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The Experience Factor in Sales


Experience Factor SalesI believe that creating experiences that knock buyer’s socks off, at every touch point in the buying and customer lifecycle, is how you win!

Let me clarify what I mean by “experience”. I mean the positive or negative reaction at every interaction in the process of first connecting with a prospect, working with them throughout their decision making process, closing the business and retaining them as a happy customer for life. Google termed it ZMOT – zero moment of truth. That moment when a buyer decides to work with you or not.

This isn’t a new concept.

CEB reported that 94% of customers who have a low-effort service experience will buy from that same company again. And, these buyers are willing to pay more. According to a CEI Survey, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.  But only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.

It is clear that buyers who feel they had a great experience with a vendor will not only buy again, but are willing to pay more for the product or service. Why then aren’t we seeing more evidence of focus, especially from the sales point of view, being paid to customer experience?

Are you asking these questions?

If you are a sales leader, when is the last time you pretended to be a prospect and walked in their shoes?

Do you really know what it feels like to be bombarded with your sales messaging?

How about the sales meeting? Do you know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the pitch your salespeople are giving?

The question you should always be asking yourself is – would you buy from you and your company? If you did, my bet is that you would have a better picture of what’s really going on.

Think differently.

Customer experience isn’t about how fast your service team responds when something goes wrong. The customer experience is something that is proactive and top of mind for everyone in the company. Salespeople can have the biggest impact – positive or negative – on whether or not a sales opportunity can develop and progress to close.

Be ruthless in evaluating your processes from the customer’s point of view.  Look hard at how your sellers are interacting with prospective customers. In today’s digitally connected world, buyers are growing impatient with outdated sales approaches.

When it comes to your customers, how carefully are you evaluating existing relationships to ensure they continue to buy from you?  Don’t wait for former customers to start spreading the word about your failings’. By then, it’s too little too late.

Customer experience isn’t the next big thing in sales. It’s THE thing. Are you on board?

Barb Giamanco heads up Social Centered Selling. She’s the co-author of The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media. Known internationally as a thought leader in Sales and Social Selling, Barb is a sought after Sales and Social Media Advisor and Speaker.

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