In Pursuit of a Frictionless Sales Experience in 2019
This article narrates how does a frictionless Sales Experience apply to an organization
Today, we are moving toward a “frictionless” world – using technology and new processes to remove friction, or resistance, during interactions.
Uber is an often-cited example of a frictionless system. Uber’s business model removes friction at nearly every step of the process of hailing a ride thanks to mobile technology. With GPS technology, the app knows where you are standing and where the driver is; and connects the two. It charges you automatically at the end of the ride, and it lets you rate the driver and the driver rate you.
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With 75 million riders and 3 million drivers worldwide, Uber has become such a mainstream part of society that hailing a cab seems like a quaint anachronism.
These frictionless interactions are the goal in the healthcare, design, real estate, construction, and travel industries – and, it absolutely makes sense for sales and customer service experiences as well. A frictionless experience drives positive business outcomes by giving people the power to connect, communicate, and collaborate seamlessly.
Companies aim to make transactions with customers and partners easier, removing the bumps in the road and the irritations that prevent smooth operation.
A Holistic, Seamless Experience
So, how does a frictionless experience apply to sales?
First, a company must make sure that every department in the organization that interacts with the prospect or customer “speaks the same language” and is part of a holistic experience. The handoff between direct sales, inside sales, and customer service should be seamless. In too many companies, salespeople make promises to prospects, but once the prospect becomes a customer, the team and the communication are vastly different. Miscommunication and unfulfilled promises lead to a dissatisfied customer, and the opportunity for a long-term customer relationship is lost.
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How can companies provide frictionless sales and customer service experience? Companies need to make the commitment to train everyone, not just the front-line sales reps. At ValueSelling Associates, we deliver enterprise-wide training on our ValueSelling Framework® – it ensures that all customer-facing employees communicate seamlessly with a common language. This enables them to deliver added value to the customer and consistently delivering a positive experience.
How Frictionless Sales Works
Let’s look at an example of how the concept works in real life.
A Fortune 500 digital marketing and media solutions company wanted to revitalize the way it engaged with its largest and most significant accounts. To enhance these relationships, the company had to establish itself as a leader in its market, evolving from selling solutions to truly partnering with customers and solving their business challenges. They wanted to make the experience of doing business with them a frictionless one, and thereby solidify the relationships with these strategic accounts.
The company’s VP of Vertical and Strategic Accounts brought in my team at ValueSelling Associates to help achieve the following goals:
- Align the organization with the same terminology, approach, and methodology.
- Shift to a value-based approach, which required selling much higher, using the language of senior executives and collaborating as a partner.
- Cater to an array of clients—from large to small—with a baseline of simplicity that could accommodate complex and sophisticated deals.
The entire management team agreed that the sales methodology used was the answer to move toward frictionless customer experience. Starting with the Strategic Accounts team, they saw incredible results by applying unrelenting rigor and management accountability. The new approach demonstrated impressive metrics:
- 16 of the company’s top 20 deals were from the Strategic Accounts team
- 318% increase in qualifying Strategic Accounts
- 12% increase in the average number of solutions sold per customer
As the organization infuses this sales strategy and account management process into every piece of the business, the methodology continues to guide the company to ever-greater achievements – including a frictionless experience for its customers, yielding greater customer satisfaction.
In a recent ValueSelling Associates and Training Industry survey, two-thirds of executives said sales reps calling on them are not effective communicators. Obviously, that is unacceptable for a group of professionals whose primary job is to communicate and connect with buyers!
As we aim higher, clear, consistent communication and active listening play a large part of the equation when it comes to frictionless customer experience. The sales team must develop the necessary business acumen and foster skills to better engage buyers. Plus, it is the responsibility of the entire organization to make handoffs between groups seamless and communicate with a common language that the buyer understands. That’s the key to fostering deep customer relationships and loyalty. Keeping these guidelines in mind, I challenge you to aspire to frictionless experience for your prospects and customers.