A few good sales techniques and being motivated are no longer enough…
It used to be true that if a sales person had a great sales technique and was highly motivated they would be great at selling. Well, that’s no longer true in the world of B2B selling.
People used to say ‘she’s a great closer’ or ‘he’s great at objection handling‘.
However, being great at one or two individual sales techniques won’t give you success in today’s more complicated world. If you want to be successful, you have to have a whole armoury of sales techniques that form an effective and integrated selling system.
Buyers are far more sophisticated than they were a couple of years ago. This is due to the availability of online research and the pressure to measure and demonstrate value for money with every purchase. Whether they are buying ‘price-based commodities’ or ‘strategic solutions’ (purchases are always one or the other so don’t get ‘stuck in the middle’ by trying to be the cheapest and the best out there), they expect sales people to be more sophisticated with their sales techniques.
It’s not just the buyers who are demanding more sophisticated sales people. Sales leaders are also looking for a wider array of sales techniques from their people. In today’s world of increased competition, stakeholder pressure to meet forecasts, and longer (and more complex) sales cycles, sales people cannot rely on their sales techniques and motivation alone. They need to be equipped with all of the following:
- Insight into the customer’s operating environment (pressures, pain points and commercial objectives)
- A clear value proposition that is aligned to the customer’s pressures, pain-points and commercial objectives; and is presented in the customer’s own business language
- An effective, proactive consultative selling methodology that enables the sales person to create measurable value at the decision maker level
- High-level professional selling skills in terms of communicating, influencing and leading in the buying and selling organisation
- A disciplined and proactive approach to qualification, planning, forecasting, following up and getting the contract closed
The great news is that there are systems for selling in today’s world that make all of these criteria for great selling very accessible and you don’t need a business degree to succeed. All of these pre-requisites can be developed quickly and they are actually sales techniques in their own right!
Methodologies, propositions, insight, and disciplines can be developed via a series of sales techniques that are joined up into a system that can be applied to specific customer scenarios or market sectors for immediate success. We believe that the way to do this is through consultative selling.
Selling has become a profession and, just like in any other profession, in order to succeed in today’s world you have to take responsibility for your own ‘continuous professional development’. You can simultaneously develop an integrated system that gives you all the sales techniques you need to be a top-flight sales person and you can get certificates that prove you have the selling skills that today’s top employers desire.
Just like any other profession, you can learn the ‘how’ of sales techniques via online sales training programmes and professional bodies such as the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM).
Our online sales training programme, Black Belt Selling, offers you the opportunity to learn consultative selling techniques from the comfort of your own home, while professional bodies are beginning to roll out industry-recognised qualifications that you can put on your CV, such as the ISMM’s QCF Awards, Certificates and Diplomas. It’s time to take responsibility of your sales performance and sales career and learn the required selling skills for today’s marketplace!
Written by: Steve Eungblut, Managing Director of Sterling Chase