The widespread availability of peer-to-peer reviews – along with high standards for customer experience set by brands like Amazon and Netflix – means that customers know more than ever. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s great. Because it means customers are more aware of what they want – and are more loyal to businesses capable of meeting their expectations. But, to stay relevant, businesses need to step up their sales performance and create a customer experience that truly prioritises customer needs.
Ready to rise to the occasion, but don’t know where to start? Our latest State of the Connected Customer report can help. We surveyed 13,000 consumers and almost 4,000 business buyers worldwide – including more than 650 respondents from the UAE. Read on to learn what your customers think, so you can power up your sales performance.
State of the Connected Customer Report
Learn about attitudes to trust and loyalty, how to balance personalisation with privacy, and the best ways to engage with customers at every touchpoint.
Champion trust and knowledgeability to win customers’ hearts
Customers want companies they can actually trust. And it’s not just about personal data or security, but delivering value that meets (or exceeds) expectations.
A big part of that comes from humanising the sales process. Customers want to be seen as more than a dollar sign. But that takes work on the part of a business and its sales reps – especially as the rise of digital interactions means the personal element of face-to-face is often lost. 76% of UAE customers say it’s more important now than before the pandemic for companies to treat them as a person, not a number.
Being on the frontline, sales reps often become the unofficial face of your business. Which is why they can make or break customer trust in your business. Customers expect sales reps to be knowledgeable and honest: 89% of UAE customers expect sales reps to act as trusted advisors and 93% say working with a trusted sales rep improves their opinion of a brand.
But only 58% say they generally trust sales reps. There’s a clear opportunity here for businesses to outmanoeuvre the competition by building trust in their sales teams.
And that can be done by:
- Offering personalised experiences that emphasise a customer’s importance and an understanding of their individual needs. 73% of UAE customers expect businesses to understand their unique needs and expectations.
- Unifying the customer experience by connecting data across departments and creating a streamlined flow of information. 90% of UAE customers agree that consistent interactions across departments make them more loyal.
Put the personal back into sales to improve sales performance via customer retention
Sales leaders need to redefine the role of their sales reps. It’s no longer about simply hitting targets, but forming relationships that resonate with customer goals and adapt to their needs for the long term. 92% of UAE customers agree that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services – a number that’s been climbing since 2020.
And it’s worth tailoring your sales strategy around an understanding of your customer’s goals. 76% of UAE customers expect companies to anticipate their needs, while 92% say they’re more likely to buy when a company demonstrates an understanding of their business goals.
But, it can be difficult to make the digital sales process feel personal. The remote nature of digital sales can often feel transactional – especially when businesses default to one-size-fits-all outreach and engagement. A consistent, connected purchasing experience can help to make the experience feel more personal – and thoughtful.
Bake consistency and customer service into your sales for a better customer experience
A consistent, customer-centric approach to the purchasing experience is key to helping your sales reps meet customers’ rising expectations. But, to do that, they need to be aligned with other teams across the company – especially customer service teams. Data from the sales process can be used to improve after-sales customer services and vice versa.
And that’s important because customer expectations in personal and business lives are merging. Almost half (49%) of UAE customers say their expectations as a consumer and business buyer are blurring. Customers now expect to have the same level of personalisation and speed in their business lives that they would expect as a consumer.
They also expect a level of consistency from the companies they do business with. 81% of customers in the UAE expect consistent interactions across departments, but businesses often fall short; 62% of customers feel that they’re communicating with separate departments, not one company.
To keep customers committed to your business, you need to make it easy for your sales reps to offer a consistent, frictionless experience by breaking down data silos and giving them a single, easy-to-use point of reference.
Get your purchasing process on point
Now you know what buyers are really looking for during the purchasing process, you can tweak your strategy accordingly. Since the pandemic, customer expectations have been rising – and sales teams have had to meet them while getting used to an entirely new way of selling.
But now, digital-first, omnichannel experiences have become the norm. By acting as advisors and treating customers as individuals rather than individual transactions, your sales teams can foster customer trust in your brand and make your business the gold standard of sales experiences.
A consistent, tailored approach will improve loyalty and retention at a time when switching brands has never been so common. Improve the workings of your sales team at this crucial moment and you can expect customers to happily stick with you for the long haul.
State of the Connected Customer Report
Now you know what customers really expect from your sales teams, read the full report to get the full low-down on loyalty, data use, digital experiences, and AI.