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Sensemaking for Sales

Sensemaking for Sales

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Sensemaking for Sales

  1. Your customers are overwhelmed with information. Help them figure out what they need to know
  2. Analyst reports, corporate blogs, display advertising, email marketing, infographics, podcasts, white papers, word-of-mouth recommendations: All are competing for the opportunity to influence buyers.
  3. So much accurate and trustworthy information exists online that B2B customers dedicate only 17% of their purchase process to talks with potential suppliers.


168 reads

Sales Rep use it as opportunity to sell

  1.  Salesrep employ a version of the Socratic method, not telling customers what to think but instead helping them create a framework within which to make their own decisions.
  2. The aim is to support customers regardless of the outcome. When the buyer’s direction aligns with the supplier’s capabilities, the reps make that abundantly clear; conversely, they bow out early and direct their attention elsewhere when alignment proves elusive. Above all else, they help customers make sense of the information they’ve encountered to make confident purchase decisions. Their approach is a form of sensemaking


107 reads


  1. At Gartner, we surveyed 1,100 B2B customers.
  2. Nearly 90% agreed that the information they encounter as part of a purchase is generally of high quality; believable, relevant, backed by data, supported by expert analysis, and conveyed in a compelling manner. But they struggle to make sense of it.
  3. Fifty-five percent of respondents find the information to be trustworthy but relatively undifferentiated. And 44% find the information to be trustworthy but contradictory; the various pieces are relevant and believable, but they suggest opposing directions.


78 reads

Why it makes Sense?

  1. When forced to decide in the face of overwhelming amounts of information, people often fall back on cognitive biases 
  2. Common ones include anchoring (relying too heavily on the first piece of information offered), belief perseverance (clinging to one’s initial thought), and the status-quo bias, which in B2B buying often translates to customers’ saying, “We’ve decided to study this more. Call us in six months.


68 reads

What can sellers do?

  1. Customer’s decision confidence: the degree to which the buying group believes it has determined the right questions to consider, prioritized the information that matters most, and identified consistent themes. Customers high in decision confidence have managed to make sense of the information and feel assured of their ability to make a potentially bigger, broader, more impactful decision. They are 157% as likely as others to complete a high-quality, low regret deal.


111 reads

What can sellers do (Contd.)?

  1. Trust in the seller: Things typically end poorly when a customer senses that a rep has failed to provide complete and accurate information because the rep is focused on meeting his or her own needs. Customers who are highly skeptical of a rep’s claims are 1.6 times less likely to make a high-quality, low-regret deal than are customers who believe their rep’s claims.


107 reads

1. What sensemaking sellers do Differently?

  1. Connecting customers with relevant resources: Sensemaking reps curate the information they share for utility and clarity, including only what will help customers advance with increasing confidence along their purchase journey. Sensemaking reps readily admit the limits of their knowledge. When skepticism of sellers can be so damaging, there’s clear value in simply saying, “I don’t know” rather than manufacturing a half-truth that can be easily fact-checked. And admitting one’s limitations can forge a powerful connection with buyers, who probably don’t know either. 


111 reads

2. What sensemaking sellers do differently?

  1. Clarifying information: In many ways, a sensemaking rep’s key to success is the ability to boost a customer’s belief that the rep empathizes with the difficulty of making a complex purchase decision. That requires helping customers feel that they’ve asked the right questions, understood competing perspectives, and accounted for potential contingencies. Sensemaking sellers are particularly adept at clarifying complex problems, explaining technical information, and turning abstract concepts into understandable, shareable, and compelling insights. 


100 reads

3. What sensemaking sellers do differently?

  1. Collaborating on customer learning. A sensemaking rep ensures that the conclusions customers reach are their own. The goal is to Socratically guide buyers on a learning journey, not tell them what to do. Sensemaking reps often encourage customers to independently verify seller provided information and give them an easy way to do so. They offer a framework for learning that makes customers feel in control; that confidence increases the chances that buyers will make a decision rather than delay or stand pat


104 reads


Rishabh Arora's ideas are part of this journey:

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