As a salesperson can attest, there is an art to selling that only an industry insider can master over time and experience. No matter what top business school you go into, you truly won’t e able to decipher the right sales technique unless you have been out in the real world.
Selling effectively depends on how you hone your skills by developing and fine-tuning proven techniques while also experimenting with new ones. So, to help accelerate your sales process, we are bringing before you some smart techniques that successful salespeople in the world swear by.
However, before we present those techniques, let’s take a journey to understand the sales market of today.
How Sales has Changed in Today’s Internet-First Generation
The internet has truly changed the way we experience almost all forms of media. Consumers, today, have a far more influential, active, and central role than ever before.
It has called for a selling revolution that has heightened the power of consumers wherein if your brand doesn’t have an online presence, it is seen as less relevant. And if it doesn’t provide the consumers with the prospect that they are looking for, it doesn’t take five seconds for them to switch to someone who does.
In a nutshell, today’s sales force doesn’t rely on searching for prospects for products and services. Instead, prospects are smart enough to find their needs online themselves. Traditional sales models are quickly becoming obsolete and web searches and online content are dominating the lead-generation process.
Changes in Product Discovery Funnel
The product discovery funnel helps in identifying the key concerns of customers for developing products that would best suit their needs. It is a crucial and complicated process, which, if the companies don’t master well, will waste in producing a product that would be undesirable, to put it lightly.
Gone are the days when brands had to rely on business stakeholders for gathering their requirements for developing their products. Consumers are at the front stage now. Discovering their unmet needs and providing solutions for the same is the winning formula today.
Traditional product discovery funnels were built with the assumption that the future is certain, which is far from reality. Not to forget, the solutions were provided based on the perception of the entrepreneurs, meaning what they thought were the problems faced by the customers.
In practicality, it makes more sense to provide solutions that match the problems of the customers, which is what the modern product discovery funnel is based around.
Evolution of a Salesperson, from Simply Selling, to an Educator
Changes in consumer behavior, business practices, technologies, and the overall realm of sales have significantly contributed to the remodeling and evolution of salespeople.
The hard-selling approach that was popular in the mid-21st century that relied on disarming the consumers by pushing them to believe that only their product was good for them was limiting, to begin with. Then came the era of price war where brands tried to sway customers by offering discounting threads.
Clearly, these were not built with the prioritization of customers in mind. Furthermore, it portrayed sellers in a bad light since customers could see through that they initially inflated prices just to offer tempting discounts.
At the turn of the century and with a more profound approach to buyer’s empowerment perspective, the modern salesperson embarked on a more value-based selling journey. The current modus operandi thus became connecting with the customers, identifying their problems, and providing solutions from their perspective.
Thus, began the era of the salesperson adopting the role of a guide whose intention was built towards co-creating unique solutions with his customers and keeping customization as a top-notch priority.
5 Smart Techniques You Need to Employ in Your Sales
Now that we have taken a sneak peek into the evolution of sales, it is time for adopting some smart techniques in your sales strategy.
Leveraging the Power of CRM
There is no alternative to keeping your relationships with your customers at the forefront other than leveraging the power of CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Not only would you be able to collect, manage and use customer data through it, but it would also help you in streamlining communication with them while also providing statistical analysis about their behavioral patterns.
Recent years have shown the efficacy of CRM to a great degree, proven by the fact that it has led to an increase in customer satisfaction by 74%. Using CRM tools such as CloudFiles facilitates better revenue and increased sales and accelerates productivity and efficiency. Acting as a centralized database of customer information, this is the one tool to bring in new leads and retain existing customers, two big factors to boost your sales.
Understanding Challenges Faced by Prospects
Your prospects won’t buy what you are trying to sell if you don’t understand what they need. It is as simple as that!
So, before you even offer your product or service to them, you need to figure out whether there is a want, or more specifically, a need for what you are trying to sell.
This is why asking pivotal questions to understand which of your offers might best suit your prospect is recommended. Your prospects are more likely to engage with you in deciphering this aspect when they give their consent first. To do that, be transparent with them so that they can value the process. Only then would they be candid and you would get valuable insights.
Researching your Leads
As we discussed earlier, the modern product discovery funnel is built around the empowerment of consumers. So, it is quite obvious that researching your leads is a mandatory step that will give you an understanding of their values, problems, and aspirations. This, in turn, would serve as the base through which you would be able to turn your leads into customers.
It also would lay the groundwork for you to build better rapport with your buyers and you would be able to connect with them on a personal level, which would strengthen your ability to customize. Studying your leads would help you find the nuanced differences between different demographics and how to sell the same product to a wide audience just by tweaking a couple of buttons.
Follow-up at the Right Time
Many undermine the value of timely follow-up because, at first glance, it might seem an extended part of your job that you could do without since it doesn’t bring direct revenue with it. But we would be remiss if we don’t bring you into realizing how big of a role it plays in maintaining your relationship with your customers.
Just because you have been able to make them buy your products doesn’t mean the job is over. Surely, it gets profits in the company but what good is selling if they don’t come back to purchase again? A simple follow-up regarding their experience with your product or to let them know of a sale discount that you may have in the future would keep your relationship with them from going stale.
Leveraging Analytics to Provide Discounts
There is no dearth of consumer data in the technologically advanced market we live in today. How sellers use this data varies from person to person but not leveraging the analytics of the data to incentivize your leads through discounts and offers would surely be a missed opportunity.
Although consumers can question the legitimacy of discounts by thinking that prices have been inflated to adjust the discounted price but studies have shown that it encourages consumers to stop searching for the same product elsewhere. Not to mention, it also creates a sense of urgency in buyers.
However, discounts become effective when it is not seen as a money-making mechanism by the consumers. This is where analytics come into play because it will help you in making smart choices as to what kind of discount to offer at what time and how to advertise them. So, instead of creating discounts and then pushing the sales, wait to study analytics and let your discounts follow it.
A successful salesperson has to consistently persist and deliberate activities to adapt to the ever-changing market. Sales have become more scientific at the turn of the century and to excel in it, you need to be strategic about it.
Consumers are getting smarter with each passing day and with more information and power available to them, they could see through your ways to trick them. This is why having a consumer-driven sales approach is being welcomed globally. But generating profits is still the pivotal goal of any business and in this symbiotic market, these aforementioned tips will give you the edge to stay profitable while still empowering your consumers.