Some people are destined to sell stuff well from an early age. It’s the young scout that doesn’t just offer cookies but persuades you to buy the toppings and milk to go with it. Or the savvy salesperson in the sporting goods store who effortlessly persuades you to buy $500 worth of designer gym wear to go with the $5 running socks you went in for. However, in 2021, not everyone has an appetite or spare cash for cookies and milk, so even the most engaging sales executive needs more than a dose of charm and persistence to succeed. This blog takes you on a fast tour of popular sales techniques and methods and explains why and how the right sales software can help you close the deal.
1. Get to (Really) Know Your Prospects
In a time and place long ago, the traveling sales executive had to show up in person, call a prospective by their name and take as long as it took to get them to buy their product or service. It took energy, chutzpah, and finely-honed sales techniques to make sure that petrol wasn’t wasted. Then there was the age of the cold call. You’d get a list of numbers and even getting past the operator was seen as a sign of minor success. As the technology evolved, sales techniques shifted and the opportunities for physical contact with a potential customer diminished.
Right now, in the age of remote working, salespeople are often working through a sales pipeline in a faceless world, so what’s to do? It’s time to blend old-fashioned relationship-building sales techniques with state-of-the-art sales performance management (SPM) software. That means doing some thorough research during the prospecting stage to get to know your customer’s needs, what they are looking for and what they already have. A robust customer management system (CMS) filled with value-rich customer data and company information allows you to achieve this by penetrating deeper so you can establish a proper relationship rather than a speculative contact.
2. Understand Your Customers’ Situation and Needs
Once you’ve invested time in research and used your SPM software to paint a digital picture of a customer, think about how you’re going to present your sale story when you book a call. There may well be a set of typical scenarios, sales techniques, and questions that you’ve grown to rely on over the years, but this is where research pays dividends. Knowing the successes, struggles, and landmarks of a business (particularly in the current economic climate) means you can pitch more effectively with a bespoke presentation. This is where using territory management software should come into its own, as you should be able to create customized reports into the local competition, economic factors, and demographics before you enter the sales arena. Having this information to hand will also make it more of a conversation with value to both parties, rather than a one-sided, over-rehearsed speech.
3. Harness the Power of Social Media and Digital Personalization
Let’s talk about social media sales techniques. There was a time in the last decade when Facebook was something you checked when your manager wasn’t looking and was basically a means of posting holiday photos and checking up on old friends and enemies. Even sending personal emails during work time was heavily frowned upon. The moment Facebook, email, and other social media sites became apps on our phones and smart devices, the rules of use and engagement changed.
Put simply, it’s likely that your potential and existing customers are using social media to sell and advertise, so you should be all over it as a way of connecting to those same customers. According to recent figures, a sales professional who understands the power of social media is 51 percent more likely to hit their quota and 45 percent more likely to generate sales opportunities. Working with a social media team to establish a strategy on who your customers are and how to connect with them is a vast improvement on guesswork and assumptions. There is a similar mindset when it comes to emails. Use your sales software to provide the analytics into who your customer is, and you can reach them and potentially push their “buy” button through more personalized communications.
4. Be Ready with Real-world Solutions and Real-life Reactions
In the world of sales, no call or meeting can be completely rehearsed, and no outcome fully anticipated. Tapping into sales software will provide the knowledge, metrics, and market insight that sets a sales professional apart from an amateur, but it’s preparing for objections and presenting answers to difficult questions that can move you toward a good close. Whether you’re talking on Teams, speaking on the phone, or in an email chain of deal negotiation, there are some old-school tips to improve sales techniques and thrive in a fast-moving modern sales world. Honesty, humility, humor (in the appropriate places) can be your winning ticket if you’re being authentic.
We know that you know there are a ton of opening sales techniques and closing tactics that may or may not be the golden ticket to a solid deal. But at Varicent, we also understand that people that sell are happy to utilize great software to do their job better and that great software needs invested people to get the maximum benefits from it.
If you’re ready to sell better in 2021 and beyond, grab a cookie and a glass of milk and book a demo with Varicent today.