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Three Ways to Engage Prospects in a Buyer-Controlled Sales Cycle

October 8, 2010  

With vast Web-based resources now available to evaluate products and services, tech buyers are no longer dependent on Sales for information about purchases. Buyers don't want or need to engage with sales people until far later in the buying cycle. "Information is power," writes Don Fornes, Founder & CEO of Software of Software Advice, in a recent blog post. "A decade ago, it was in the hands of the sales person. Today, the buyer has it too."

What will it take to succeed in an era when the buyer controls the process? Traditional sales and marketing best practices are minimum requirements. Here are three less obvious tactics:

  1. Hang out where buyers do research. If potential customers are going to third-party sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter, you need to be there too. Similarly, if they're scouring the blogosphere for information, you need to be blogging—and engaging with other tech bloggers.
  2. Give information, not sales pitches. Tech buyers want to see how easy it is to navigate your product's user interface. Provide a flash demo on your site. Offer case studies. Highlight your thought-leadership with whitepapers—not product pitches that look like whitepapers.
  3. Build trust over time in the absence of direct engagement. Without face-to-face contact, it's more challenging to gain prospects' trust. Even with their new-found information and power, buyers are scared to make bad decisions. The only way to calm that fear is to build trust over time. Share your expertise in a consistent and meaningful way, via your website, email  and social media.

The Po!nt: Tech buyers are researching, comparing and shortlisting vendors via Web channels to make their buying decisions. Your role as a trusted expert is more valuable than ever.

Source: Software Advice. Click here for the full post.

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