by Brian March
In this article we will put forward several sales tips for new salespeople (or even for the more experienced salesperson) to help them improve their sales skills. One would think that selling is becoming easier with the number of tools, data and insights available to salespeople, however the reality is that the sales process is getting longer and more difficult.
Some noteworthy sales figures you might find interesting is that over seven decision-makers now engage in the purchasing process on average. Consider the fact that almost 70 percent of business purchasers will research between 2 and 7 sites before any transaction is completed. What makes selling even more difficult is that today, between 50% and 90% of the purchaser’s journey is complete before they communicate with a salesperson.
So, one of the big questions a new salesperson asks is how do they hit the ground running and get more buyers to listen to what they have to say?
To get some sales tips for new salespeople meant going out and asking some senior sales managers working in companies such as Dell, Oracle etc. Here is what they told us.
Sales Tip 1. Learn to the skill of having empathy with the buyer’s situation and constantly use active listening to really understand what they are telling you. Always put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
Sales Tip 2. Learn to understand a prospect’s needs, this starts long before you ever pick up the phone. You need to understand their industry, trends, and other factors that could be affecting their business. Ask yourself – why am I contacting this buyer and what do I know?
Sales Tip 3. As a salesperson you need to be able to engage with your customers on their level. They come to see you as an expert and someone who brings valuable insights. You must be able to speak to them not as another salesperson but as a consultant or advisor. Ask yourself – what makes me different from the other salespeople trying to get the attention of a customer.
Will use a multi-channel approach to be selling
Can add value to the customers role and make buying easier
Are skilled at discovery questions to uncover opportunities
Are comfortable overcoming hesitations or objections
Can pinpoint the value that their proposal will bring to the customer
Know their why, why they undertake each action and activity
Are great at storytelling, stories that resonate with the customer
Can educate prospects with new ideas and ways of seeing things
Know that collaboration is critical in the sales process
Are experts on their product and market
Are you seen as being a helpful, useful and valuable connection by a buyer?
Get Commitments from every sales conversation that moves things forward
Have a Sales Mindset, comfortable with rejection and goal orientated
Practice the “Sales Habit Loop” – a consistent approach to everything they do
Sales Tip 4. Be at your desk early. It may sound old fashioned, but a great tip is to come to work early every day. While “early bird gets the worm” can sound corny, it is true in most sales organizations. Early at your desk can give you the opportunity to get to know your colleagues on a personal level, as well as to demonstrate your commitment. From a sales activity point of view, you could be 20 calls ahead of your team members as they sit down at their desks.
Sales tip 5. Make it Personal. The modern buyer wants interactions personalized to their needs. To treat them as intelligent partners more than vendors – helping them clarify ambiguous problems and demonstrating trustworthiness. Furthermore, the shift to an experience mindset doesn’t just involve the customer. Business buyers expect companies to understand them, anticipate their needs, and make relevant suggestions.
Sales Tip 6. Give them an Experience. Customers are shifting from being product and solution-focused to seeking value-laden experiences from start to finish. From identifying a problem, learning about solution options, to choosing a supplier. Delivering these experiences will require new and changed selling motions across the end-to-end buyer’s journey, not narrowly focusing your sales team’s efforts on the opportunity-to-order sales process. How do we deliver experiences in the digital B2B channels and in our interactions?
Sales Tip 7. Become great at sharing Content. Learn about how to share CIC – Content-in-context: We need to train ourselves to rebalance our content sharing efforts from a constant generation of thought leadership, white papers, infographics and videos to working with marketing to capitalise on our deep industry knowledge and customer empathy to develop and deploy information to help buyers buy.
Sales Tip 8. Have Digital sales confidence. Learn how to integrate digital skills and capabilities into your daily sales activities and understand the customers buying journey to position “personalized” experiences and solutions.
Sales Tip 9. Understand how Relationship intelligence works. The important aspect here to the ability to leverage internal data and external data to understand relationships plus relationship strength to deliver personalised experiences.
Sales Tip 10. Understand that buying decisions are emotional. In a recent survey of 2,000 business decision makers globally found that 56% of that final purchase decision is driven by emotion – with feelings like trust, confidence, optimism and pride emerging as the most influential. The basic rule of selling is that people do not buy products; they buy benefits.
Sales Tip 11. Believe in what you sell. You bring value and opportunity to your customers. You must believe in the product or service you are selling. Customers want to know that honesty exists, and you have pride in what you sell.
Sales Tip 12. Know why your customer will buy what you are selling. At the most basic level, it’s important to understand that most people buy for one of two reason –– they buy to move closer to pleasure or to move further away from pain. People buy to move closer to pleasure or further from pain (or in some rare instances both) –– so when selling your product or service be very aware of why your customer is buying what you’re selling.
Sales Tip 13. Learn the talk to listen ratio. Selling is about 60 % listening and no more that 40% talking. Developing this skill should be at the top of any salesperson’s priority list. To help yourself remember to display active listening while talking with a customer, devise a method for you note your buyer’s needs.
Sales Tip 14. Get alignment on the issues that need addressing. Selling today is all about recognizing the true motivations of buyers and aligning your presentation and solution to match their needs and desires. One study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that getting a person to agree on one issue will boost the likelihood of getting their agreement on another issue.
So, there you have 14 sales tips to help newer salespeople get on the road to more successful selling. Learning to master all the sales skills needed to be really successful takes time and patience. Enjoy.
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