EP 23 – Co-buying & Co-purchasing Experience – Chuck Marcouiller
Presentation of the episode
He talks about co-buying and co-purchasing experience.
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Hi, I’m happy to be with Chuck Marcouiller again, VP of Revenue Enablement at Freightwaves.
Do you want to complete what you say about Freightwaves in the preceding episode?
Great. And in the precedent episode we talked about buyer enablement, which is a strategy, a vision while co-buying is a tactic to put in place in order to achieve the strategy. Could you tell us what is co-buying and co-purchasing.
You know, it’s really interesting. As you know, we were talking before the, you know, last week about co purchasing and co buying. So, you know, I went online and had to Google the definition, you know, trying to be the professor and get the right thing and realize that co buying is a term that’s often used in real estate when two parties work together in order to buy something. And I’m not talking about jointly perfect purchasing property together.
But what I’m talking about in the literal sense is the idea. Co buying is the idea of buying together. And I think for us as sellers, it’s the mentality of getting on the same side of the table as our buyer and understanding the buyer’s process. And we were talking about that in the last episode. We as buyers today if we really want to live in what I like to call the three C world where it’s consensus, clarity and competence, then what we have to do is understand what the problems are that exist and make sure that we’re helping our buyers buy in the way that they want to buy. I mean, we live in a digital world. Don’t we? Let me ask you, of the last three major purchases that you personally made. Gabriel, did you buy them primarily with a human being or did you buy them digitally?
The food is still from a human being and the rest is digital for me.
Absolutely. We live in a world now where you can buy, especially in the United States, you can buy cars online, you shop houses primarily first and foremost, online apartments, online, almost every major purchase you can make online. And so we have to understand…
And French food is so important that we keep it with humans.
Oh, absolutely. The cuisine is fantastic there every time. I had a period of time where I was supporting our multinational division and I was over in Paris for two years. Every quarter. I love the cuisine. Absolutely agree with you on that. But co buying when it comes back to is really creating an experience with a buyer to help them by the way that they want to buy, knowing that we are enhancing or working with the digital world and that people still want that buying experience. I like to say Gardner did an interesting study where they recently the gentlemen wrote the challenger sale now work for Gardner and they go back and they do their sort of their buying trends analysis. And one of the things that they found was that 42% of business to business buyers across generations increases for millennials and decreases for boomers.
But right about 42% of all buyers today want to buy primarily digitally. They would love not to talk to human being. But the other interesting thing that they found was that those that bought without any human being involved, those purchases showed the highest emotional regret, meaning yes, you can do it without a human being, but when you do it without a human being, you’re taking a really big risk.
So why do you need that human being comes back to the piece? Why do people then prefer to bring a human being yet? It’s not for the knowledge because it’s cheaper and more efficient to learn things online. What it’s about now is for context and clarity, context and clarity. It’s I want to feel confidence, context and clarity when I talk to those human beings. So Gabriel, I’ve got this problem. You have this kind of solution. Can you just make me really feel good about this problem that I’m trying to solve? Has anybody else tried to do this? What happened when they tried to do this?
That’s the same point you told us in the preceding episode about the TVs. Giving context and clarity and I invite the audience to go back to the precedent episode to hear this point.
Absolutely. And think about it when you’re making a major purchase. You’re betting not only your money, but in business, you’re betting your reputation, maybe even your job. So you want to verify that with someone that what you’re looking to advocate for really does work in the way that you want to. In the parameters of the situation of your organization. And so co buying and the purchase, or the process is you have to understand that the buyer is looking for that context. And they’re looking for that confidence that the purchase is safe to purchase and that we can bring it in. So back to that co buying piece is how do we as sellers create that environment of trust? And do it in a way, knowing that we have to enhance the digital buying process, they’re going to be digital. We know it. You’re just not going to get away with them. So why fight it? Why fight it; be smart and actually work with it, create the experience so that it becomes seamless, know what your website does well, and then create other tools that you’re going to use in the process to enhance the website.
What are the materials you’re going to give them? What is the documentation and reinforcement that you’re going to use? What kind of presentation tools and visuals are you going to use in the selling process? So that there’s consistency and that you build that piece because. Let’s face it. I’m a stats guy and I’m a story guy. And one of the things that I love is 82% of all decisions, buying decisions, even in business to business are primarily driven by emotion first. We use a thin layer of logic to justify the emotion, but it is still emotionally driven.
How do you create emotion digitally?
That’s the thing. What are the visuals that we use? I mean, think of great, great companies that do a fantastic job of emotion. One of them that comes to mind is Apple. I mean, look at Apple, Apple does a phenomenal job and I shouldn’t be pitching somebody else’s product, but I don’t compete with them. So I’m going to do it anyway. Because I use Apple all the time, Apple as a company, they don’t care about market share, meaning they don’t have to have everybody, every computer out there, but they recognize that if you’re an apple customer, they compete in share of customer. Meaning they know that the average person who buys Apple will have 5, 6, 7 different apple products. And so when they create or communicate to you as a customer, if you’ve ever seen any of their ads, You know, one of the ads that sort of jumps out at me is they have this brilliant ad where they show some of the world-class musicians, you know, black and white image, lady Gaga with her Mac, you know, Santana with his Mac, you know, and they just artists after artist, after artist in human condition, not onstage, but just composing creating. Then they go to comment on the frog and the Mac, and then they show a small child in the Mac and they don’t say a word, but what are they telling you? They’re telling you if you want your child to be great, what do you need? A Mac. So it’s that consistency of message. It’s that consistency of visual across digital media. It’s across who you are as a company, because how do we create trust psychologically? It’s consistency. When things are inconsistent, we go, oh, wait a minute, hold on. Something’s wrong here? I don’t know why, but in the back of our brain, something’s wrong. I don’t trust this. I don’t like this. I don’t want to have anything to do with this, but when there’s that consistency of imagery of message, of responsiveness that creates that trust and that confidence that this is a safe environment, emotionally safe environment, logically that I can move forward with this person, this company, this product, right.
And what is code documentation?
That’s a great question. And that’s one of the keys that we as sellers should be thinking about because marketing is going to create the imagery, the website and other things. But as individual sellers, one of the greatest areas that we can think about is how do we create code documentation? Because, going back to consensus, there’s going to be multiple people in the buying process. And we have to set up our champion, that person who is going to talk to the other people within the process to continue on the conversation when we’re not there. And so one of the things you, you probably heard the mutual thought of a mutual action plan, which was something that’s been an idea around for quite some time and enterprise seller, which usually comes after the proposal where I sit down and I start the strong arm conversation where I say Gabriel. So now that I’m giving you this proposal, can you tell me the next couple of steps that you’re going to do internally? And what are the dates that you’re going to turn this around? Until we sign a document and it was a timeline where I tried to artificially force you into your decision making process so that I could understand when I was going to get my deal back.
Well, yes, it’s important to have that, but I went from being a best friend to someone who isn’t trying to enforce an artificial timeline, to get someone to make a decision. And so it wasn’t really comfortable to the buyer. And really didn’t add a lot of value to the buyer who was trying to buy. So there was, there was usually chafing in the buying process. What I found was that the best sellers moved that whole process earlier on and started from the very time of the discovery and started documenting things. It was just a recent article by the CEO of outreach where he was talking about the code documentation process. And it’s the same thought. And I agree with this because I’ve been singing this song for the past couple of years, is we, as sellers have to start early on the conversation from the very first conversation versus discovery call by saying, Hey, buyer. This is what I understood. Here are the key goals of directions that I heard you say, here’s the key criteria or the problem that you’re trying to solve. Here’s the metrics that you’re using internally. Here’s some of the evaluation criteria that you’re thinking about. Did I get this right? The steps that are appropriate for the conversation that we just had, I’m going to document, and I’m going to share that, and this is going to be the touchstone, or this is going to be sort of a document that we’re going to review on a regular basis, just so that I stay in alignment with you as we go through. And I’m supporting you the way that you want to be supported. I know that when I, you know, and the funny thing is as a buyer, I’ve been buying a lot of stuff in my role. There’s been very few sellers who have actually used it, but those that use it, man, I know it’s a totally different buying process. And then as that evolves, then you get into the timelines and then you get into, you know, who are the people and you build that trust.
So that digitally, there is this map and that map actually gets shared with other people in the buying process. And if you have a good tool, if you’re smart and you have a good tool, It gets to see how that’s being shared, whether that’s through a CMS or through digitally, it leaves breadcrumbs as to who else within their side is using it.
Really really interesting. And it becomes good by you know buyer sentiment that we as sellers use to say, is this a real deal?
And how to work on this code documentation? You start from the beginning, but are there some other things to do?
Yeah. It’s one of those things where you, you invite, you share it right off the bat, but you invite and encourage your partner on the buyer side to add to that documentation.
Meaning you open it up. It’s not a one-sided piece. If you can have a technology that allows you both to dip into it at the same time. That’s the ideal state. You know if you have like a word document or PowerPoint, some people are using that, but that’s, that’s like a tennis match. I hit the ball, I send it to you. Then you hit the ball and you send it back to me. Meaning when it’s in flight, anybody who makes a change on either side, you’re getting out of sync. But if you can both go into the same technology at the same time and update in real time, then both parties are seeing the tool evolve. That’s the ideal state and that’s where it really gets interesting.
But we learned over time that it’s going to be, you know, the 70, 20 10. Meaning 10 to 15% of the deals you’re in, you’re going to have a partner who really wants to actively update the technology in the deal as the deal is going on. You’re going to have 20 to 30% that are going to actively watch the technology. Meaning every time you send it, they’re going to go in and they’re going to look at it. And then the vast majority, you’re going to document it. They’ll open it up. They’ll take a quick look at it, but they won’t look at it until the next meeting, but they do value it just because they look at it and they don’t actively participate.
Let’s face it. We as buyers at times are lazy, meaning we’re not going to use every tool that gets sent over, but that does not take away from the value of the tool or the trust that we’re playing, putting in you for actually helping us with these kinds of things. So you’re going to see that there isn’t going to be at first a high responsiveness or them going in and just because you send them a fantastic tool that they’re going to go in and oh geez. Let me put all of my notes. They’re not going to do that. We haven’t seen that yet, because first of all, it’s not a highly adopted kind of concept yet, but those that we’ve talked to after the deal, those that have bought and have not bought when we had the opportunity to talk to them, say we really appreciated it.
That was something that was very good. That your team used that other teams have not.
And it’s really the philosophy of Salesdeck. The tools that we are creating at the moment is to really co-document, I love the word, and really engaging and working together to create an instant minute of the meeting with this way to simplify it using cards that are pre pre-prepared and using emoji in the very future also to have more emotion within it. So, so we are working on at the moment to enhance the buyer experience of choosing sales deck because the seller experience is great, but the buyer needs to be improved to have more than 10 person playing. But really to have more engagement, it will never be a 100%, but we want to make it easier and fun for the buyer to play and to exchange and to codocument. Do you see Salesdeck being an interesting tool to codocument?
Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, Salesdeck absolutely has the opportunity. It has all of the to be a good tool. Meaning is it easy to use? Is it intuitive? And can you be clear? Can you put the key essential pieces down? Can I document a process? Can I document the understandings? Can I document metrics on it? Those would be the things that I’d be looking for. But the real value, you could have the greatest tool out there, if your sellers don’t use it and put good data in there, it’s like having, you know, the best hammer. You don’t swing the hammer, the nail isn’t going into the woods. So the biggest piece that we as sales leadership need to do is number one, facilitate a good tool. Give them a good hammer. But make sure that they’re actually coaching them and teaching the skill of using that in the process.
I’ve learned over time in teaching and coaching sellers that there’s a real reluctance, there’s a fear of using this tool. You can explain it to them logically and they understand it. But putting in an application, I was shocked how they absolutely struggle with putting this into the process because it’s such a foreign concept to them.
But those that do actually use this they really do see the results and become passionate with it because I’ve seen top sellers adopt this and once they start to adopt it, they never go back. It’s all about giving the opportunity to be crystal clear and putting that consistency of message out and knowing, again, back to the psychology of how do I make sure that this is then adopted with all of the other digital touches that are going along because she or he, that creates the best experience possible is going to win.
Rarely, if you look at all of the buying criteria, so many times sellers say, Hey, I need a discount. I need a discount. It’s about price. It really isn’t about price. It’s not even about the best feature functionality, it’s about who created the best experience possible and created that trust that the person on the other side says, I know that if I go with this, I’m going to be safe and we will achieve results.
Great. It was really interesting and I learned a lot. And we’ll use a lot of what we discussed to create a use case for Salesdeck because there is really value in what you say and what I learned. And I hope that all of you have learned during these two episodes with you. It was a great pleasure. Thanks a lot.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity and the platform to share my passion.
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