Here are five sales techniques that every salesperson should master: active listening. One of the reasons potential customers are so suspicious of salespeople is because they anticipate an aggressive attitude and pressure to buy a customer. Selling with SPIN is all about asking the right questions. The wrong questions can ruin your entire sales process or even unfortunately paralyze it.
With SPIN, you let the buyer do the talking. These 4 questions will help you discover what your buyer needs and how best to help them. If you use SPIN as a sales tactic, asking the right questions will generate the right answers. Also, stop sending generic follow-up emails “just checking” and instead send an email with useful resources to educate and influence, such as a customer testimonial with tangible results.
To respect a potential customer's limited time, just request 5-minute mini-meetings. The less time you ask for, the more likely they are to want to chat. SNAP sales help you focus on the way the consumer thinks. Respond to their ideas, priorities and objectives to gain their trust and truly show them the value of your offer.
Identifying these three levels is the most important part of qualifying to go beyond a technical problem and increase importance, in addition to increasing the sense of urgency. All of these 5 techniques expand the importance of qualifying potential customers. Don't sell to everyone you meet, but talk to potential customers to find out if you can offer them what they really need. Transactional selling is a simple, short-term sales strategy that focuses on making quick sales.
In this type of sales model, neither the buyer nor the seller have much interest in developing a long-term relationship. While transactional selling sometimes has a bad reputation in today's era of relational selling, it's still a relevant approach, when used in the right context. Examples include situations where the buyer wants quick, self-service options, or the organization sells low-cost generic products and makes a profit by selling large quantities as quickly as possible. Transactional sales are more common in B2C situations: think e-commerce, brands, or ticket sales for movies or concerts.
However, there are certain scenarios where it works for B2B companies: think of SaaS subscriptions that suit individuals or small teams. While the “sales” part of transactional selling consists mainly of intervention without intervention, focusing on the customer is, well, fundamental to success. In this case, sales and marketing teams can work together to create a comprehensive self-service knowledge base, product demonstrations, articles, guides, and other content. Selling solutions moves away from the transactional approach and instead focuses on selling results over products and functions.
At first glance, consultative selling and solution selling seem to be the same strategy. However, despite some similarities, there is one important distinction. Selling solutions avoids talking about features and benefits, and chooses to focus conversations solely on presenting a solution to the buyer's problem. Consultative selling goes one step further and incorporates the sale of solutions into a broader strategy that serves buyers capable of identifying possible solutions to their problems on their own.
Like consultative selling, provocation-based sales aim to discover needs and pain points through market research, data analysis, and interactions with buyers. Both types focus on guiding customers to the right solution, however, provocative sales add a bit of antagonism to the mix. In recent years, we have seen a resurgence in provocation-based sales, with the increase in Challenger sales. And now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, provocative sales could be an effective way to create urgency in the face of uncertainty.
Second, provocative selling requires some very advanced social skills. Sellers must be able to “read the room” and have a clear idea of when the provocation will drive action or simply irritate and frustrate the buyer. Collaborative selling is similar to consultative selling in that it focuses on developing relationships and understanding the needs, challenges, and objectives of buyers, but this approach takes things to the next level and places the customer at the center of their own narrative. Meanwhile, 44% of buyers say they struggle with multiple suppliers providing apparently credible, fact-based information that is often contradictory.
The goal of collaborative selling is to lay the foundation for lasting relationships that are more like strategic alliances than traditional one-time transactions. Drastic changes in the buying process (75% of B2B buyers are significantly influenced by social networks and 84% of senior executives use them to support purchasing decisions) and the “one-sided nature” of the dialogue between the seller and the buyer in the traditional sales process led to the development of new strategies for seeking and building relationships with customers, in particular, social selling. Social selling is an effective practice of using branded social media channels to connect with potential customers, develop that connection and build LONG-TERM relationships with potential customers. Although there is a clear progression from transactional to collaborative selling, the reality is that each of these types of sales can be used effectively with the modern buyer, as long as the focus remains on offering value to the consumer.
Who wouldn't use an arsenal of effective sales techniques? If you really want to improve the way you sell, look no further: this collection backed by research on the best B2B sales techniques. One thing that is clear from our research with B2B DecisionLabs is that the right answer is often the most counterintuitive. When you choose to follow best practices, you may use the most popular method, but not necessarily the approach that works best. Science, on the other hand, is objective and timeless.
It is fully focused on buyers and their behavior. Although these sales techniques seem unknown and contradictory, each of them has been examined by behavioral research studies and has proven to be the best approach when selling to B2B decision makers. Studies show that at least 40 percent of pending transactions are lost because of “no decision” and not because of competition. This is due to something called status quo bias: your potential customer's natural aversion to doing something different from what they're doing today.
Research conducted by B2B DecisionLabs found that a provocative message that begins with the introduction of an unconsidered need increases its persuasive impact by 10 percent. Instead, help your potential customers see what's stopping them from achieving their business goals. Most B2B marketers admit that the overlap is 70 percent or more. In competitive categories, it's feasible for many companies to do the job with similar capabilities and prices.
And if your buyers don't see enough difference between you and other options, they're more likely to compete in parallel based on price. Therefore, position your buyer as the hero of their own story using phrases like “you”. According to research by B2B DecisionLabs, changing the pronoun “we” to “you” in your proposal can add urgency and make your potential customer feel more personally responsible for solving the problem. One way to reformulate buyers' perception of your value is to introduce unconsidered needs (do you remember them?).
This approach creates price uncertainty by altering the perceived value of your solution. In other words, you increase your value in the minds of your buyers by bringing to light information and opportunities that they didn't know were important to them. Even at the executive level, people make subconscious emotional decisions before the rational and analytical part of the brain is responsible for justifying the decision. In fact, a research study by B2B DecisionLabs found that executive decision makers are as carried away by emotionally-charged factors as anyone else.
Despite this widespread belief, research from B2B DecisionLabs shows that conversations about customer retention and expansion require completely different messages and skills. In fact, using a provocative and challenging message when you try to renew or expand your business with your customers will increase the likelihood that they will compare prices by 10 to 16 percent. Tim Riesterer, director of strategy at Corporate Visions, is dedicated to helping companies improve their conversations with potential and potential customers to get more business. A visionary researcher, thought leader, keynote speaker and professional with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and sales management, Riesterer is the co-author of four books, including Customer Message Management, Conversations that Win the Complex Sale, The Three Value Conversations and The Expansion Sale.
George Deeb is executive business director, growth expert at Red Rocket Ventures and author of 101 Lessons on Startups: A Handbook for Entrepreneurs. How to answer that question depends on the type of sale that serves as the basis for the strategies, methodologies and messages used to convince buyers to make a deal. A salesperson or sales team uses a sales technique or method to generate revenue and help sell more effectively. A sales method or technique can be applied to virtually any sales process, but it often only covers part of that process.