The conversation around the Modern Buyer and the Modern Seller is a new one and one that has many confused. Sales professionals and trainers alike are taking a stab at various definitions, but few build a complete picture.

As a Social Selling trainer, my job is to educate sales and marketing professionals, so I took a deep dive into developing well-rounded personas of the Modern Buyer and the Modern Seller to help clarify any confusion in the marketplace.

To understand the Modern Buyer you need to recognize that:

  1. The Modern Buyer Googles first – making digital and social a foundational influence in their buying journey. They read articles and blogs, watch videos and download whitepapers. Research reviews, recommendations, ratings and thought leadership content all influence the way these buyers think about their challenges and even the ways in which they approach a solution.
  2. The Modern Buyer will investigate the human component within the vendor they are considering. They want to learn as much as they can about the people who will sell to them and support their needs. LinkedIn profiles are largely what they seek out to form opinions and vet candidates. At the end of the day, the Modern Buyer is looking to do business with a person, not a glass building.
  3. The Modern Buyer looks for proof of success through peer reviews, case studies and client testimonials online.
  4. The Modern Buyer collaborates with co-workers and peers and asks for referrals. They search their online Rolodex (LinkedIn connections) and seek out warm introductions to vendors through shared connections.
  5. The Modern Buyer, before even engaging a vendor, develops a use case from their research, to both self-diagnose and begin envisioning a solution based on the content that has influenced their mindset.
  6. The Modern Buyer chooses a Vendor based on the value, insights and educationthey provided throughout the sales process. According to The Challenger Sale, 57% of the Modern Buyer’s decision is influenced prior to engaging sellers. Most of the research is done digitally.
  7. The Modern Buyer performs due diligence by researching any referral they receive from digital and social. This usually starts with looking them up on LinkedIn to learn about them as a human being. They then take that information and decide, based on the seller’s profile, whether or not an initial phone call is worth their time.
  8. The Modern Buyer will visit the seller’s company website and take the time to not just browse, but download e-books, white papers and other content that can help them through the buyer’s journey.
  9. The Modern Buyer starts with a short list of vendor options, as much of the vendor qualification work is complete before sellers even know they are under consideration.
  10. The Modern Buyer expects that the seller has done at least as much research on them as they have done on the vendors.
  11. The Modern Buyer wants to be educated on not only the challenges they face but also the challenges they haven’t even thought of yet.
  12. The Modern Buyer chooses the vendor who guides them to the best solution that delivers the best results.
  13. The Modern Buyer requires a MODERN SELLER.

So, if a vendor expects to do business with a Modern Buyer, that vendor needs to ensure that their sales professionals are Modern Sellers.

Sales Leaders must understand what it takes to develop a team of Modern Sellers by recognizing that:

  1. The Modern Seller does not pitch but rather educates. Strategically communicating their insights into the buyer journey by offering relevant content on digital and social that resonates with the prospective client, will earn that seller the right to a conversation that leads to their solution.
  2. The Modern Seller has a handle on their digital footprint. They have positioned their online profiles and content to draw in the targeted buyer, educate them, and create curiosity and excitement to make the Modern Buyer look forward to their call.
  3. The Modern Seller knows how to leverage digital and social for pre-call planningand discovery prior to a first meeting. They know how to gather insights on the buyer, their company, their industry and their competition.
  4. The Modern Seller knows how to find targeted prospects and leverage shared connections for warm introductions.
  5. The Modern Seller in an Enterprise Sales role optimizes their Coach, Champion or Internal Advocate to secure appointments with the right stakeholders.
  6. The Modern Seller engages with meaningful content, creates curiosity, and helps buyers to think differently about their challenges and potential solutions.
  7. The Modern Seller knows how to find and convert a prospect into a buyer, and a buyer into a loyal client.
  8. The Modern Seller’s goal is to make the buyer look good, and even help them advance in their career.
  9. The Modern Seller has the right skill set. They understand and articulate the value that their solution brings to all of their buyer personas and to the company as a whole.
  10. The Modern Seller works to develop content and ensure that it’s customizable, so they can leverage insights throughout the Buyers’ Journey.
  11. The Modern Seller leads TO their solution NOT WITH their solution.
  12. The Modern Seller is equipped with the right digital tools that enable them to be successful as well as to track, measure and report on relevant sales metrics.
  13. The Modern Seller knows how to attract, teach and engage the Modern Buyer and offer them the right solution at the right time, ultimately closing more business.

Sales Leaders know that the buyer’s journey has changed, and also that they have a responsibility to help their team adapt to the new way of approaching sales.

If you are selling to the modern buyer, let’s chat. I’d be happy to share insights specific to your sales process and environment. To make scheduling easier, here is a link to my calendar – please pick a time that best works for you.