How To Sell Strategically

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How do you sell strategically?

Selling strategically is a phrase that most sales people have heard and wonder about. It’s no question that sales professionals are always looking for the most efficient and effective way to sell their products or services. While strategic selling isn’t necessarily easy, a carefully laid out plan can boost revenue and help your business gain an upper hand against your competitors.

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Learn Your Company
Understanding strategic selling means gaining a clear understanding of your company and its unique vision. When those are well-known and aligned, you can work on selecting the best customers based on how well they fit into the parameters of people who want to buy from you.

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Collect and Analyze All Necessary Information
Selling strategically works only when you make informed decisions from carefully analyzed and accurate information. Learning how to leverage your social selling skills as a sales professional by using social networking to make connections and gather leads that lead to meaningful relationships can be a great way to gather information about your potential customers.

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Establish Yourself as a Credible Expert to Gain Trust
Sales professionals will have a better chance at earning the trust of their customers when they stop trying to sell them something and start trying to help them overcome their challenges. To sell strategically, sales professionals should learn everything there is to know about their customer’s industry, the unique challenges they face, opportunities for resolving these issues, and positioning your product or service as the best way to mitigate risks.  

 

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Sell on Value
When you look at the competition, you can clearly see how your products or services differ. However, a customer isn’t likely to know the industry as well as you. They primarily look at price instead of value, so it’s up to you to create a strategy to sell them on value.

Read Related Article: How To Clarify and Align Sales Goals

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Listen for Opportunities
Customers also tend to know how salespeople operate. For instance, they know that you’re going to tell them features and try to push them to buy, so they’re already on the offensive. The goal is to listen in order to get a better feel for how you can strategically position your solution to their problems. Do they want more information? Do they know what they want or are they asking for help subconsciously? Do they desire more information or want you to point out the best products to help with their issue?

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5 Steps to Mastering The Art & Science of Selling

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Is Selling an Art or a Science?

Have you ever wondered if selling is an art or a science? Talk to any successful sales leader and they’ll tell you that to succeed in sales, you’ll have to master a combination of both. Regardless of how sales was done in the past, science has proven that the brain uses specific patterns to make choices about various factors that are taken into consideration. To succeed in sales, mastering the art & science of selling means following a structured process while understanding the specific needs and problems of your customers.

Selling products usually involves following a methodically structured transactional process. Sales professionals will often learn from successful strategies that can be easily recreated and taught to anyone with even the slightest social skills. However, when it comes to selling services or digital technology, the selling process can be thought of as more artistic. This approach requires cultivating a deeper relationship with your clients to build trust, credibility, and loyalty.

Sales professionals who can creatively paint a compelling picture of their product’s unique benefits to the customer while adhering to a strategically structured sales process will gain the upper hand in selling. Mastering the art & science of selling requires sales professionals to balance a carefully crafted dance between structure and creativity.

Maintain Curiosity

A curious sales professional digs deep into a potential client and seeks to understand their issues and needs. Maintain curiosity with your customers and get creative with your questions to find out what their motivations and goals are. Sales professionals who can understand their customer’s business and their unique issues can paint a better picture of how their product or service can be the solution they need. The goal is to listen to the needs of the customer and present two or three options that are beneficial.

Read Related Article:  How To Be an Authentic Sales Professional

Establish Anchor Points

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In psychology, an anchoring bias in decision-making refers to the human tendency to rely entirely on one trait or bit of information when making decisions. Studies have shown that the brain uses anchors, creating a bias that shapes how information is received. Once an anchor is established, a person will become bias towards the value of that anchor.

As a sales professional, it’s your job to create anchors for potential customers. They tend to look at prices and determine if it’s fair or unfair based on the price of something similar (or dissimilar). Customers will also look at what they paid the last few times, what other quotes they received, and other such anchors. You should address pricing before revealing it by using comparison points.

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Hone Your Presentation Skills

Whether you’re delivering a presentation along with a competitor or trying to figure out when to list features and benefits of your product, timing is everything. Those who sell more tend to know instinctively when to present their qualities or features. The challenge for most sales professionals is creating art from words and understanding when and how to say the right things to engage, entice, and persuade customers.

Utilize Data and Technology to Your Advantage

Advancements in technology has changed the customers’ expectations and the sales process. Technology has allowed the customer and sales professionals to make fact-based decisions.  It has long been understood that sales professionals have relied on traditional selling methods that have been documented and replicated with scientific accuracy. With the advent of digital technology, sales professionals are now equipped with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools, analytic software, and social media to gain a better understanding of their target customers.

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Beware of Reactance

Reactance is a psychological principle that occurs when an individual feels that others are restricting their ability to freely choose and make decisions. Reactance is often triggered when an individual has an instinctive desire to rebel against a restrictive force.

Reactance has been known to shut down sales because of an uncomfortable sense of urgency that a sales person creates for their customers. Often times the pressure to buy is overwhelming and will force a customer to back out of the deal. To mitigate reactance, sales professionals should engage customers in a way that gives them the power to accept or decline decisions without any pressure.

Try using stories to distance the customer from the resistance and remember to create a meaningful relationship instead of pressuring customers to commit to a one-time sale.

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5 Key Principles of Successful Selling

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Remember These 5 Key Principles of Selling

Whether you’re new to the selling world or have been in the industry for years, you will likely come to realize that trends and patterns change all the time. While most sales professionals are content on achieving average or less than average results, most sales professionals want to excel and achieve great things in their professional sales careers. The modern sales landscape has given way to big changes in all aspects of selling. The ability to integrate timeless best practices in sales with modern sales techniques is key to becoming a successful sales professional. To close deals and optimize your sales process, keep these 5 key principles of successful selling in mind when navigating the modern business landscape.

Related Reading: Mastering The Sales Mindset

Retention

Customer retention is an essential principle of successful selling in today’s modern business landscape. It’s easier to keep your current customers happy than it is to find a brand-new customer. Over time, you will inevitably build a healthy client base, but one of the key principles of successful selling and client retention is to go above and beyond for loyal customers that you already do business with.

Keep your loyal customers engaged by offering referral bonuses or rewarding them with discounts to show appreciation. Successful customer retention means showing your customers that you care about their business. Rewarding loyal customers can be a cost-effective way to keep them happy.

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Social

It is no secret that social media is the wave of the future.  Everyone is on one platform or the other, so it makes sense to utilize social media in order to promote your business. Social media is not an option and should be thought of as a key principle of successful selling for any business.  The ultimate goal is to create content that engages the reader, promotes your brand, and possibly lead your customers to buy products through your website.

Successful sales professionals know how to utilize social media to gain insights into leads allowing them to streamline the sales and prospecting process.

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Data

Information is essential regardless of your business. In sales, it can make or break the sale. Without the right information, sales professionals risk looking incompetent to a client and lose credibility. Make sure to go over pertinent details, look at past notes, and actively listen to what your client needs. Learning how to interpret sales figures, invoices, and other important data has never been more accessible and critical to the closing the deal.

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Technology

A key principle of successful selling is understanding when and how to supercharge your sales methods with technology. Tools can include CRM solutions, meeting software, electronic signing apps, and much more. Access to customer data is an essential aspect of successful selling. The most successful sales professionals are experts at transforming dense data into tangible and visually appealing representations of the customers problems.

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Culture

While business culture isn’t new, salespeople tend to operate differently than other areas of business. Developing a positive sales culture that motivates and inspires is a key principle of successful selling. Effective sales leadership is essential to any sales operation as sales professional looks to management to set a clear path for success.

 

A healthy sales culture empowers sales professionals to understand the role they play within the business, their product, and other sales reps within the team. Sales leaders who are dedicated to facilitating a healthy sales culture take great strides nurturing the professional growth of their sales teams by holding active discussions that identify weaknesses and opportunities for strengthening sales skills.

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4 Successful Sales Strategies for the Fourth-Quarter Revenue Push

Stay Focused During The Fourth-Quarter Revenue Push

The fourth-quarter revenue push is always a worrisome thing for CEOs and owners of companies. You’ve only got a few more months to earn as much money as you can, which is why your salespeople have to be on their game. Of course, most people know that the fourth-quarter might not be the best time to hire recruits, so it’s a good idea to keep your team happy, motivated and focused during this busy period. Here are 4 sales strategies to help your sales teams push through the fourth-quarter revenue rush!

Motivation is Key

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Your team has been working tirelessly for the whole year, and they may want to take a bit of time to slack, especially in the fourth quarter. While it’s a natural inclination, it’s your job or that of your manager to ensure that your sales reps stay motivated. Ensure that your sales leaders are effectively communicating with your sales teams. Inquire into any personal or professionals’ issues that might affect their sales performance and provide support if needed.

 

Related Reading: Different Types of Motivation To Keep Yourself and Your Team Ambitious & Successful

 

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Utilize a Variety of Incentives to Motivate

You can choose many motivational tools to help, such as monetary bonuses, special trips, extra days for vacation, and more. These little pushes can ensure that your salespeople stay focused on the big picture and get you through the rush so that you earn more and make your end-of-year goals.

Related Reading: How to Create a Motivational Environment for Sales Success


Focus on Driving Revenue

You should also be talking to your teams and representatives to determine the best ways to ensure that they close existing deals. Do they need more targeted outbound calls? Do they need to create goals to get them through the next 30 to 90 days? Learning what skills are necessary and what details need to be focused on can ensure that they improve during that time.

Related Video: What is Professional Selling?


Plan Your Sales Strategies

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Regardless of the goal, your strategy includes two parts. You need to determine how you can affect the goal positively this minute and what steps you can take to accomplish the next step in the next week or so. If you continuously do this every week until the end of the year, you’re likely to see improvements, which can then be implemented for next year, as well.

The fourth-quarter is one of the biggest sales quarters of the year. Sales teams must formulate strategies to ensure all sales operations are running smoothly and without hiccups. The fourth-quarter revenue push involves finding ways to beat burnout and motivating sales teams while scoring results.

 

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How To Clarify and Align Sales Goals

While you may see your goal in any meeting as to sell a product, in reality, what you are trying to do is to solve a gap in the buyers existing abilities and what the possibilities exist for the company. Sales and marketing align together to reach a sales goal. A sale only happens if there is value in the product for the buyer, but that doesn’t mean that the only goal the sales rep has is to make the sale. Learning how to clarify and align sales goals is a key part to your sales teams success. Here is some detailed information on how to clarify and align sales goals during your next sales meeting.target-goal

In fact, the seller needs to go into the meeting also looking for a way to resolve the challenges of the buyer. In this way, both the seller and the buyer are in alignment, looking for ways to create a solution that satisfies a recognized need within a system. Learn How to Run A Productive Sales Meeting and your ability to clarify and align goals will improve dramatically.

This type of alignment of goals brings the buyer and the seller into a mutually collaborative experience during the meeting. However, this won’t happen by accident. Creating a message in advance that is tailored to clarifying the focus of the meeting (to solve the problem/gap/want/challenge of the company) needs to be an important part of your preparation. It should also be a clear intent in your opening message and outlined in your agenda; clarifying for the buyer what your true objectives are for the meeting.

 

Related Article: 5 Step Process to Cultivating & Capitalizing on The Relationship

 

solve-client-problems-sales-idea-imageThis will prevent that defensive, disinterested and often dismissive attitude that can be difficult to break through when talking to decision makers in any business. Being well prepared and offering a valuable solution diminishes this natural dynamic in the room. So, make sure that you stop pitching & start solving client business problems.

Additionally, by structuring the sales presentation to be interactive, informative and not a hard-core sales pitch further aligns the goals, allowing you to test possibilities along the way and then move into the close at the opportune time.

Have a structured process for getting your prospects to take the next steps towards closing the sale. Here is an article that outlines 3 Steps to Help Prospects Commit. Don’t leave such an important meeting and process to your memory alone, always have an agenda and structured process. This agenda should even include a process to overcoming sales objections.