Sales Training Course: 5-Techniques for a Human-Centric Sales Process
As more and more organisations undergo digital transformation and leverage technology to automate many of their processes, the old sales playbook is no longer relevant.
The human-centric approach to sales focuses on moving away from being sales-oriented to being helpful. Human-centric sales create real and resilient relationships that anchor a sustainable revenue stream.
Human-centric selling prioritises the customers and empathises with their needs. It adapts to the unique circumstances of the customer through two-way dialogue, aligning to their timeline and working to solve their problems.
The Salience of Human-Centric Sales
The importance of human-centric sales stems from the fact that focusing on customers helps build sustainable relationships. Human-centricity in sales is built by exhorting your sales team to put themselves in the shoes of the customers in all pre and post-sales activities.
To build a culture of human-centric sales, the sales team needs to change the way it thinks about sales. While sales teams undeniably need to meet their KRAs to maintain the revenue stream, their actions should be directed toward helping people. In sales training courses that preach a human-centric approach, salespeople are told to prioritise long-term success over short-term gains.
Techniques for Human-Centric Sales
Adopting a human-centric sales approach has the potential to deliver a significant impact on the business and customer experience. The techniques to foster a human-centric approach to sales emphasised in corporate learning programs include:
- Foster Empathy. Instinctively, while hiring salespeople, sales leaders hire people with the right ‘sales’ skill set. Stereotypes of what skills lead to higher sales performance prevent sales leaders from building a human-centric sales team.
To build a human-centric sales team, it is necessary to hire people for their ability to be empathetic. Empathetic people put the needs of the customers ahead of their own. To foster empathy in the team, the salespeople could intern in customer support for a short duration. This would help them understand the challenges that customers face. It would also help the team build kinship with customers and with team members within the organisation. Another technique to build empathy could be to simulate situations that customers face. When team members are put in situations that customers face, it helps them understand the customer’s perspective and fosters empathy.
- Look to Add Value. Another human-centric approach to sales, recommended during corporate training and development programs, involves asking customers insightful questions to uncover customer needs. This is true for salespeople selling clothes or an enterprise SaaS tool. In the human-centric approach, salespeople are not motivated to only make the sale, but by the value, they can deliver to the client. Such sales involve professionals striving to understand if they and their product/service are the right fit for the client. Human-centric salespeople look to add value rather than forcing their vision to make the sale.
- Empower your Customers. The human-centric approach to sales can be distinguished from the traditional sales approach in that the customers feel no pressure from the sales conversation. This approach prioritises the customers’ needs. Salespeople engage with customers to help solve their problems rather than merely push their product/service. Pushing a product just to make the sale puts the post-sales team in a sticky situation as they now need to fulfill promises that they did not make. Human-centric salespeople will walk away from the deal if they realise that they cannot empower the customer.
- Align with Customer Values. People buying goods and services often look for sellers whose values mirror their own. Buyers look beyond their immediate interests when furthering the values that they believe in and advocate. Corporate sales training should instruct salespeople to initiate a sales conversation to talk about the firm’s culture, its focus on accountability, and the ethical implications of the sale. The human-centric approach requires that the business mirrors the values and voice of the clients.
- Focus on Superior Customer Experience. Human-centric selling requires that the pre and post-sales customer experience be seamless. This requires integrating sales with every aspect of the business’s operations - from product development to marketing to customer support. Instead of looking to see what more business you can extract from the customer, look to see how you can serve the customer more. Superior customer experience brings more revenue via referrals and word of mouth - your customers start marketing for you.
A human-centric sales process helps lay the foundation for robust relationships that go beyond just being transactional and instead drive sustainable growth. That is why it is important for businesses to provide corporate sales training to their sales staff that focuses on developing a human-centric sales process.