The transition to virtual selling has fundamentally changed the way sellers engage buyers.

In the digital-first landscape, sellers are engaging with buyers earlier in the sales cycle, most notably, in social media channels. In an era of more informed prospects, buyers are rewriting the rules of engagement.

We expect this trend to continue as businesses and customers navigate the new, digital-first world. Sellers will reach higher up the funnel to engage buyers and assume some of the early-stage buyer engagement activities traditionally owned by marketers. And, rather than view “selling” through a traditional lens, the most successful sellers will stop selling and build relationships as trusted advisors to potential buyers.

Buyers are looking for business value

Modern buyers are more informed than ever before. On average, buyers have engaged with 13 pieces of content and are nearly 50-to-60% through their decision-making process before they even speak to a seller.

Well-informed buyers aren’t looking for a hard sell, they’re looking for a relationship with a partner/vendor who will help them achieve their long-term business goals.

Sellers can build relationships with buyers by sharing informative content, tailored to address their specific needs. Educational content spurs conversation and gives sellers an opportunity to ask questions that can clarify the buyer’s needs and facilitate more productive downstream conversations.

Sellers who master storytelling build stronger relationships with buyers. They succeed because they help buyers visualize how their solution empowers them to deliver value to their organization. Sellers who use discovery calls and content to understand their buyers’ needs are best positioned to guide buyers from where they are today to where they’d like to be tomorrow.

Create a consistent journey for the buyer

Sellers and marketers have to work together more closely to curate the best content experience for buyers.

Coordination between sellers and marketers ensures that buyers receive a consistent brand experience throughout their journey. This matters because buyers are exposed to your brand across a variety of channels. If your brand has a different appearance or delivers an inconsistent message in email and social media, buyers will be confused.

The seller-buyer relationship is a shared journey. By anticipating the questions the buyer will have, sellers can curate relevant content experiences that address the buyers’ needs.

The stories that sellers tell should add value for buyers at every touchpoint. As sellers learn more about their potential buyers, their insights allow them to personalize engagements and propose a path forward for the buyer.

Rise above the white noise

B2B markets are noisier than ever. With increased competition among vendors, buyers are inundated with more content than ever before. For buyers, the barrage of content can be overwhelming. For sellers, it can be difficult to stand out and rise above the static.

Sellers who embrace relationship-building will have a competitive edge. By building relationships with buyers and prioritizing their needs, sellers can tell stories that build trust and drive more revenue.

In an era where buyers know more about your business before they speak with a seller, relationships matter. As buyers continue to redefine the rules of engagement, sellers who prioritize adding value to customers will be best positioned to build stronger relationships and win more business.

If you’d like to learn more, download the eBook, Rewriting Rules of Engagement for the Modern Buyer.