Sales can never be boring, especially if it’s B2B. We know it can be a tough proposition for sales reps but what’s life without any challenges, right? The best part about sales is that people get a lot more freedom to execute things their own way. It gives sales reps a kind of independence with respect to how they go about finishing their daily work. There’s probably no feeling that can beat the joy of closing an account. And as far as closing a deal is concerned, the right sales techniques help a lot!
You surely have to be mighty creative to get that ever-desired “yes” from your prospects. You must already be knowing how prospects have their inhibitions and moving mountains could be easier than convincing certain people to trust your product or service. It is natural for your prospects to be choosy and remain cautious in their approach. But you know you need to get your job done and meet your targets. We are here to help you just with that.
Read on to understand further how this guide will help you understand the finer nuances of sales and tips and tricks on how to close deals every single time. Let’s first start with sales prospecting and various other aspects of sales before we proceed ahead sales closing techniques and other sales techniques.
What are sales techniques?
Sales techniques are the ways through which sales reps meet their targets. As the world of sales is so dynamic, there is no single technique that will work for everyone. It is often trial and error that helps sales reps identify what particularly works for them. Let’s look at a combination of techniques that usually work.
What are the best sales techniques?
1. Define your customers
If you want to become a champion salesperson, you must know your market and customers in and out. You must clearly be able to identify trends based on which you can customize your strategy to attract customers. Going beyond what your customers actually want, you must also understand their profiles and what motivates them to buy certain things. Most importantly, you must also study your competitors and understand what they are already doing.
2. Work in cohesion
For any business to be successful, its people must work closely. Within the sales team, all members, irrespective of their positions, must work towards one common objective.
3. Involve your marketing team
If you aim at achieving your revenue goals at a brisk pace, you must make your sales and marketing teams work together. Marketing teams can offer very valuable insights that can help sales teams understand the pulse of their target audience. It can be simply a webinar or the blog post your company put up recently. Get the relevant insights from your marketing team to understand how your prospects responded to them. In fact, the alignment of sales & marketing teams is crucial for revenue growth.
If things did not go as planned, it will clearly give you a platform to adopt a different approach next time. Thus, alignment with your marketing team is a crucial sales technique that you should implement.
4. Target right leads
When it comes to sales, time is money and you must be smart enough to think futuristically. It simply means that you must identify certain leads that have great chances of converting. At the same time, you must simply ignore the ones you feel will not connect. It would give you enough time to nurture leads that you think will convert.
5. Understand your prospects’ concerns
More than presenting your side of the story, you must also patiently listen to your prospects. Understand what challenges they are facing currently and how you can help them through your solutions. People appreciate it when somebody listens to them. It will also help you develop valuable relationships with your prospects. Understanding a prospect’s needs is one of the most important sales techniques that you can learn to grow in your career.
6. Establish yourself as a trusted authority
It can be very difficult for people to trust sales reps when they try to sell a product or service. It is something that has increased over the years and has only made life tough for sales reps. Developing a level of trust and relationship is the easiest way to overcome this problem. While surely it can be developed overnight, but it can definitely be achieved over a period of time. Use your social media handles to educate your prospects about your company and its offerings. You can do webinars, write blog posts, offer e-books, etc. with the intention of helping others.
It is important to understand that at this stage, you still cannot start with your selling approach. Offer your prospects the value through your content and they will surely find a way to contact you. Once this happens, it will just be a matter of time before you close the deal. Remember, you must also customize and personalize your approach to each and every prospect. Doing this will only help you build meaningful relationships and it will only be very helpful in the long term.
7. Be of help to your prospects – The most overshadowed sales technique
The biggest mistake to avoid here is to not just reflect the features and benefits of the product or service you are offering. It will simply not work if the needs of your prospects are not aligned with these. To start with, take time and understand the pain points of your prospects. You must then position your product and service in a way that addresses most of the concerns of your prospects. Doing with will only give you the time to understand your prospect well and build a relationship with them.
It can’t get better if you have already researched them. By doing your homework, you will come across as a professional who is serious and knows exactly what they want to achieve. In such a scenario, you will not have to spend much time explaining the benefits to prospects. They can easily get convinced which will also help you reduce your sales cycle.
8. Follow-up, without fail
Sales, especially B2B, can be a lengthy process and it could take many meetings before the prospect is convinced. In such a situation, it is important to end each meeting with an effective action step. Rather than leaving the room to decide what next, you must define the next course of action at the end of the meeting. Everyone is busy in the business world and you can gain respect only if you value the time of others. Following up is a sales technique that is used by almost every sales rep in the world. Have a look at these sales follow up email templates in order to send better emails.
Set out a clear date and time for your next meetings instead of saying we will meet in the next few days or week. It can get very difficult to book a meeting because people have other commitments and you might not necessarily be on their priority list. It will save a lot of time at a later stage when you sit down to fix a meeting. Besides, there are also chances you might get stuck with something else.
Sales technique #9: Spin selling
Spin selling is a technique that was introduced by Neil Rackham when he wrote a book in 1998. This technique originated while he connected the dots backward. After researching “what sets apart the best performing sales teams” and analyzing thousands of sales calls, he formulated this technique.
The acronym SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Implication & Need-Payoff. Here’s a brief overview of the same:
Situation: Get an idea about your potential customers’ current situation.
Problem: Figure out the problems that your customers are facing.
Implication: Try to understand those problems and the causes of the same.
Need-Payoff: Establish the brilliance of your product and close the sale.
Now, you’re obviously wondering how to implement this technique in your daily sales routine. There is a certain set of questions for each stage of the SPIN strategy that you should ask your customers in order to close the sales. We’ll soon publish an article on the same.
What are sales prospecting techniques?
Sales prospecting is a sales technique that sales reps adopt to build their sales pipeline and engage with leads. The approach will differ across industries and could include calls, emails, social selling, etc. There are two different types of prospecting which include inbound and outbound prospecting.
In inbound prospecting, sales reps would approach only those who have expressed interest in the product or service. In outbound prospecting, sales reps adopt a cold approach of reaching out to prospects through emails and phone calls. There is no definitive approach that can work well for everyone, but a combination of these is usually successful. Let us have a look at some of the best sales prospecting techniques.
The best sales prospecting techniques
1. Reach out warmly while prospecting
When you reach out to your prospects, you shouldn’t follow a very cold approach. It is advisable to warm up your prospects before making contact with them. Before reaching out to them via an email or a phone call, you can try to make them aware of yourself and your business. This can be achieved easily through social media when either you connect or engage with them. Outreaching, in general, is one of the crucial sales techniques every sales rep should hone.
2. Establish your credibility
It can be easiest to convince your prospects if you come across as an expert in your art. You can establish your credibility by contributing through your social media handles like LinkedIn, writing for industry publications, attending conferences, etc. This can be the easiest way to make your prospects remember your name even before you have initiated the dialogue.
3. Build trust levels during prospecting
You should do more than just selling if you want to make your prospects and clients trust you. You must become a support for them irrespective of whether you have closed the deal or not. Try to become a solutions provider and go that extra mile to earn the goodwill and possibly some referrals as well. This particular sales technique
4. Prepare well in advance
This especially holds true for inexperienced ones. During prospecting, you must look confident and use the right language. You can prepare with the help of a script and even consult your seniors who have been there and done that. If you are using a script, you must ensure that you do not come across as robotic.
5. Remain minimalist
You must remember that prospecting is not selling. So you must not come across as trying to sell something upfront. All you have to do is make your prospects feel comfortable and make other efforts to push them into a sales funnel. Remember your sales cycle is a long process so you must focus on building relationships.
6. Follow up
It might need at least 6-8 meetings on an average to sell a product or service so you must value follow-ups. For the further stages of communication, you must always use an appropriate mode of communication. You must make your prospects feel comfortable and come across as someone serious and trustworthy.
7. Use social media
Social selling must be an important part of your social media strategy. Your prospects are all over social media, so you must cater to their needs through your posts. Credibility on social media can help your prospecting task become much easier.
8. Conduct webinars
When your prospects join your webinar, you can rest assured that they have some interest in your product or service. You can decide on the trending topics that can benefit everyone and also invite some industry experts. Further, at the webinar, to gauge the interests of your prospects, ask them if they would like to know more about your product or service. The ones who respond positively are one more step closer to become your customer.
9. Network, network, and network
As a salesperson, the last thing you would want to do is not network enough. You must find relevant events where you expect your prospects to be in large numbers. Once identified, you can target particular sections to that event to meet maximum prospects and get them interested in your product or service.
10. Ask for recommendations
It can be the easiest way to close more deals. You must not feel shy to ask for recommendations. Once you have closed the deal, you can ask for recommendations during the follow-up stage. Your customers, who are already happy and trust you, will surely recommend you in their networks.
What are sales strategies?
A sales strategy is a combination of tactics that a business adopts to market its products and services to customers. It will generally involve the best practices that a sales team adopts to meet its goals and objectives. Sales strategies are of two types – inbound and outbound. In inbound sales strategy, the process is based on buyer actions, while in outbound, it is based on seller actions. Let us further have a look at how to build a sales strategy plan and what are its essential components.
The sales team must set SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
- Define the target customers|
Your product or service should clearly list down the features and benefits that will help your target audience. In order to do this, you can prepare a buyer persona based on different parameters like their business, company size, past buying history, etc.
- Product or service awareness
You must clearly define how you will go about promoting your product or service and target potential customers. You must brainstorm on all sorts of organic and paid promotion tactics.
When you implement a strategy, measuring its effectiveness is important. This would give you an idea of what you managed to achieve and what can be done better. The measurement can be either on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis and could also include any customized metrics.
What are sales closing techniques?
Closing a sale is a very important and memorable moment for any sales rep. It can be very satisfying to close a deal if you have worked hard on it for days and weeks or even months. However, as much satisfaction it can bring to close a sale, it is important to do it in the right way. One mistake here could prove costly and spill water on all your efforts. A good sales closing technique can finally convince your prospects about any questions or issues they still have in their minds.
Sales closing techniques can be many and adopting the right one depends on a number of factors, including what you are trying to sell and the emotions of your prospects. We list down some of the best techniques that you can use to close your next deal. These are in no particular order and are a mix of both traditional and modern ways of closing a sale.
1. Summary close
In this technique, the sales rep will simply continue to emphasize the value and benefits of the product or service the prospect is purchasing. It could be simply the economic price of the product and the relevant benefits that the prospect is expecting. By focusing on these aspects, a sales rep can simply make the prospect believe that the product they are purchasing is the best.
2. Sharp angle close
It is natural for prospects to look for discounts or any incentives simply because they know they can get away with it. As a sales rep, you must be prepared to expect it and meet those demands if they are objective enough. In this technique, if your prospects ask for some incentives, you can immediately reply positively but with a condition of getting them signed immediately. It might come to them as a surprise but they are likely to agree if they get what they want.
3. Now or never close
As the name goes, in this technique, the sales rep will simply make an offer with a special benefit. It is directed towards the prospect to make an instant purchase. It can include deals like a flat 30% discount if customers buy today, priority in delivery or servicing, or the last product or last few slots at a particular price. It works because it simply creates a sense of urgency in the minds of prospects. There is a good chance that prospects could play the wait-and-watch game and delay the buying for several reasons.
4. Assumptive close
This sales technique relies a lot on positivity and the need to stay motivated throughout. If you remain positive and convinced, based on the initial response of the prospect, it will help you close the deal effectively. You must be an advanced thinker and planner who can easily read the mind of the prospect in terms of their interest and engagement. Once you are done with explaining the benefits, you can ask your prospects, “Are you convinced this product matches your requirements?” or “Does this product matches your pain points and adds value?”
5. Soft close
In this technique, sales reps follow a low-key approach to try and understand more about the needs of prospects. It would often involve asking basic questions to know if prospects are interested in knowing more about the product or service. It could be a question like, “If this product reduces your maintenance costs by 20%, would you be interested in learning more?” This is a subtle approach where you have already listed one benefit without explicitly stating it. You can even rephrase the question if you want to sound too direct upfront. It will take more time but will help you understand more about your prospect. This also doesn’t force the prospects to make a decision immediately.
6. Question close
In this technique, you must ask some inquisitive questions to your prospects to close the deal effectively. A sign of a good sales rep is how soon they close the deal. To do this, you must ask several questions that get your prospects interested. At the same time, you must try to overcome any objections they have. Closing the sale by asking an effective question is something that is recommended here.
This will help you gain a valid response, while at the same time, understand if the prospect still has any objection. It could simply be a question like, “Are you satisfied with the product and does it meet all your needs?” Putting up this question will help you identify how much the prospect is convinced and what it would take to convince them further. If the prospect replies negatively, you can continue with selling by trying to convince them further. If the answer is yes, you can simply rejoice.
7. Take away close
This technique works largely on the philosophy of taking away something that your prospect would want more. While dealing with the prospect, if they ask you to make some value additions, you can simply remove a benefit from your revised proposal. It will force the prospect to think more about the benefit that was removed rather than thinking about the value addition they are getting.
Closing is one of the most important stages of the sales cycle. In many ways, it can define you and your abilities. A good salesperson is someone adept at the effective implementation of the best practices at the different stages of a sales cycle. We hope this guide will help you understand the finer aspects of the sales process. Use this guide effectively to become a champion salesperson.