Your sales reputation precedes you, but not in a good way. 

From slippery sales tricks to gimmicks, exaggerated features, inflated numbers and hidden fees, sales men and women are not always known for their honesty. And whether you’re a participant in these tactics or not, your customer already thinks you are. 

While transparency and sales haven’t always gone hand-in-hand, it is the key to smashing these stereotypes for good. Once they’re smashed? The sky’s the limit to building authentic relationships with customers and leads which will ultimately make a huge impact on your bottom line. 

Here’s why honesty really is the best policy when it comes to sales: 

Buyers Have Changed

There’s a new buyer in town, one that’s informed and educated. Mostly Millennials, these guys and gals hate talking to salespeople. Instead, they spend most of their time researching your product online and are well versed in product features and functionality before your first meeting. The trend has shifted sales to buyer enablement strategies where transparency is a key aspect. 

Take the old “should we put prices on the website” debate. Historically, this has been a sales no-no. I get it, especially for business to business (B2B) and complex sales cycles, you want to explain the full benefits before presenting the price. But keeping big aspects of the sale concealed is off-putting to the modern buyer journey. These leads don’t want to be reeled in, they want to know up front if it’s even in the ballpark. Being transparent from the get-go on everything from features to prices will score you big points with the new buyer. 

Trust Builds Better Relationships

We all know trust is important for personal relationships and it’s time to take that into the business world. We’ve seen how trust can take you far with new leads, but transparency is critical for existing customers. If you’re following up with a customer and your product isn’t quite meeting their needs, don’t hide or inflate the numbers. Approach the situation with honesty and offer to go above and beyond to find a solution for the disconnect. 

Working this way builds strong relationships between your team and your customers. And it sets the stage up perfectly for those invaluable cross- and upsells

And the cherry on top? Transparency boosts your company’s positive reputation. In the age of social media, dissatisfied customers (and leads) have no issues Tweeting about all the times you’re dishonest with them. Why not give them a refreshingly honest experience with your company to Tweet about instead? 

Honest Efficiency

Side-stepping the truth takes a lot of time. Inflating reports and dancing around costs wastes time for your sales teams and your leads. In B2B and complex sales, the buyer journey is a delicate dance. Any misstep can set you months behind. Further, un-qualified leads that spend too much time in the funnel take precious time away from your staff. 

Being up-front with results, features and prices helps your buyer journey move more efficiently. Unqualified leads get out sooner. Qualified leads make decisions more quickly. It all frees your team up to spend time on more productive actions that better lead to increasing revenues. 

There are a lot of traits of a good sales team but honesty has to be near the top. Adding transparency to your buyer enablement journey helps your teams meet customers where they are, builds stronger relationships and increases efficiency. Make sure transparency is top of the list in planning your sales strategies and watch your revenue numbers continue to go up. 

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Joseph Knecht

Post by Joseph Knecht

Joseph Knecht is the CEO at Proteus and loves to cover the topics of customer success, enablement, sales, entrepreneurship, and digital transformation.