Sales and marketing techniques have evolved significantly over time. In the past, it was all about being direct and convincing someone that they needed to buy a particular product or service.
Selling someone has lost its effectiveness. The traditional sales process is less about talking people into buying something as it once was.
Customers have more control and take the wheel from businesses. They drive the sales process now.
They move at their own pace when deciding what, when, where, or how to buy. As a seller, your primary challenge will be to present your products and services in a manner that consumers find useful.
This is where frictionless selling comes in.
Think of it as a highly strategic and indirect approach where you meet the needs of your target audience without disrupting their normal routines.
Understanding Frictionless Selling
The traditional selling process is full of friction. But where does this friction come from?
A direct approach usually turns off customers because they think you’re not truly invested in their needs. If you’re trying to sell something that your customer isn’t interested in, the customer will interpret your sales efforts as one-sided… that you are trying to talk them into something they might not need or are just trying to make the sale for the commission. This conflict of interest yields both friction and limited sales.
Frictionless selling is a process of streamlining your sales funnel to make it as smooth as possible for the buyer.
In other words, you’re trying to eliminate all barriers that make product purchases challenging. Whether it’s a lack of trust between buyer and seller or a lengthy sales process that buyers can’t navigate, such friction is a significant barrier to profitability.
Sellers are best equipped to guide potential customers when making a purchase. However, 40% of B2B purchases are completed with a certain level of second-guessing. This means that buyers don’t trust the involvement of sellers during the purchasing process-and sellers aren’t doing a good job to win this trust.
As a seller, you’re in the best position to understand customer pain points. Reducing friction during the sales process can help you provide value to customers while building strong relationships.
Strategies for Boosting Frictionless Sales
Now that you know how friction can limit your company’s growth, developing strategies to achieve frictionless selling is critical.
A frictionless sales approach is all about re-thinking how you define sales and marketing. Instead of pushing a product, consider addressing pain points. And instead of landing deals, think of developing long-term relationships.
Focus on Solving a Problem
Frictionless selling is all about addressing the concerns of your target audience. Instead of developing a sales pitch, figure out what your customers actually need.
Do away with rigid steps for product development, strict commission-based selling, and lengthy approvals. Instead, develop a responsive sales funnel that addresses different stages of the buyer's journey.
Understand the needs of each buyer and customize your internal processes to address these pain points. The pain points are different for each person depending on where they are in the buyer's journey.
Stop treating every single customer prospect the same. You are missing the mark more often than hitting it. Beyond that, you appear to be insensitive or assumptive to what matters most to the customer.
This can be solved by better understanding the buyer's journey of your customers and the pain they are experiencing at that moment. Asking questions to help uncover where they are will allow you (the salesperson) the ability to respond in a helpful manner rather than seeming rushed to get them to close the deal.
The problem your customers face should be your guiding principle at all times.
Increase Interactions with Customers - Even When They Are Not Actively Buying From You
A common cause of friction is when sellers think of the purchasing process in rigid terms. More specifically, they approach transactions as exchanging goods and services for money. This outdated ideology turns away customers and limits future business.
In other words, do your customers only hear from you when you are trying to sell them something?
You should, instead, interact with the customer more frequently and outside of periodic transaction cycles.
Work on establishing a personal relationship with them.
Show that you’re invested in helping them solve their problems by providing after-sales services, requesting reviews, and reducing the potential for buyer’s remorse.
Sometimes it can be challenging to keep up with all of the active sales opportunities which makes follow ups with people not buying seem impossible.
If you find yourself in this scenario, lean on your CRM and email marketing software.
Create yourself an automated workflow composed of tasks and automated emails. This can be triggered so many days after a transaction is made.
For example, set up your workflow to assign you at task to call a client 5 days after their last transaction. This will give you a simple reminder to call them and ask about their recent purchase and find out what they loved and what wasn't so great before too much time goes by.
Providing the call goes great, you can then let the workflow proceed with email follow ups to them every 15 - 30 days with simple check-in messages possibly sprinkled with value added links to content they might enjoy.
This simple process will give the appearance that you are always thinking of your customer by continuously reaching out without the manual effort that goes into actually doing this.
Tailor Your Messaging Strategy
Frictionless selling is all about developing meaningful relationships with buyers.
But how can you turn potential buyers into loyal customers and get loyal customers to return and purchase more often?
It starts with how you design your messaging strategy. Advertise how each solution you provide will help solve a customer’s pain point. For example, online retailers may focus on quicker shipping times and easy return processes. B2B sellers may provide resources that help buyers make better decisions during every step of the sales cycle.
Creating targeted messaging focusing on customer pain points will create a level of comfort with site visitors confirming you "get" them and you can be trusted.
You can further these efforts by leveraging dynamic content on your website based on the stage they are in their journey with you. If they have only downloaded one ebook but never called you yet, you could display CTAs for case studies related to their industry and to schedule a connect call. If they are a frequent customer, you could provide quick links to customer support and how to submit a reorder of their last transaction with a couple of simple clicks on your website.
Make your customers feel like your website was built for them.
Using Social Media to Decrease Friction in Your Sales Process
Frictionless selling is a strategy that can help businesses attract more customers, build long-term relationships, and boost sales. Social media is an excellent platform to leverage for this. By engaging directly with customers, you can discover pain points, develop a messaging strategy, and ultimately elevate your brand. You will also develop trust with your buyers and make them more engaged during the buying process.
Leveraging social media for your business sounds much easier than it actually is. With so many users, your message may become diluted and ineffective. This is why you need a robust strategy that’s detailed, delivered to the right audience, and in the right format.
To help you get started, consider the following tips that will help generate engagement with your target audience on social media:
- Identify your target audience and determine how they utilize social media. What platforms do they use most? Do you, as a brand, need to use all of them?
- Fully flesh out the social media profiles you choose to leverage.
- Analyze your competitors to see how they’re engaging with customers. Are they proactive or reactive on social media?
- Join groups in your niche. You can gather a lot of awesome information about your buyer persona by simply listening to the message threads. Don't forget to participate in the conversation with these groups. Your voice will earn you credibility.
- Aim at helping before selling. If every comment you supply is riddled with links to your buy now page, people will discount your answers and place you in the "trying to make a quick sale" bucket. Answer questions without pitching your brand or product. If someone approaches you for a direct recommendation, then you can make suggestions on what you offer.
Tech Tools to Reduce Sales Friction
Technology tools can also be used in your frictionless sales process.
Some of these tools have already been mentioned above.
- Dynamic Website Content
- Marketing Automation
- Social Media Platforms
But there are a couple of additional tools you might already be using that can play a major role in streamlining your sales process and reducing friction. After all, frictionless sales is not only about partnering with customers and helping them through the journey. It is also about removing barriers to the overall sales process.
Here are a couple of additional tools you should consider:
- Meeting/Calendar Links - Eliminate email ping pong trying to nail down a day and time for a phone call or meeting. Using a meeting or calendar tool will provide prospects/customers with access to your availability so they can easily schedule a time to connect.
- Live Chat/Chatbots - Sometimes customers have questions but are not yet ready to get on the phone or cannot wait for a response to a form submission on your website. Give them the opportunity to get their answers using live chat or a chatbot on your website. This gives them the ability to interact with your brand without committing to a phone conversation or waiting for an email response.
Frictionless selling is the new approach to growing your business. Rather than making your customers avoid you, consider paying attention to their pain points and offering meaningful solutions. Develop long-term relationships with your customers and empower your sales reps with the tools they need to convert leads.
To recap, here are some ways to get started:
- Understand your customer and the buyer's journey they take when facing a problem your product or service solves.
- Aim to help them along the way rather than trying to convince them to make a purchase.
- Align your content and talk tracks to assist customers in transitioning to the next stage of the buyer's journey.
- Leverage technology to make your life easier.
If you want to implement a Frictionless Sales Process for your business, Neon Goldfish can help. Let’s talk about your marketing goals today.