Ever unboxed a giant gift only to find a small item? Or, have you eagerly waited for an urgent shipment only to receive a delayed delivery? If so, you’re familiar with the feeling of disappointment—the one thing that you do not want your prospect to experience.
In the B2B sales space, there are many touchpoints that a prospect goes through before making a purchase. These can either be grabbed as opportunities to build a fantastic relationship with your prospect or be burned like kindling to start a dumpster fire of bad experiences.
Every prospect has an obstinate set of expectations you’d want to meet to not only ensure a successful sale but also a good buying experience. When these expectations are not met, it leaves a bad taste in your prospect’s mouth.
This bad experience may go on to shape your prospect’s perception of you and your brand, prevent your chances of developing a good relationship with them, hamper your chances of getting a future referral from them— or worse they may disengage from the sale altogether.
The ‘Not-so-secret’ Sauce
Now that you’re aware of your prospects’ expectations, The next obvious step is to discuss the three key game-changers that can ensure a good experience for your prospect:
“The early bird catches the worm.”
When a prospect submits a contact form, requests a callback, or sends you an email inquiry, they set off a timer.
If you’re prompt in your replies, you’ll capture their interest at its peak while also meeting their need for speed. This promptness in your interactions also helps in building trust with your prospect.
Quick responses are an indicator of dedication. Your eagerness to help the prospect with the right solution at the right time makes the prospect feel valued.
Ensuring that your prospect keeps moving through the buying process at a good pace not only lets you close the sale swiftly but also instills confidence in the prospect regarding your company. Simply put, it shows your prospect that you know what you’re doing.
How would you feel if a sales rep responds with, “Is Pepsi okay?” when you’ve asked for a coke?
Nobody likes settling.
Relevance is the bedrock of trust that develops between the sales rep and the prospect. It’s vital to communicate your product with 100% accuracy and through appropriate mediums.
Your goal should be to offer a solution to the prospect’s problems. This is where sales enablement collaterals come into the picture.
Your prospect needs more understanding of the product? Give them a demo.
Your prospect wants to let others on their team learn about your product? Share the link to your product tour video.
Your prospect is confused about choosing between you and your competitor? Use information from your battle cards to turn the conversation in your favor.
Long story short, you must meet your prospect where they are, with the nudges they need, and with information that’s aligned with the issue your product claims to resolve.
When your message isn’t aligned with your product offerings, that becomes a trust problem. This can give rise to confusion and second thoughts in your prospect’s mind. Assuming that you manage to achieve a good prospect-product fit even with irrelevant messaging, the prospect will be left feeling frustrated because now they will have lost their time and trust.
At every stage of the sales process, you will encounter questions about the product. Often highly specific ones about issues that your prospect wishes to seek solutions for. In this situation, it can be quite jarring if the questions catch you off guard.
The prospect expects you to be prepped to handle any questions they may have regarding the product. Being unable to do so is sure to make you appear weak, and understandably so.
If you’re constantly giving responses such as “I’ll check with the product team”, “I need to confirm this with our devs” or any other statements to deflect or dodge these questions, you’re presenting a dissonant company that lacks communication and cohesion.
The lack of aptitude on your part can easily feel tiresome to the prospect, as this neverending back-and-forth marathon severely hampers your rapport with your prospect. This ineptitude also might make the prospect reevaluate their decision as they may feel that your company may not be able to handle their account well.
5 things that you must avoid like a plague
There are several pitfalls a sales rep could slip into and end up spoiling the prospect’s experience. Many revolve around the topics discussed above.
#1 Irrelevant Ads
Don’t start your journey off on the wrong foot.
Your paid adverts are often the introduction to your product. Acing your ad placements is just as important as the punch packed in your copy.
The goal is to be found when looked for. Otherwise, your ad is just visual noise. If you’re selling a CRM don’t show up in a search result for “Best sales intelligence tool” (i.e Slintel)
Also, redirecting a prospect to your homepage is not always the best case. You must set up relevant landing pages or microsites for the ads that you run. The prospect clicked on an ad of yours because something within it piqued their interest. To maintain that natural course of interest, you need to redirect them to a dedicated landing page that serves as an extension of the ad.
#2 Convoluted Navigation
Ever clicked on a website’s logo and not been sent to the homepage? No rule dictates this function, yet it feels wrong.
The same applies to sales. An easy and quick path to converse with a sales rep is expected on every SaaS website.
Gatekeeping your information from the prospect as soon as they land on the website or asking them for their contact information where it’s not needed is a lousy way to collect information. Besides, it can make you look desperate.
Your ‘Contact us’ page should never be an afterthought. Provide a clear and effortless way for a prospect to connect with you, preferably visible on every page.
Complicated navigation acts as a barrier, stifling the prospect from exploring your website freely to learn about your product. It’s a one-way ticket to the land of bad customer experience.
#3 Inadequate Follow-ups
At any given time, a salesperson will be occupied with several prospects. Same goes for your prospect. They’ve got their jobs, and they’re occupied with day-to-day business activities too. They must also spend a good amount of time communicating with your competitors.
A pivotal aspect in retaining a prospect’s attention is well-timed follow-ups.
Follow-ups are nowhere more important than in the B2B space, where all actions of a business are confined within the work hours. That makes the prospect’s time incredibly valuable, and any lack of effort from your end towards acquiring it, perchance, is seen as laziness.
Prospects expect you to be the driving force of the deal. Over 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls
Aim for the Goldilocks zone when following up with prospects, not too much and not too little. Avoid being spammy with your follow-ups, give the prospect time to think, evaluate and take decisions; account for their other business responsibilities as well.
And if you’re looking for follow up templates, check out Better Outreach.
If they ask you to follow up with them on a later specific date, accommodate their request and do not reach out till then.
#4 Generic Pitches
Every prospect brings along a unique problem, and a singular cookie-cutter approach will not be adequate. Understanding the prospect’s issues and developing a meaningful sales pitch specific to their concerns is a necessity.
Generic pitches solely focus on the features and abilities of the product, not on what the product can do to definitively benefit the prospect. Also, they simply sound drab. If you go on and on just about the product without addressing its intangible capabilities, its true value is never revealed to the prospect.
These pitches also lack personalization and research, making the recipient feel devalued—that there wasn’t enough effort put in by the sales rep. Perhaps, the pitch does not even address a crucial issue the prospect is looking to resolve with your product.
The overall impact of the pitch is quite significant on the buying experience. It’s the first real chance you have to “wow” the prospect. If lost, this little butterfly will flap its wings and cause hurricanes somehwere.
#5 Always Closing
The urge to close as quickly as possible is understandable. As a sales rep you’d want to close and move on to your next deal fast. But you might want to hold your horses—sometimes it pays to not “always be closing.”
It takes great finesse to nurture the prospect and move them towards closing. If you try to jump at every opportunity to “talk about pricing” and sign the papers, you’re more likely to lose the sale.
Trying to expedite a deal can often make the prospect feel rushed, moved along like cattle. Maybe you’re hiding something about the product and trying to close quickly before the prospect finds out? Or maybe your company is just plain greedy. You don’t know what your prospect might think.
Either way, you’re losing the prospect’s trust.
Unquantifiable Impact of The Buyer’s Experience.
There are no quotas to meet when it comes to buyer experience. Yet, the cloaked benefits of consistently providing a good experience to the buyers can be felt.
Delivering a good buying experience can get you more customers who are content with your product. As a result, they’ll be more likely to renew and stick with you for the long haul.
This positive relationship created during the buying process means you can anticipate a higher number of referrals coming your way.