Why the Human Touch Still Matters in Sales
“The internet and online communication are the window into your world – but real life, in person communication / connection is the door.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
I recently met with a CEO of a Zurich based advertising company specialised in digital media.
In the course of our discussion he pointed out that in his view too many of his clients just rely on his company’s digital products and services to help drive revenues. These companies think that the internet and social media are enough to position and peddle their wares…
He further went on to say that the internet and social media are good vehicles to create creditability – yet this should be embedded in a more comprehensive sales and marketing strategy that include both digital and analogue communications.
Quote: “Depending on the product / service / solution, potential clients want to sooner or later engage with real-life sales people. There is a lot of noise out there making it challenging and confusing for clients to separate the wheat from the chaff. They treasure people – sales people – who can bring additional value and insights to assist in solving issues and to eliminate FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt – by engaging in meaningful conversations”.
This view is seconded by new research from McKinsey. They have found that the digital world requires a human touch for salespeople to excel. They need to be masters of digital communication and analogue communication.
“What customers most desire is great digital interactions and the human touch. Many sales organizations, however, have trouble putting this human-digital program into practice. The truth is that there are no tried-and-true methods. Companies need to create the human-digital blend that is most appropriate for their business and their customers”.
Your clients do not just need information you provide – information they find on the internet and social media. They need assistance in finding the right solutions to the issues that they are grappling with.
This is done by experienced salespeople skilled in asking the right questions and engaging in analogue, offline conversations.
It is about the impact that your capabilities and solutions have on your client’s business outcomes – especially in complex B2B environments.
This takes time. To understand the real impact on the business, there will be a number of iterations needed with multiple stakeholders over a period of time, which, depending on the nature of your capability, could be 6 to 12 months or longer. Genuine, high-value relationships will need to be established (your client perceives you as high value, not the other way around) and your client’s business understood.
Much longer than most have the patience for, especially with typical short-term corporate lenses.
It means taking a longer-term view which goes beyond the quarterly driven sales culture usually in place.
Food for thought for B2B sales leaders – and the senior leadership teams – to create the right environment, and culture to adopt a more long-term, strategic, digital-human blend in engaging with your clients to help grow the top line and thus the value of your company.
Guest Contributor - Charles Lutz of LutzSales Limited is a Sales as a Service provider based in Zurich, Switzerland. LutzSales Limited supports Managing Directors, Sales Directors and Marketing Directors selling high value B2B products, solutions and services to drive top line revenue growth focused on new and existing enterprise customers both in Europe and abroad.