The biggest blunder sales representatives are making is constantly trying out new sales habits and strategies to close sales. While this may work in the short run, most sales practitioners will agree that without a clear strategy, you won’t know which mistakes to avoid.
A good selling strategy is the central component of a sales team. If you find one, you must stick to it.
Here are 4 sales tricks that will help you work out a stellar selling strategy to suit your business.
1. Work smart and try not to look like a salesperson
For a salesperson, working smart invariably reaps greater benefits than working hard. You’ve heard the typical salesperson brag about the hefty volume of calls made during the day. In reality, he may just be checking off lists in vain, without really closing deals or worrying about actual targets.
Here’s what you need to do.
To stop sounding like a salesperson, you have to stop thinking like a salesperson. Instead, you need to think like an expert, providing industry angles that corporate professionals are looking for.
In short, find an opportunity, and not just a prospect. Understanding companies and their budget offerings before approaching them really puts your pitch in perspective. Moreover, business verification before making deal with them is crucially important. With businesses recently running low profit margins, a seller’s case may lose relevance if the goal is to create demand for a product or service.
Try not to design a sales pitch around your product’s journey, and look for business outcomes instead. Answer questions that elaborate on the value that a single purchase can add to a company, and you’ll find common grounds with the prospect in no time.
Using storytelling to entice interest in a sales pitch is an excellent way to connect with the buyer. However, smart selling requires that you don’t meander into tales that aren’t a good fit for every lead. To make it easier for them to make a decision, start with a full desk review of the part of your product or service they can really derive benefit from. Then, pitch only the part that matches the business’ needs and helps them figure out why they’ll miss out on if they don’t make a move right now.
In addition to this, the key to a smart call is to aim for referrals. A potent selling strategy will always include the prospect of resales, extracting that last drop of loyalty from the buyer. Good service usually ensures that customers pass the word on and boost income and profitability for the company through repeat business opportunities.
Before closing the deal, a carefully crafted sales strategy will assist you in going straight for the result, by asking the customer to take action.
2. Prepare yourself for the decision maker
The key player in a company that calls the shots, defines business goals, and gets the ball rolling for you, is the one you want to be prepared for.
Here’s who your selling strategy must target: the decision maker.
This kind of executive level prospect is looking for detailed answers. What now sets you apart is the way you address the whys and hows of the conversation, with a real focus on logical answers to objections from the higher-ups. These C-level executives are looking for ways to identify roadblocks within the organisation, and the relevant techniques needed to address them.
Long proposals that go through low-level contacts in a firm are therefore considered tenuous means of pushing product pitches, with little or no immediate effect. Pipelines only get longer and misleading, while businesses pass on ideas due to unavailability of budget.
Active prospecting uses the same strategy. Get in touch with people who are looking for solutions as opposed to new services and products, and convince only those who make the final call. Sales leads that do not have the authority to make a purchase, have unapproved budgets, or simply fail to make a business case will push you towards low win rates. And as a smart seller, you don’t want that.
You have a sale to make. Prepare to face the gatekeeper. Have yours answers ready and aim right for the jugular. A short buying cycle not only saves your time, it furnishes your sales pitch to suit the real prospect.
3. Track sales efforts, not marketing metrics
We all know the direction that digital marketing has taken in the recent past, with sales and marketing metrics going through the roof in popularity. Firms are spending lofty budgets on securing likes and impressions, while sales targets are based on leads and conversion rates that tick faster than your spin & go rounds.
If your sales strategy reflects a part of this, stop right here and switch plans for 2020.
At the risk of sounding cynical, I will assert that marketing metrics do not wholly reflect lead nurturing efforts made by salespersons. Measuring results is no doubt the best way to maximise marketing impact in the long run, but driving sales is a different story. This is because sales performance is a subjective variable to track, and sales optimization efforts are harder to quantify.
To accomplish this and to lower costs, targeted sales campaigns that venture only into areas of previous success tend to be best suited to measuring progress. To help in breaking free from high dependance on metrics, businesses need to appreciate that the sales cycle is distinct from regular measurement periods used in marketing.
4. Leverage technology to assist sales cycles
Getting bogged down under marketing metric is unhealthy. Using tech to close more sales isn’t.
Your traditional sales leads are turning into virtual targets, and fast. Therefore, the right use of technology can help design an effective selling strategy by leveraging information about user interaction with the brand.
On the digital front, this means looking for behavioural trends in website visits and content engagement. By opening up means of personalisation, this use of digital tools can lead to enhanced user experience and track conversion histories better than traditional marketing methods.
Communication strategies must then be tailored to each prospect and follow intuitively from the overall marketing vision of the company. The caveat, however, is to ensure that all measurements are subject to the principles of ongoing communication in sales strategies.
As a salesperson, your strategy should entail a relentless search for better prospects without really stopping at a ballpark figure. The eventual goal should be to focus on developing long-standing relationships with customers, based on trust and credibility. Marketing metrics are only guiding lights.
Listen closely to your clients, both old and new, and try and address their needs instead of focusing on getting your point across. Once that is achieved, present your case with refreshing candor and build a case for yourself. And most importantly, know when to walk away.
James Efron is a tech enthusiast, currently serving as infosecurity management expert at Shufti Pro. He has been involved in designing organisational strategies for tech firms, and is often found assisting digital transformations.