The internet has changed just about everything in the world, from how we communicate to how we shop and buy.
For buyers, the internet has made life easier than ever before. They have virtually all of the information they need to make purchasing decisions, and often, they can buy what they need with a click of a button. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for sales people.
Now, sales professionals are struggling to make sales. Because information is so readily accessed, there’s more noise, more competition, and less control on the sales rep’s end. Sales professionals are no longer the gatekeepers of information. They’re no longer in power. And they’re no longer needed in the sales process.
Though the digital age has no doubt empowered buyers, it’s also forced a lot of change in the sales world. Sales people can no longer depend on their old-school sales tactics to close deals. They must adopt new techniques for selling inbound in order to align with today’s modern buyers and stay relevant, competitive, and successful.
Though your sales team is no doubt unique, and you should adopt techniques for selling inbound that fit within your company, your corporate strategy, and your goals, here are the top three techniques for selling inbound that we think you should seriously consider.
1. Being an Advisor
In order for your sales people to effectively sell to inbound customers, they must realize that their roles have significantly changed. No longer do they actually “sell” as their title would imply. Now sales people need to be trusted sales advisors on the buyer’s journey. This is especially important in B2B sales where the buying process is often complex.
Being an advisor entails a few things. First, it requires your sales reps to ask insightful—and sometimes awkward—questions in order to help prospects think thoroughly about what they truly need. It’s also about teaching prospects various tactics and strategies that they can use to work towards their goals. And it’s about guiding them on how your offerings can specifically help them achieve their goals.
When your sales people become trusted advisors, they can successfully build more valuable relationships with clients because they can show these clients that their ultimate goal is to help them succeed.
2. Using Context to Connect
Gone are the days of sending generic sales email blasts to prospects. Customers today want personalization and customization. In fact, they demand it. Your sales people must now use context in order to create connections with prospects.
In order to be able to give prospects what they want and need, you sales people are going to have to dig a little deeper. They’re going to have to connect based on the context of their prospects’ actions during the buyer’s journey. This means understanding where prospects are in the buying cycle. This means knowing what type of content they’ve already downloaded on your website. It means knowing how many times they’ve interacted with your brand. All of this type of information will determine how you begin conversations, what type of valuable data you share, and how you’ll add value to your conversations.
The more your reps know about their prospects, the more context they can use to create successful connections.
3. Ditch the Pitch
Sales pitches are losing effectiveness with today’s prospects. If your reps pounce and deliver a pitch the moment prospects show interest, they’ll just repel them away. They’ll do more harm than good.
Once potential buyers show interest, your sales people must resist this urge—because it indicates that they only care about making the sale. Instead, they should look at it as an opportunity to learn more about the prospect’s pain points, challenges, and goals. It will require some patience, but ditching the pitch will create a natural progression that will effectively guide potential buyers to come to their own conclusions.