August 12, 2020
Sales reps pick up a lot of habits (some good, some bad) throughout the years and get tossed a ton of tips and tricks from managers, friends, and colleagues. Which ones are most effective for engaging customers, converting deals, and accelerating revenue growth?
We’ve compiled the following list of eight time-tested B2B selling techniques that you can start putting to use today.
Sales reps have access to more prospect data than ever before. Unfortunately, reps sometimes skip the research step and opt for an “I’ll just wing it,” approach. Sure, winging it might save a few minutes of upfront research and give you more free time between meetings. But at what cost?
Successful sales reps do their due diligence before any client communication, laying the groundwork for productive, client-centered meetings. For starters, they spend time thoroughly reviewing in-house CRM data about the prospect. If your organization is not using a data enrichment tool to further build out your lead’s profile, consider suggesting it to your manager or sales operations team.
Prospects can sense when you’ve done your homework, and they appreciate it.
Sales organizations categorize leads to prioritize their outreach efforts. Although important, lead categorization does not guarantee that AEs and SDRs are actually working on the right leads at the right time. Cherry picking a lead based purely on size or industry, for example, is a fruitless endeavor when it is misaligned with your ICP—and an overall bad habit to get into!
Avoid distractions. Avoid cherry picking. Use lead data and process to your advantage. Stay focused on the leads that matter.
Battlecards. Competitor comparison matrices. Key differentiator decks. Your team spends a lot of time discussing (and updating) these internal assets. And, for good reason. They’re helpful for maintaining a consistent tone and keeping everyone on the same page.
Messaging and tone aside, your customers just want you to help solve their problems. They don’t care about each individual feature—even if it’s what you’re “known for” in the industry.
Stop selling. Start listening. Do your upfront research so you’re prepared to ask customers about their specific pain points and then tailor your message to their actual needs. If you can’t help, be honest. Forcing a fit will just frustrate the customer and create headaches for you.
“OK, thanks for chatting today. I’ll wait to hear back from you.”
A more productive approach closes with a concise summary of the discussion followed by clear next steps. For example, you might say, “As discussed, I’ll send over a few videos immediately after this call. We also agreed to meet again next Tuesday.” Then, before the prospect drops off, go ahead and align availability for that next call.
If you’re using Mixmax, you can easily insert your availability into an email with clickable dates and times. Ask for verbal confirmation that the email has been received, and then encourage the prospect to click to book a date and time. Mixmax automatically creates the calendar invitation for both parties and sends confirmation emails, saving everyone time.
Customers want to work with vendors who want their business. Taking more than a day to follow up sends the wrong message.
Following up as soon as reasonably possible (ideally, within 24 hours) establishes you as a reliable partner and accelerates the customer’s time to resolution. Leveraging customizable email templates in tandem with automated sequences helps you follow up faster, answer more questions, and engage more people. One-click scheduling and CRM integrations also simplify calendar management for expedited engagement.
Case studies are vital during the consideration and decision stages of the sales cycle. A well-written case study takes the reader through a real-life customer journey. It explains the customer’s initial challenge, how your solution helped, and the associated business benefits (i.e., revenue growth, cost savings, or competitive differentiation).
If you don’t have any case studies to pull from, it’s time to connect with marketing. If you’ve already built your case study library, look for ways to maximize the impact of each story. PDF previews, for example, convert boring attachments into click-worthy assets, helping you get more eyeballs on your customer success stories.
Selling shouldn’t be a solo sport. Remember, you’re surrounded by highly qualified and experienced people. Why not leverage their insights, creativity, and coaching to close more deals?
Look for opportunities to elevate existing interactions with successful people at your company. Don’t just show up for your next 1x1 with your sales manager. Instead, come prepared with a list of questions. Make a list of your biggest struggles and ask for guidance. Chances are, your manager has gone through similar situations in his or her career—and overcame them.
Also, using Mixmax’s Sidechat feature helps you tap into the collective genius of your team in fewer steps. The next time a prospect pushes back and you’re stuck, use Sidechat to loop in multiple colleagues and collaborate in real time—without leaving your inbox.
The sales profession can be highly rewarding. It can also be very frustrating—especially when you’re in a slump. After all, according to TOPO, it now takes 18 dials to connect with a single buyer in today’s market.
Struggling to hit your sales numbers can lead to negativity. Customers want to deal with confident, upbeat reps—not those that seem down or discouraged.
So, how can you remain positive when things don’t go as planned?
Start by asking a manager, colleague, or mentor to sit in on a few calls and provide feedback about your tone and performance. Graciously accept constructive criticism. Listen objectively to the words that you use. Do you sound positive, confident, and enthusiastic? Do your emails reflect a similar optimism? Continuously optimize your messaging and sales approach. And, most importantly, recommit yourself to the most fundamental role of a sales rep: helping customers succeed.