About the Author
Jake Dunlap designs repeatable, sustainable sales models and processes that outperform industry standards. As the founder and CEO of Skaled, Dunlap helps executives around the world accelerate business growth with data-backed sales solutions. Before building Skaled, he held the roles of VP of Sales at Nowait (acquired by Yelp), Head of Sales + Customer Success at Chartbeat, and VP of Sales at Glassdoor (acquired by Recruit Holdings for $1.2 billion in 2018).