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Software as a service (SaaS) and business-to-business (B2B) sales can’t be treated the same as selling directly to consumers. Not only are there more people involved in the decision-making process, but it also tends to be a much longer journey from the first interaction to the actual sale.
But one thing SaaS and B2B sales have in common with business-to-consumer (B2C) sales is the constant need to connect with people on a human level. In other words, all sales processes come down to convincing a real-life person to make a purchase.
That’s where empathy comes in. Before we give you tips on how to be more empathetic in B2B and SaaS sales, let’s look at how empathy may be the missing piece in your sales approach in more detail.
Unfortunately, many B2B and SaaS salespeople fail to appreciate that, although they’re selling to a business, humans are responsible for making the purchasing decisions. As a result, they focus more on convincing the company as a whole rather than individuals.
The best way to boost B2B and SaaS sales is to focus on connecting with each individual decision-maker — and empathy is critical in that. Empathy allows you to step into another person’s shoes, see what they see, and feel what they feel.
It drives the authentic connection necessary to nurture a potential customer into becoming an actual customer. Keeping empathy at the forefront of your sales approach helps you make more informed decisions about the customer’s needs rather than focusing on your desired outcome.
In addition, there are a lot of “no’s” in sales. It can be tough not to take them personally. But when you practice empathy, it’s much easier to meet clients where they are and be there for them when they are ready to make a purchasing decision.
Ultimately, if you want to be an outstanding salesperson, you need emotional intelligence, starting with empathy.
Ready to land more clients with empathy? Here’s how to be more empathetic in your B2B or SaaS sales processes.
Research is one of the first steps in bringing more empathy into your sales approach. If you don’t take the time to research potential clients, there’s no way you can genuinely understand what they need and why they need it.
Do some thorough research on potential clients before you make contact with them. Find out about the company, including its history, goals, and current challenges.
Then, dig into the people behind the business, particularly the decision-makers. Social media is one of the best ways to find key information about a decision-maker’s personal life and professional endeavors.
When you conduct detailed research on potential clients, you have an opportunity to understand the business they’re running and the hearts and minds of people behind those businesses.
Empathy is powerful on its own in B2B and SaaS sales, but combining it with data can set you apart from the competition. Using data in tandem with empathy can help you see a complete picture of your customer’s journey.
Use data to map out how customers move through their journey with your business. Then, you can lean into empathy to understand the emotional and psychological factors that prompt their behaviors at each touchpoint.
A huge part of being empathetic is understanding that people aren’t going to see things as you do. Even though you see how positive your product can be for a potential B2B or SaaS client, they probably won’t see it your way right away.
Prepare for resistance instead of condemning potential customers for being hesitant. First, think about why they might be unwilling to move forward. Then, prepare thoughtful responses to their resistance to convince them to continue in the sales process.
When you’re prepared for resistance, it’s easier to overcome it.
Genuineness is crucial for empathy. It’s one thing to pretend like you understand what a potential client is faced with, but it’s another to sincerely comprehend where a potential client is, where they want to be, and how your product is the solution.
Don’t be pushy. Don’t hyper-focus on making the sale. Understand that B2B and SaaS sales require a much longer process. You’ll have to convince multiple people that an investment in your product is best for the business.
Be authentic and, more importantly, be patient with potential clients.
Empathy comes naturally to some people; for others, it’s one of the most difficult things to grasp. Luckily, you can improve your ability to be empathetic with intentional practice.
Practice empathy as much as possible. Be intentional about stepping into the shoes of each person you interact with throughout your day, whether it’s with a potential client, your boss, loved ones, or strangers.
Ask meaningful questions. Actively listen. Share thoughtful responses. Highlight the similarities you have with people while also appreciating the differences you have. Be open to learning from every person you engage with.
Work on empathy in every interaction you have so that it becomes automatic in your sales approach.
The empathy angle missing in B2B and SaaS sales is apparent. However, you can be a part of the movement to ensure empathy remains at the forefront of these sales processes and better your results by implementing the tips above.
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