This article is contributed by Gaurav Bhagat, Founder, Gaurav Bhagat Academy
In the sales domain, it is often said that “sell the problem you solve, not the product”. Amidst the looming fear of an unexpected lockdown, a concern regarding how sales representatives will carry on with their performance is emerging.
It is an undeniable fact that the sales team are always the one to take to the front line, ensuring that the product or service finds its way to the key stakeholders. But it all came to a halt with the Covid 19 outbreak that pushed every opportunity of sales indoors. Covid 19 has surely sent shockwaves across the business world, forcing many of them to either change their sales strategy or wither away.
The conventional way of conducting sales pitches through face-to-face meetings, building bonds and gaining customer confidence has come to a standstill. Further, the dip in sales across various sectors such as travel, hospitality, automobile, real estate, etc demonstrates the pressing need to make way for newer and creative sales skills and strategies.
Moreover, advancements in technology have led to businesses now looking up to e-commerce sites to list their products for sales. With no respite in sight, it is important the people or team engaged in sales start afresh and harness technological solutions to revive steady sales and revenues. Read more to learn about the sales skills one would want to work on in order to stay prepared for an unexpected lockdown.
1. Engage in Sales Training
For a successful sales career, it is imperative to invest generously in your sales skills and that is why sales training is important. Sales training includes the intensive process of core product training, technical industry training, identification of customer pain points, posing pertinent discovery questions and effective storytelling. It’s the remote selling skill that has posed its importance, in case a situation of lockdown ensues.
Sales representatives can no more shy away from tech-driven solutions and have to become proficient at software that will improve their sales figure, engagement with the team, keep a track of their sales and enhance productivity.
If you are a sales representative and want to improve your performance, then get hands-on experience with sales software such as CRM, Dealhub, Outreach, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Seismic, Salesforce CPQ etc.
Learning the aforementioned software and application will give a sales representative thorough insight about various factors that influences a sale i.e., the content customers are engaging with the most, customized approaches to send cold emails, drive more pipeline, create accurate quotes in a short span of time, track buyer engagement, etc.
2. Improve your Customer Research Skills
The ability to acquire knowledge and pain points of a potential buyer will make a sales representative stand out of the lot, thereby improving their sales prospect. A major part of the remote-selling strategy would account for how effortless and personalized the customer experience is. This would entail in-depth customer research.
Get familiar with your buyer’s industry, expose yourself to the data surrounding the buyer in recent times, monitor their purchase and communication history, assess the buyer’s growth in recent years and examine their competitor activity.
It is very important that you take a close view of how the aforementioned details have changed since the onset of Covid 19. Having awareness about such information will provide you with a better perception of the buyer’s situation; thereby helping you draft the perfect sales pitch.
3. Work on your Presentation Skills
Making a sales presentation has become relevant in the pandemic world and that is why becoming adept at it will definitely shoot up your chances at sealing a deal.
The presentations must be impactful enough to remind the customer about their pain points, how you or your organization will solve them, what method you would adopt to solve and why you have the capability to solve them better than other competitors in the market. Therefore, do not simply just tell a story; fill your presentation with leading and discovery questions.
A usual mistake that the sales representatives make is talking too much and too loudly. Abstain from doing that and in fact, invite a dialogue between you and the audience. The sales presentations are only effective when the audience retention rate is high i.e., there is the flow of information from both ways coupled with well-designed visual aids.
While demoing the product, try to strike a conversation with the customer instead of keeping it a monologue. This is where you would need some prior customer research in order to ask the right leading questions and thereby demonstrate the acumen to answer them.
4. Master the Skill of Facing Objections
Facing objections from buyers is a part and parcel of a sales representative’s job. And therefore, learning how to overcome such objections will go a long way in not just handling the objection of the buyer but also boosting their confidence in your product or service.
Engage in a simulation practice and run down some common objections that a sales representative might face such as:
- Indifference because of lack of urgency or trust.
- Scepticism because of lack of authority or trust.
- Drawbacks because of lack of information or knowledge.
It is always better to sell the problem, focusing on pain points, apprise of the long-term benefits, talk numbers i.e., return on investment or profit margin, explore multiple possibilities where your product or service can be in use, etc. The journey of making a sale is rarely a piece of cake and therefore, a sales representative should always hold their nerve while making a pitch.