Episode 314: Tackling the Buyer-Seller Dynamic Frictions with Greg Brown

GUEST: Greg Brown, Managing Partner at ValueSelling Associates

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The evolution of the buyer-seller journey is a never-ending story between the two sides.

However, in the last 5 years, the changes have been remarkable.

We wanted to find out:

How are changes in buyer-seller dynamics causing friction in the sales process?

To help us with this today, we have Greg Brown, Managing Partner at ValueSelling Associates. Greg brings 30 years of experience in sales leadership, working with leading technology companies. As a Managing Partner, he has a proven history of significantly increasing revenue for emerging tech companies, including Salesforce.com, PeopleSoft, E.piphany, Apttus, and Blend Labs.

How Can Sales Teams Excel in a Buyer-Centric World Where Reps are Sidelined?

A Gartner study reveals that 75% of B2B buyers prefer to interact minimally with sales reps, favoring a more autonomous pre-purchase process because they find sales interactions add little value. This shift is accelerating, and sales teams must adapt by enhancing their approach to stay relevant. When sales reps do engage with customers, they need to be exceptionally prepared to offer genuine value, turning their understanding of the evolved buyer-seller dynamic into a competitive advantage. Therefore, this requires sales reps to be strategic and well-informed to build trust and effectively meet the modern buyer's needs.

“I think the primary thing that I've seen is this evolution of the buyer-seller journey. And that has been changing for the entire course of my career. But I think that change has been accelerating in the past five years or so. And that has created some real friction and some challenges for sales organizations to keep up with this changing dynamic”.

Greg Brown, Managing Partner at ValueSelling Associates

Mastering Modern Sales

Today, sellers must adapt to a new buying model where buyers, well-informed and often midway through their decision process, require more than just product features and pricing. To be successful, sellers need to showcase their understanding of the buyer's business and industry, offer solutions that align with the buyer's desired outcomes, and establish trust through valuable and insightful conversations.

Mastering a structured sales approach, which includes incorporating skills, tools, and consistent discipline, is essential to transforming traditional sales dialogues into strategic discussions focused on financial and business impact. Engage effectively, show genuine interest in helping, and be prepared to shift the conversation towards outcome-based value to make a significant impact.

“The seller needs to understand that they already have a potential credibility issue that they need to overcome, which means the buyer may not be thinking of them in terms of bringing true value to this conversation. When they show up to this, they need to overcome that predisposition or that perception of what the seller is really there to do”.

Greg Brown, Managing Partner at ValueSelling Associates

Turning Conversations into Conversions

Approach sales with a strategic mindset rather than just responding to demands for demos and pricing. 88% of executive decision-makers prefer meaningful conversations over simple presentations, underscoring the need for salespeople to engage more thoughtfully. Engaging customers early, asking insightful questions, and understanding their business can differentiate a seller and build trust. The key is to develop a disciplined, consultative selling strategy that aligns with customer goals and challenges, leveraging these relationships to gain access to decision-makers and ultimately drive value for both the seller and the customer.

“You need to have this plan but also anticipate where customers might be wanting to pull you down into, and that's, ‘Let's talk about features. Let's talk about pricing. I need to see a demo.’ You have to be ready for that. And you have to have the skillset and the toolset to execute when that happens because it's going to happen most likely”.

Greg Brown, Managing Partner at ValueSelling Associates

Maximizing Sales Impact with AI

Modern sellers must leverage readily available digital tools, like search engines and AI, to research and understand market needs and executive interests, as only 15% of salespeople create value that executives appreciate. Greg encourages sales reps to strive to be in this select group by doing their homework and using AI to quickly gather industry insights, which was once a tedious process. Meanwhile, Greg showcases the advantages and limitations of AI in understanding nuances during earning calls, advising that AI should be used cautiously and not replace human insights, especially when building trust with clients.

“People buy from people they trust. And trust is a matter of listening, understanding, having empathy, and being someone that someone is willing to put their trust in and put a stake in you to deliver the right outcomes”.

Greg Brown, Managing Partner at ValueSelling Associates

Now that you know how to navigate the changes in buyer-seller dynamics, discover the full list of episodes at The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you enjoy the show, instructions to rate and review it are found here.

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