Having the best product or solution on the market isn’t enough to close more deals. You can have all the best features and functionality and still lose out to inferior products if you don’t have the right sales strategies.
Ultimately, quality products and solutions tend to rise to the top. Still, clients want to know how your solution helps them get from problem to result. It’s your job to find out what result they’re looking for, create value, and guide them as they transform.
To win more customers, you need modern strategies. Modern buyers are skeptical. They conduct their own research, look at reviews and testimonials, and take their time making a purchase.
In this article, you’ll discover five sales strategies that will set you up to successfully navigate sales calls and steer them in the right direction, so you can win more deals and crush your sales targets.
The Strategy of Selling for High-Growth Teams
Think of a sales strategy as a game plan for how you plan to nurture, win, and keep customers.
Let’s use a soccer team as an example. The best teams have a plan that they know works. They practice the game plan in training and execute it in every match. However, they might have to adapt depending on whom they’re playing. They might also have to contend with changing weather and poor surfaces.
Think of your sales strategies in a similar way. Develop your approach. Train through courses and books. Create talk tracks. Study how to overcome objections. But also realize how your sales calls go depends on whom you’re talking to, how they feel that day, and the problems they’re facing.
Much like a soccer match, if you turn up without a game plan and without having at least researched your prospect, you’ll probably lose.
Think about that as I take you through five top sales strategies.
What These 5 Strategies Have in Common
Before we dive into strategies, I want to talk to you briefly about consultative selling. What makes a salesperson consultative is that they provide advice about their clients’ business decisions. When they help their clients improve those decisions, they create value.
Modern sales approaches must be consultative because you must create value where your clients need help. It’s not enough to dig deep and find your client’s pain points just so you can offer a solution.
Buyers want help making sense of their world and making the right decisions that move their business forward. Let’s take a look at some ways you can leverage the strategy of selling to crush your targets.
Sales Strategy #1. Clearly Define Your Customer
The modern sales environment is constantly shifting. This ever-changing nature makes it challenging to define whom you’re selling to. Still, you need an idea in mind.
How does this look? Let’s imagine I’m selling HubSpot accounts. I might create a character who represents my ideal customer.
Let’s call her HubSpot Harriet. She’s a chief marketing officer (CMO) at a Fortune 500 company, and for her, success looks like uniting her sales and marketing teams. She wants to prove marketing ROI and get buy-in from other stakeholders in her organization to drive growth in her company.
I know whom I’m selling to. I know her potential pain points, but more importantly, I know how I can create value in the conversation and help her make a good decision, one that allows Harriet to understand her world and how she can be seen as the person who can drive company growth.
Another thing to consider in modern sales is that you require strategies, tactics, and approaches that build organizational consensus. The more transformative a deal is, the more stakeholders you’ll need to work with. Gone are the days of single decision-makers. You can create value here by:
- Still finding the person with the authority to sign a contract.
- Helping clients assemble the stakeholders whose consensus they need.
- Realizing that your risk of “no decisions: is greater if you don’t seek consensus.
Pro tip: Look at your most successful deals. What happened? Why were those calls successful? How did you create value and build trust? You can even ask your clients why they chose to work with you and what they love about your service.
Sales Strategy #2. Create Value Early
You might think you need to build rapport with prospects before starting the selling process. In fact, before you build rapport, you need to create value. I touched on it in the first strategy of selling, but creating value is the most crucial strategy listed here.
What does that mean? Instead of offering a prospect a conversation about how your company and solution are better than your competitors, you should create value by:
- Helping your clients decide to change and how to improve their results.
- Facilitating and guiding the buyer journey.
- Helping clients understand their world and the external forces that cause their problems.
- Illuminating the internal forces and decisions that produce poor outcomes.
Creating value is how you thrive in today’s modern sales environment.
Sales Strategy #3. Strategic Outcomes, Not Features (Yet)
If anything is clear, it’s that in the beginning, prospects don’t care about who you are or your product. They care about the value you create and how you can help them get to the outcomes they need.
Sometimes they haven’t yet defined their problem; they’re just having symptoms of a problem and need you to guide them along the buyer journey. In this case, you can create massive value and build trust as an advisor, the cornerstone of consultative selling.
On the flip side, there will be times when modern buyers have already done their research and have been tasked with finding the best solution. End users are more excited about features and why your solution is the best for their needs. Knowing where prospects are in the buyer journey is a vital skill in modern sales.
Sales Strategy #4. Be an Authority
What does your audience want to know? How can you help them make sense of their world? When you position yourself as an authority in their world, you start to develop a relationship without talking directly to prospects.
Share advice, tried-and-true practices, and niche expertise. That way, when a prospect has a problem, you’ll be top of mind when they’re looking for advice. The more you share, the more you seem helpful and knowledgeable.
Think about it; why would a person buy from someone who isn’t an authority in their industry? Who doesn’t have experience with their problems and challenges or how to solve them?
RELATED READ: One-Up and the Power of Authority
If you want to lead the buyer’s journey, you need to advise prospects on what factors they need to consider and what approach will provide the best results. Establishing authority makes it easier for prospects to trust you.
This is especially important in the B2B world, where long sales cycles are the norm. The more value you provide over the length of your relationships, the better.
Sales Strategy #5. Flip the Script
According to Wikipedia, active listening is the practice of preparing to listen, observing what verbal and non-verbal messages are being sent, and then providing appropriate feedback to show attentiveness to the message being presented.
Can you imagine how helpful that is in a conversation between you and your prospect? I’ve talked about the importance of providing advice in this post, but it can’t just be advice for the sake of advice. Your prospects want to be heard and understood. You create value just by listening properly.
Once you listen, you then need effective language to drive the conversation forward. To succeed in sales, consider the following talk tracks that you can learn, hone and adapt to give you confidence throughout your career:
- Acquiring meetings
- Overcoming objections
- Opening sales calls and setting the agenda
- Gaining commitment
- Building consensus
- Defending your price
- Resolving client concerns
- Asking for business
Effective language is something you develop over time. Write down the language you use in common conversations with clients and try to improve your talk tracks.
The Strategy of Selling: Value First
All sales strategies in the modern world should be geared towards helping your clients make sense of their world and problems and creating value by advising them on the changes and decisions they need to make.
Using better language, positioning yourself as an authority, and focusing on strategic outcomes will help your ideal clients succeed. You have to be client-focused and collaborative and make and keep commitments.
I help sales professionals know what to say to advance each sale, create more opportunities, close more deals, and crush their sales targets. Does that sound good?