Not everyone is has innate sales skills. Therefore, training is important to help salespeople excel at closing deals. Here are five sales tips to help your sales team improve their performance and exceed their targets:
1. The Art of Listening
In the movie “A Thousand Words,” Eddie Murphy was cursed for talking incessantly and had to limit the number of words he could speak, teaching him the value of silence and listening.
Similarly, your sales team needs to learn that customers are more likely to buy from a person who is willing to listen. Listening should be active and perceptive. Judith Glaser, chair of the Creating WE Institute and CEO of Benchmark Communications, writes that “the most vital skill set is to ‘listen to connect’ … when we listen to connect, the other person feels heard and appreciated for the perspective they bring.”
When the customer feels heard and appreciated, he or she is more likely to be receptive to a sales pitch.
2. The Value of Feedback
Sales can be a one-off deal, such as selling a fridge, or it can require repeated purchases, such as day-to-day items like toothpaste.
In either case, train your sales team to keep their ears open for feedback. Sales is not just about scoring a deal and moving to the next. Instead, it is a continuous process that keeps going even after a sale has been made. In our digital age, negative reviews can bring down a product. This is why you have to be sure that your sales team is good at taking feedback.
Listening to feedback improves results on two levels: Firstly, customers are gratified that their concerns are heard, and secondly, it allows you to improve your product and gear it toward customer needs.
3. The Merit of Scripts
From the beginning, which involves getting past the gatekeeper, to the end, when the deal is closed, sales is a long process. The best way to help your sales reps navigate this journey is by giving them scripted responses for frequently occurring situations.
For example, consider the smokescreen “I have to run this by my boss,” to which reps would generally respond with, “Sure; when should I get back to you?” This response leads to clogged pipelines with non-qualified leads.
A better response would be, “Of course; I understand you need clearance. I think you should speak to Mr. XYZ (boss). If your boss leaves it to your best judgement, how would you lean?” This way, your salesperson can gauge whether they are being inched out of the door, or they have a definite lead to pursue.
4. The Importance of Focus
“Never forget that it is all about the customer, not about yourself, your product, or your company, which means that understanding your customer is far more important than anything else about your business,” says Barry Maher, a successful sales professional known for his selling dos and don’ts.
Help your sales reps pay attention and find out what is prompting their prospective customers to talk with them. When they have identified their need or pain point, they should evaluate how it impacts the prospect’s business. If you are selling a solution for a problem they do not have, then they will not buy from you.
5. The Power of Pressure
“Creating FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) in your client’s mind can be a good thing because it will lead to serious consideration of your concept,” writes Tom Szaky, founder of TerraCycel, in The New Your Times.
One way to do so is to tell potential clients that their competition is also talking to you, he says. The trick is to do it once and not rub it in, which may annoy them. After all, you cannot force a customer to saying yes.
There are no surefire techniques to closing deals; however, with the right combination of strong scripts, focusing and listening to customers, incorporating feedback, and strategically applying pressure, your sales team can fill your CRM with strong leads.