Why Is Trust In The Sales Process So Important?
100% of top performing sales teams use a formalized sales process. Cashin Sales has created an ebook for you, to walk through the steps on how to create one.
What would you say is the secret to successful sales? Is it to have the most features, at the best price, with the best quality or performance, before the competition beats you to the punch? Actually, it’s none of those things. The first ingredient to successful sales is trust.
The LinkedIn State of Sales report confirms that the trust factor is a key to closing deals.
In the most recent report, sales professionals in the United States rank trust as the No. 1 factor in closing deals (40 percent) — above ROI and price. More important, 51% percent of decision-makers rank trust as the top factor they desire in a salesperson.
Further, a recent study by Salesforce® found that 79% of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor. A Hubspot study comes to a similar conclusion: Only 3% of prospects trust sales reps.
Salespeople simply must work to build a reputation of trust if they’re going to be successful.
We all have websites, collateral, videos, blog articles, white papers, etc. that attempt to make us look credible to prospects. We all make phone calls and hold video conference calls. But, do we come across as trustworthy?
These are separate issues -- credibility and trustworthiness -- yet too many sales leaders assume they’re the same thing. They’re not.
Credibility is an earned, time-tested combination of experience and expertise in a given field or subject. Trustworthiness is the path to integrity through words, body language and actions. Salespeople can be trustworthy without being credible and vice versa. Really, they need to be both.
If your sales reps are struggling with hang-ups or rejections, it’s time to reevaluate and tweak your sales process. Here are our top 3 strategies to get you started:
1. Focus on building a relationship.
If you focus on building a relationship rather than making a sale, you’ll be surprised at how much faster the sales process can go.
Prospects who feel a personal connection are more likely to believe in your product and make a purchase, plain and simple. As an added benefit, they will be more likely to provide testimonials in the future as they may feel that they owe you a favor. To effectively build a relationship, whether you’re cold calling or calling on established customers, ease into the sales pitch. Start with a story, humor, or trying to get to know the prospect. Making the individual feel more comfortable and ready to hear about what you have to offer is the first step in building a trustworthy seller-buyer relationship. Then, be sure to ask them enough questions to gain an understanding of some of the challenges and opportunities they are facing.
One of the reasons people dislike sales pitches and salespeople in general is because people dislike being lectured and pressured. Instead of going into detail about all the problems that your product can solve, ask them what their pain points are and what they are looking for in a solution. This helps tailor your solution and offerings to their specific needs, making prospects feel that the process is more personalized. It also prevents you from wasting time on explaining things that the prospect won’t necessarily care about.
2. Improve consultative selling skills.
Consultative selling is one of the most important seller competencies. When salespeople master consultative selling, they close more business, receive more referrals, and retain customers and clients indefinitely. In short, they become elite. Objective Management Group’s data shows that the elite 6% of salespeople and some of the top 26% have this competency in abundance. The bottom 74% of all salespeople have even less than 21%. We’ve defined it before, but to reiterate, when true consultative sellers “work their magic” they are actually doing 5 distinct things:
asking good questions -- tough, timely, and relevant -- and lots of them.
having deep and wide discussions that reveal the prospect’s compelling reasons to buy.
discussing the implications or consequences of taking various actions or steps and acknowledging who is affected.
differentiating themselves from the competition and avoiding the commodity trap.
building relationships and listening, building trust.
Science has proven again and again the importance of consultative selling: 78% of salespeople engaged in such selling methods outsell their peers who are not engaging in the practice.
A scientifically-proven candidate assessment can help you identify the kinds of salespeople who can sell like this.
3. Deliver on your promises
Perhaps the most important, don’t make promises that you know you won’t be able to keep. This includes pricing promises. Although this may seem like a good way to make a sale, empty promises will only deter clients when it comes down to making the decision. Being honest about negotiation points that you know you can’t provide will let the prospect know that you are trying to get them a good deal and further build a trusting relationship.
Remember, you can have all of the latest systems, processes, tools, and applications, and the best products and services, but if your prospects don't trust you, your intentions, your company, your promises or your eagerness, they won't buy from you.
If you’re ready to get started on improving the trustworthiness of all of those things, give us a call.