Welcome to this edition of Modern Sales Point of View. Today we hear from the tremendous Tiffani Bova, Global, Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. Tiffani joins us to discuss what’s changing in B2B sales, how sales can become more human, and her strategies for capturing a potential buyer’s attention.

How things are changing in B2B sales

Tiffani thinks the shift that’s happening in B2B sales is a change in who holds the power. Where sales used to control the information and the steps in the buyer’s journey, now all of that is in the hands of customers. Back in the day, as Tiffani quips, “we’d give ’em quotes when we were ready, we’d give ’em references when we knew we had the references lined up”—today all that has changed. Today’s consumers are more informed than ever before and tend to bounce between points in the “regular” sales cycle. It’s up to sales to adapt and stay engaged with customers in this new reality.

“What makes you different?”

According to Tiffani, what “sales” really means is what makes you different? “If everybody is selling, and you have people who are selling computing products against you and your brand, what makes you different?” she says. That means it’s more important than ever for salespeople to think about their personal brands and how they’re going to stand out.

How to get the attention of a potential buyer

Like Tiffani discussed earlier, sales isn’t about salespeople anymore—it’s about the buyers. That means that tried and true tactics, like taking a prospect to lunch, might not work anymore. The challenge facing salespeople today is to personalize their outreach to each individual customer, their needs, and their pain points. That’s not to say that you can’t have go-to strategies, but you shouldn’t have one set script. Instead, Tiffani recommends leveraging the data that you have in your CRM to come up with a tailored outreach program for each buyer, based on what you know has worked for similar situations in the past. “Each customer is gonna be different, each pain point is gonna be different, each opportunity is gonna be different,” she says, “so, you’re looking for commonalities.

What makes you different in your sales process/cadence? Let us know what’s working (or not working) in the comments below.

Carina Rampelt