How to Build Your Toolset when Building Trust with the Buying Committee

February 4, 2020

How to Build Your Toolset when Building Trust with the Buying Committee

In our third blog recap of our buying committee Live with Sales Leaders episode, TOPO Chief Analyst Craig Rosenberg and Analyst Dan Gottlieb dish out some advice on building a sales team’s toolset when building trust with the buying committee. Here, Rosenberg and Gottlieb provide several tactics that they’ve seen companies use to incredible effect.

Emotional Intelligence is a Must

The first tactic is emotional intelligence training. Specifically, “being able to scientifically identify different personalities and then have different talk tracks for personalities.” 

Gottlieb pays out of pocket for an AI tool that gives him insights on people’s personalities. Armed with this tool, Gottlieb is able to prepare for engagements with clients tailored specifically to their personalities. For example, depending on the client’s personality, he might be able to structure how he presents tough information. With different personalities come different vocabulary and triggers to use.

Soft Skills and Storytelling Set You Apart From the Rest

As Rosenberg said, “Only good things happen when you talk to your customers.”

Communication is key to successful facilitation and relationship-building. When you’re on a sales call and hear a top performer absolutely crush it, you might attribute his or her performance to magic or talent. However, this ability to communicate effectively can be coached through soft skills training.

Soft skills training is not an exciting topic – certainly not something you’d pitch outright to a CRO – but the analysts at TOPO agree that all sales teams would tremendously benefit from it. Gottlieb is personally passionate about “visual communication.” Casting aside the typical decks and web meetings, Gottlieb will actually “draw” and whiteboard for the customer in order to tell a story most effectively. Proactive objection handling doesn’t hurt either.

Personalization is Key

Everyone knows that. The tough part is that personalization is hard and it takes time. The TOPO analysts have noticed that personalization tends to peak during the initial prospecting phase, but tends to drop off throughout the buying process and customer life cycle. But if you’re capturing all the data throughout those processes, you can use the confirmation on that data to your advantage when you engage with other stakeholders.

Frame the Message with the Customer Experience in Mind

Right now, most B2B sales organizations are not geared for delivering a consistent customer experience. Instead, they’re often just enabled for conversion. However, these organizations need to be mindful of the fact that building conversion and conversation is all about building trust.

For sellers to truly deliver an exceptional customer experience, they need to be consistent. Rosenberg says that “B2B can take a lesson from retail,” since where retail excels where B2B doesn’t is how they coach their sales associates on what to say. “[A] retail store cares about what their retail associates say to their customers,” but “as long as it converts, [B2B] actually don’t care what the seller says and that’s not good.” 

Gottlieb recommends to focus on the two or three most valuable pieces of information that are really going to inform your message (the research shouldn’t take more than an hour). These pieces can be about anything, including industry, role, nuances or signals that the prospect gives off on their LinkedIn profile, etc.

After you’ve secured these pieces of information, triangulate and form a hypothesis as to what’s troubling the prospect or customer.

Last, figure out how you are going to frame your hypothesis and why your product or service is the solution to.

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