Wednesday I had the opportunity to host a table at the Executive Summit — a very small segment of Dreamforce geared for select key partners/clients of Salesforce.

The people participating are all senior level and viewed as being on the cutting edge of their respective industry.

Naturally I’m not going to share the names of the people present nor am I going to share any specific information.

I will share a couple of over-arching insights we discussed at length with regard to the retail industry.

In the end what I found striking is how issues at retail are not that much different than issues in B2B selling.

One topic we discussed was the customer experience.  We discussed how defining the customer experience is something only the customer can do, and no two sets of customer experience expectations are going to be the same.

We also discussed at length about what the retail industry will look like in 10 years.  Key for any traditional retailer who intends to be in business 10 years from now is to be providing the customer an experience they can’t get elsewhere or a level of convenience they deem essential.

Think about these two traits — experience and convenience — with regard to your sales process in a B2B environment.

Are you providing your customer with an experience they can’t elsewhere?   In other words, are you providing them with insights they see as valuable? Are you working with them in a manner your competitors can’t?  These facets help create the “experience” the selling process must deliver on.

Second trait is convenience.   Are you easy to work with?  Are you expedient in your responses?  Do you fit the timeline the customer is looking for?

Ironic how when you step back look at the retail industry and the challenges they face to remain relevant, you discover they’re no different than the challenges we face in B2B selling.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

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