Whether we admit it or not, everyone can learn something new especially when it comes to sales. We sat down with our team to draw from 100+ people years of sales experience. Through the years we’ve all collected some useful tips, tricks and best practices from sales experts. We culminated these ideas into a list of sales tips for business to business (B2B) sales. This is the second installment of our Sales Tips series. To view the first installment (Sales Tips #1 – #5), click here.
Sales Tip #6 – Determine the outcome before the start
Before you start a meeting take a few minutes to write down on a piece of paper what your goal is for the meeting. In other words, what do you want the customer/prospect to do at the end of the meeting. Buy something, evaluation something, take a certain action? If you define your goal up front you’ll see how it changes your way of thinking. It will keep you focused on what matters and prevent the meeting from getting derailed. I realize you might think this “molds” a meeting too much but give it a try.
Sales Tip #7 – Use testimonials
“The proof is in the pudding” goes a long way with prospects/customers. Start your meetings with real use cases or testimonials from your customers. Enlist help from your marketing department to record a video from one of your customers. Have your customer talk about their problem and why your company provided the solution. Assuming the video is <=3 minutes or so, embed the video into your presentation and use it during your meeting. Alternatively, take snippets of a quote or take an entire quote and paste that into your presentation. The point being, testimonials are great and your prospects/customers will benefit from hearing an “unbiased” opinion.
Sales Tip #8 – Always be closin’ (ABC)
Borrowing this quote from Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) is more than appropriate for Sales Tip #8. Many sales reps aren’t focused on closing a deal. They concentrate on making a customer satisfied and nurturing them. That’s not a bad thing at all, but if that’s all you do you’ll find yourself updating your LinkedIn profile very quickly. Always closing is also a spirit, a frame of mind, to make sure you’re focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. Without a proper lead nurturing and lead scoring solution it’s easy to understand how sales reps can lose focus though. Work with marketing to implement revenue generation / marketing automation technology so sales can stay focused on closing opportunities that are ripe for sales. After all, the title is “sales”, right? Then get out there and sell!
Sales Tip #9 – Allocate time to lead generation
An old high school tennis coach said to me one day, “input equals output”. He was suggesting the more I practiced (input) the better I would get (output). The same concept apply to sales. If you’re not filling the funnel with new opportunities you’re not closing many sales. Although it’s not a preferred task for most sales people, cold calling still has its place. See our article on 101 Business to Business Lead Generation Ideas and Tips to stimulate ideas for lead generation programs.
Proceed with caution though. New opportunities don’t always have to enter into your funnel from the top, they may already be there. Get your marketing department to use lead nurturing technology to implement automatic drip campaigns on “inactive” contacts in your database with the intent to bring them back to life and cultivate interest.
Sales Tip #10 – Use social networks for “warm calling”
Social networks are a fabric of the internet in this day and age. Twitter, LinkedIn, facebook and more contain vital information to support your sales prospecting efforts. Take LinkedIn for example. By searching for a specific role at a certain company you’ll be able to find the names of individuals you’re looking to target. Moreover, you’ll see their profile, interests, and current/past job positions to help prepare for your call. Your prospect/customer will appreciate you’ve done your homework and your discussions will become more personal. Certain revenue generation software solutions integrate social profiling.
We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. What are your sales tips?
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