Are you looking to improve your sales team’s performance and grow your business? If so, adopting a customer-centric selling approach is crucial. In this article, we will discuss the importance of customer-centric selling and provide five practical tips to help you drive customer-centricity through sales account management.
SiriusDecisions defines account-based models, or account management, as representations of a strategic approach that align resources against a set of defined accounts and goals in a way that is relevant and valuable to those accounts and to sales/partners. But account-based selling requires an organizational commitment that goes far beyond sales.
Whether you are just starting out on your account based journey or looking to improve your existing account-based models, this post will provide valuable insights and actionable tips to help you succeed in your customer centric business strategy journey.
What is Customer Centric Selling?
Customer Centric Selling is a popular sales approach wherein the seller understands the needs and preferences of the customer and then aligns the sales process to meet these needs. According to Help Scout, Customer Centric definition is about “making the customer the hero of the story.”
What is the Impact of Customer Centricity and Why is it Important?
In customer centric selling, the seller focuses on the needs and interests of the customer, rather than the salesperson’s, to build a long-term relationship with the customer by putting their satisfaction first. The approach and some customer centric examples are:
- Builds trust and credibility: When a salesperson focuses on the customer’s needs and interests, it creates a sense of trust and builds a relationship between the customer and the salesperson. This relationship is crucial because it can lead to repeat business and referrals, which are vital to the success of any business.
- Creates a competitive advantage: In today’s marketplace, customers have more choices than ever before. They are now more informed and have higher expectations. By adopting a customer centric selling approach, businesses can differentiate themselves from their competitors by providing a superior customer experience. This can help to attract and retain customers and ultimately increase sales and revenue.
- Helps you understand your customers better: By focusing on the customer’s needs and interests, salespeople can gain valuable insights into what their customers want, their pain points, and how they make purchasing decisions. This information can then be used to improve the products or services offered by the business and tailor the sales approach to better meet the needs of their customers.
- Reduces customer churn: When customers feel their needs are not being met, they are more likely to switch to a competitor. By adopting a customer centric selling approach, businesses can reduce customer churn by ensuring their customers are satisfied and that their needs are met.
- Builds long-term relationships: In today’s marketplace, businesses need to focus on building long-term relationships with their customers rather than just make the initial sale. By adopting a customer centric selling approach, businesses can build trust, loyalty, and a positive reputation, which are all crucial to long-term success.
Customer Centric Example
Let’s say you work for a software company that sells project management software to other businesses. A potential customer contacts you and expresses interest in your software.
Instead of immediately launching into a pitch about all the features and benefits of your software, you start by asking questions to better understand the customer’s needs and pain points. For example, you might ask:
- What are your biggest project management challenges?
- What features are most important to you in a project management tool?
- What have you tried in the past that hasn’t worked well for you?
Based on their answers, you can tailor your pitch to highlight the specific benefits and features that will be most relevant and helpful to them. For example, if they say that they struggle with keeping track of deadlines, you might focus on how your software includes customizable calendars and automated reminders to help them stay on track.
Throughout the sales process, you continue to put the customer’s needs and goals at the center of your approach. You make sure they feel heard, you answer their questions thoroughly and honestly, and you provide personalized recommendations based on their unique situation.
By taking a customer-centric approach, you build trust and rapport with the customer, which ultimately leads to a more successful sales outcome and a happier, more satisfied customer.
Tips to Prioritize Customer Centric Selling
Mark Levinson, VP Global Revenue Operations at Bazaarvoice, and Revegy, recently came together to discuss the necessity of account-based models to achieve customer-centricity. We’ve outlined the top five ways sales account management can drive customer centricity help with your customer centric strategy.
1. Organizational Alignment
A successful strategy begins with effective collaboration and transparency between cross-functional teams within the organization:
- Account-based marketing is ready to engage and support the initiative.
- Executive sponsorship and engagement of suppliers and partners is lined up.
- There are clearly defined organizational structures, rules of engagement, and governance mechanisms in place.
- There is overall agreement on goals, process metrics, reporting mechanisms, and sales management cadences.
- There is a feedback mechanism-input into the business planning process and product roadmap.
2. Key Account Selection
To identify key accounts, successful sales teams use well-defined selection criteria that combine qualitative analysis with sales judgment and insight. By examining multiple factors such as an account’s current value, future potential, and strategic fit, companies can then flag these accounts as pipeline priorities and execute custom plans to build a long-term partnership.
3. Technology-enabled Global Account Management
Technology-enabled global account management (GAM) is critical to overcome common challenges such as cross-functional collaboration. Technology can provide visualizations and reporting across teams that uncover trends and identify whitespace in complex accounts, increasing organizational alignment, coordination, and collaboration.
4. Strategic Account Management
Taking advantage of account planning to grow strategic accounts is crucial to sales success, and will allow you to invest sales resources in the most effective ways. An effective plan should contain these elements:
- A standard account planning process using automated templates in all regions
- Participation by the full account team, including functional support areas (e.g. service and support, marketing, sales engineering, product specialists), and partners
- An integrated sales tech stack, so account plans and activities are included in the CRM
- Quarterly account reviews
Businesses should rely on an account management platform to provide sales and business account management teams with an intuitive, consistent way to consume and communicate customer intelligence and identify opportunities to deliver value at every stage of the life cycle.
Empower your Sales Team
Adopting a customer-centric selling approach is important for businesses to build trust and credibility, create a competitive advantage, reduce customer churn, and achieve long-term success.
Empower your sales team to excel in today’s competitive sales environment with Revegy’s Sales Intelligence Platform. Fully understand the decision-makers in the buying process, uncover what they care about most, identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and establish a predictable path to sales success.
Utilize Revegy’s Relationship Mapping, Strategy Mapping, Whitespace Identification, Strategic Account Planning, and Robust Reporting/Analytics features to deepen relationships, shorten sales cycles, drive measurable revenue impact in important accounts, and help your sales people see the way to win® with our sales account management tool.
Revegy can help you achieve all of these goals and more. Start planning for success today!
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Now On Demand!
Watch our on-demand webinar, where we delve into the key elements of an agile sales approach from start to finish, featuring Luiz Martins, CMO of Revegy, along with esteemed guest speakers Donald C Kelly, Founder and The Sales Evangelist, and Doug Inda, SVP of Enterprise Client Development at Syndigo. Discover how to adapt to tighter budgets without compromising sales performance, leverage technology to streamline processes and close more deals, provide meaningful value to buyers amidst abundant data, succeed in a remote sales environment with effective communication and virtual presentations, and position yourself as a trusted advisor in today’s ever-changing sales landscape. This is your chance to increase your pipeline and propel your success forward. Watch on-demand here!