When it comes to winning with today’s B2B buyers, our guest on the Winning The Challenger Sale podcast this week has some serious mic-dropping comments:

“If it’s not solving a problem, it’s a non-starter.”

“If it’s a great product, but there’s not a great story to tell behind it, there’s no point in really even selling it.”

“Buyers can tell when you’re not as into the product as maybe your competitor is.”

Yep, you read that right. You can’t sell something you don’t believe in… at least not very well. And without a strong voice and a great story about the problem your product is solving, you might as well quit before you start.

In this episode, Challenger’s very own VP of Product, Gina Slesar, brings a unique perspective to the discussion about who today’s B2B buyer is. As an experienced product leader, Gina explains what B2B buyers are looking for in the products they purchase, which in today’s volatile, uncertain economy, we know that connecting with buyers takes a lot more than a quality product and a decent offer.

Listen to the full episode to hear Andee and Gina discuss:

  • The three foundational components required to be successful in selling a product
  • Managing perceived risk and uncertainty in your deals to avoid no-decision losses
  • The importance of gaining visibility into the sales experience from the buyer’s perspective at every stage of the deal

In case you missed it: Andee and Gina also presented a webinar on the latest Challenger research into B2B buyer behavior and trends, which you can watch on-demand here.

Listen to “#73: To Sell a Great Product, Create a Great Sales Experience” on Spreaker.


The three foundational components required to be successful in selling a product

A quality product and a decent offer used to be able to get a company across the finish line. However, in today’s uncertain economy, you need more than that to successfully sell a product. And it begins in the development stage.

Having hands-on experience from top to bottom of the funnel, Gina has invaluable know-how when it comes to selling successfully. She breaks down exactly what is needed to sell a product to today’s B2B buyer into three foundational components:

1. You have to solve a problem

  1. You need a great story around the product
  2. You have to believe in the product

Managing perceived risk and uncertainty in your deals to avoid no-decision losses

No-decision losses have always been significant, as buyers leave sellers hanging on that dreaded ‘I’ll get back to you.’ But, in an uncertain economy, the number of no-decision losses is likely to creep higher.

An ‘uncertain’ economy can really be translated into extremely tangible effects—it’s not just limited to budget, people’s jobs are also at risk.

“The riskier a buyer perceives a deal to be, the more likely they are to get cold feet towards the end of the sales cycle,” Gina says.

While there’s nothing you can do to bring more stability and certainty to the economy, there are actions you can take to assess the level of risk a potential buyer would be taking in purchasing and mitigate those risks before they become a problem further in the buying journey. 

According to Gina, there are a few obvious indicators of risk:

  • Buyers begin to pull back and ask more questions that should have been addressed early on in the sales cycle.
  • Meeting, email or overall communication cadence slows down.
  • Buyers increasingly insist on talking to leadership or their team over small details.

While these actions don’t always mean you’ll lose a sale to no decision, they often indicate the buyer is questioning whether your solution is the right one for their problem. When sellers can recognize that the buyer is recognizing potential risk in the purchase, they can work to mitigate or address buyer concerns before they even arise—even in the current economic climate.

“The more sellers can address and empathize with that risk and reduce all the risk ahead of time, the more likely they are to close the deal and build better relationships with their customers,” Gina says.

The importance of gaining visibility into the sales experience from the buyer’s perspective at every stage of the deal

One of the most important conversations in the sales process happens when the salesperson isn’t even on the line—after leaving a call, prospects gather and discuss. Whether this conversation occurs in person, over chat or somewhere else entirely, wouldn’t it be great to get a peak into what your buyers are saying?

Gaining this visibility would be like a magic key to sales success. But we can’t exactly listen in without popping by unexpectedly—nor would our buyers enjoy that.

But there are ways to gain visibility into the sales process throughout each stage from the perspective of your buyer, and it starts with feedback. When you can truly understand how valuable customer feedback is, you can identify how likely a deal is to close, or ultimately, start recognizing patterns and adapt overall strategy to better serve buyers.

“When we start taking seller feedback, their perception of themselves, what the manager thinks is happening on the call, and the customer’s perception of the call, we reveal all these truths,” Gina says. “Loop is another way of surfacing the buyer’s thoughts.”

Need help gaining insight into your customer’s experiences? The Challenger Loop is the only customer feedback tool that offers real-time win/loss analysis and post-close B2B insights, delivering a 360-degree perspective on the quality of the customer’s experience.

Want to learn more about building a product and team that can be successful in today’s B2B landscape? Listen to the full episode of Winning the Challenger Sale where Gina reveals more about understanding your buyer’s perspective, streamlining tech in sales (for the buyer’s and seller’s benefit) and the importance of feedback and coaching.

To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to the Winning The Challenger Sale podcast on our website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or just search for it in your favorite podcast player.

Andee Harris

Andee Harris is CEO of Challenger. Andee brings more than two decades of experience growing and scaling service and technology businesses. She has previously led multiple companies, both as CEO and Senior Vice President, through periods of rapid revenue growth, critical fundraising, and successful acquisition. These companies include Highground (acquired by Vista Equity Partners), TMBC (acquired by ADP), Syndio and Emerging Solutions (acquired by Emtec).