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    Digital Sales Rooms Are Pretty Lame, and Here’s Why

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    Sometimes, working with potential buyers can be a little like sitting in an interrogation room in a police station, trying to guess what’s happening on the other side of the mirrored glass.

    Somewhere, outside the room you’re sitting in, people are discussing the problem you’re trying to help them solve. Maybe you know who they are, maybe you don’t. Maybe the people you’ve been trying to reach are the right people, maybe they’re not.

    Maybe they’re watching your every move to determine whether you’ve got what it takes to help them, maybe they’re not.

    If you could get to the other side of the mirrored glass and ask them a few questions, or if you could just be a fly on the wall in that other room, you could get so much farther. Instead, do you just keep providing information that you hope that they want, and maybe speak about how great your product/service is and how much it could help them if they would just give it a try?

    I’ve been thinking about the mirrored glass problem for quite some time

    Getting into the heads and hearts of buyers is often a long process of building trust and rapport, asking probing questions, and generally getting to know your customers. Our workflows inside Membrain make this easier than ever, helping sales leaders to promote and reinforce the sales behaviors that lead to the most collaborative and helpful results for buyers.

    But even with a close relationship, buyers still rarely allow sellers into their inner chambers where the real conversations about their business occur. Heck, they might not even be internally aligned about which initiative to focus on and which problems to solve, or how their decisions will be made.

    It’s time to take the spotlight off the sales team and put it on assisting buyers.

    For years, I’ve been looking for ways to help sales teams overcome this barrier, and move more quickly into a collaborative space where they can help potential buyers collaborate more effectively.

    Of course, I’m not the only one trying to do this. A number of technology companies and experts have started working on the concept from the perspective of a “digital sales room,” where sellers can organize their game plan and share content more easily.

    I believe this is the wrong answer. Or at least just a small portion of the answer.

    The trouble is that it still conceives of the selling process as an internal construction, a process that happens on the sales side with the buyers as passive or even oppositional participants.

    “Sales rooms” as they’re currently being conceived are like bringing a bunch of posters and brochures into that room with the mirrored glass and hoping to lure buyers in with the glossy photos and fancy content. They’re just another way of delivering more content to an already content-saturated market.

    I dream of a more collaborative process with the buyer

    In a time when buyers are constantly blasted by spam, robocalls, and untargeted mass mailings, I believe the time has come for a shift in thinking.

    It’s time to take the spotlight off the sales team and put it on assisting buyers in achieving what they want to achieve.

    The solution, as I see it, is to help buyers define what they seek to achieve, get their ducks in a row, and find the best solution.

    We have to find a way to bring buyers into a context where they are helped to discover and define what they need, get organized, and be assisted in achieving their best solution.

    From a technology perspective, this starts by going beyond thinking of the sales process as an internal construction, and by inviting your potential buyers into a space where you can collaborate to solve what is important for them.

    Almost from the beginning of Membrain, I have dreamed of creating a tool that connects with our platform to enable this decision enablement approach. Early on, we felt that the market wasn’t quite ready for it. But we believe it is time now.

    I’m excited to share that our internal teams are beginning the development soon of a module that will make it easier to invite buyers and to collaborate as a team, rather than as suspicious interrogators.

    We’re going to help you remove the mirrored glass.

    We’re not sure exactly what that’s going to look like, yet. But one thing is for sure - we won’t call it a “Digital Sales Room.”

    The thinking that got us here, is not the thinking that will get us to the next level.

    Stay tuned. And for a demo of what our current platform can do, sign up here.

    George Brontén
    Published December 8, 2021
    By George Brontén

    George is the founder & CEO of Membrain, the Sales Enablement CRM that makes it easy to execute your sales strategy. A life-long entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the software space and a passion for sales and marketing. With the life motto "Don't settle for mainstream", he is always looking for new ways to achieve improved business results using innovative software, skills, and processes. George is also the author of the book Stop Killing Deals and the host of the Stop Killing Deals webinar and podcast series.

    Find out more about George Brontén on LinkedIn