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Bringing a Customer-Centric Mindset to B2B Sales

Written by Jocelyn Brown, SVP Customers and Revenue at Allocadia

Being a customer-first organization is something we take very seriously at Allocadia. This also naturally makes Allocadia a people-first organization. 

In my role, I am fortunate to work alongside our customers from start to finish, welcoming them to our community and supporting them as they work to achieve their goals and create marketing excellence. With everyone’s personal and professional lives up-in-the-air right now, we are adapting our plans as we put what people need at the forefront of everything we do as a company. This should be something every sales team keeps in mind as things move forward. And if you aren’t already shifting your focus and dedication to your customers, now is the time to start.

Many B2B companies fall into the trap of only thinking of customers in the short-term – as a quota to meet for each quarter, especially given the new and uncharted economic changes we are finding ourselves in. But customers are so much more than that. Customers are our partners – long-term ones – and we must support one another now more than ever.

Why’s that? Well, Forrester researchers found that 46% of buyers include customer experience when considering purchasing a solution. Successful companies understand the importance of cultivating a trusting and supportive partnership with your already-existing customers. The happier your existing customers are, the more likely new ones will come because they can see the value in what your company has to offer through these experiences.

How to do this: Build customer confidence 

Part of that comes down to sales leaders building customer confidence. A study from Gartner research, found the best sales leaders build up both the customers’ confidence in their product and the customers’ confidence in themselves and their purchasing choices. Successful customers believe in themselves. Teach your teams to boost your customer’s confidence right along with selling your product – it’ll create the kind of long-term customer relationships that enables a company to go from a start-up to an enterprise.

But with only 14% of B2B companies devoted to a customer-centric culture, how do you do this? And how do you do this in the middle of economic changes?

How to do this: Learn from the Experts

Charles Schwab puts their customers first with their “Through Clients’ Eyes” strategy

And putting clients first and at the center of decision-making processes has resulted in the development of trusting relationships.  One of the ways Charles Schwab has done this is through implementing an interactive financial planning tool that combines technology with human relationships meaning customers have 24/7 access to support. This tool is especially important given the current circumstances where face-to-face support isn’t possible.

GE Healthcare pivots focus to producing ventilators for hospitals across the USA

GE Healthcare also knows to put customers first. While economic changes continue to impact the world, GE Healthcare – partnered with Ford – has pivoted their focus to producing ventilators which is an essential product for healthcare facilities across the globe today. This is not just a customer-centric approach, but a people-centric approach. GE saw that there was a need and knew they had the ability to help, so they did. By July 4th, they hope to have produced 50,000 ventilators for hospitals in the USA.

How can you emulate these customer-centric companies?

How to do this: Put human emotions first 

Right now, people are worried about what is to come. As a sales leader it is your job to reassure them that no matter what happens, you will be there to support them. Your customers might not be able to commit or buy for another several months due to adapting budgets, and that’s ok. Instead take this time to cultivate and nurture a relationship with them. Talk to them about their concerns and be empathetic and understanding of the difficult situation we are all finding ourselves in. No one is alone in this.

This is one of the reasons why I’m so proud to be an Allocadian: We do our best to provide this level of personal support in both good economic times and bad. Whether that is through best-practice webinars for all marketers, or hosting “office hours” for our customers, we hear those concerns, and we do our best to alleviate them. Listening is one of the most powerful and important things leaders can do right now. Listen to your customers and respond aptly and respectfully.

To everyone out there: do what you need to do to keep yourselves, your families, and your community safe. We’re here for you.

This post was originally published on LinkedIn.