Studies show that 74% of B2B technology deals go to the seller who brings the most buyer insight and helps form the buying vision. You can only achieve this with in-depth buyer research.
Buying ERP is a Complex Process
The process for buying an ERP platform is complex. Buyers need to know a lot about their business processes and workflows just to figure out which platforms to consider. They know ERP will touch nearly every aspect of their business. No matter what they choose, it’s going to be complex and time consuming to deploy. And getting it wrong can put the business at significant risk.
So buyers have to do a lot of research, much of it online, before making a decision. But this doesn’t simplify their buying process. They have to sort through a massive amount of information online to find what matters most to their business.
ERP Buyers Hesitate to Talk to Sellers
Most ERP buyers are hesitant to talk to salespeople too early in the process, because sellers tend to enter the conversation with the wrong agenda. Sellers push product, when buyers are looking for advice. The buyer doesn’t need a feature dump. They need help diagnosing their problems, sifting through the options, and making informed buying decisions.
ERP Reseller’s Opportunity for Competitive Advantage
As an ERP reseller, this dilemma creates an opportunity for tremendous competitive advantage.
Buyers prefer to work with trusted advisors. If your team can bring valuable business insights and help the customer make good decisions, you’ll set your firm up for a very high win rate. In fact, Forrester Research found that 74 percent of executive buyers ended up buying from the sales person who first created the buying vision.
The sales rep who first brings value and insight wins.
But the contra is equally important. Corporate Visions’ research found that “89 percent of first sales meetings fail to get a second meeting because the seller hasn’t shown business value.”
The Importance of Buyer Insights
This underscores the importance of having a deep understanding of your buyers.
Buyers favor sellers who can help them make sense of the noise and teach them useful things about their own businesses. They want to know what other businesses in a similar situation are doing. They want to feel confident in their decisions.
That means your salespeople need to understand the issues and challenges faced by your customers. That’s the only way they can offer insight and value beyond what the customer can find online. This is called “insight selling.” Insight selling is the most effective means of helping buyers make good decisions and gain organizational buy-in. Only with a deep understanding of a business’ needs can sellers provide insights and equip buyers to build a compelling business case.
Buyer Research Equips Your Sellers
So where do you get this insight? From buyer research.
In-depth buyer research gives your sales team deep insight into why customers buy from you. This research:
- Uncovers the critical problems clients were facing and how they diagnosed their needs.
- Unearths the business case your buyers used to get their organization on board.
- Reveals internal objections and how the buying committee overcame those objections in order to move forward.
Buyer research gives your team insight into the problems clients face and how they’re being solved. It uncovers stories your sales team can tell future prospects to help jumpstart discovery conversations.
The research also enables you to formulate the right questions to ask to help prospects diagnose their own problems. It helps align your sales process to the customer’s buying process. It also helps you anticipate questions and objections that members of the buying committee are likely to raise…even those objections that are never presented to you as a seller.
This research equips your salespeople, so they can be FAR more effective in selling real business solutions rather than product features.
Buyer Research Enables Insight Selling
With insight selling, your team can come to the table with new ideas, perspectives, and data. Insight selling is about partnering with your customer and helping them make good business decisions.
Buying ERP technology can feel like a minefield. Buyer insights allow your sellers to come to the table with valuable ideas, perspectives and data. This way, sellers can become true partners with your customers and offer value beyond what buyers can find online. And that improves the likelihood that you’ll close more sales. Because 74% of B2B technology deals go to the seller who brings the most insight.
If you’d like to learn more about how to research buyers and collect these insights, click here to read about buyer research. Or, if you’d rather talk over your specific situation, schedule an appointment with me.