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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=sales advice'>sales advice</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Buying influences'>Buying influences</a> | <a href='/resources/search/?query=Buying behaviour'>Buying behaviour</a>
Sales Strategy
Jul 8, 2016 | Rhys Metler lock
If you’ve been having a tough time selling in the past few years using your same dated sales strategies and techniques that you’ve been using for years, it really isn’t surprising. The way customers buy has drastically changed. And those old-school selling techniques do not work on today’s new customers and the way they shop.

The linear sales funnel is a thing of the past. Think you’re still in control of the sales process? Think again. You’re no longer the gatekeeper of information, thanks to the wealth of knowledge available on the internet.

Today’s customers are well-informed. They’re doing their research. And they’re doing it without you. Plus, they want to be in control now. Does your sales process match this new buyer journey?

If it doesn’t, here’s how to adapt to the new way customers buy.

Target the Right Buyers
Sales people often cold call lists of names. Others scour their LinkedIn networks and create generic lists of names and start trying to connect. The problem with this outdated technique is that you really don’t know who you’re trying to sell to. You don’t know if they’re interested in your solutions. You don’t know if they’re active in the buyer journey.

Not only is this a waste of time, resources, and effort on your part, but it also means that you’re bothering people who aren’t the least bit interested in buying from you.

Instead, sales people need to target the right buyers, and only the right buyers. That means learning more about the prospects you’re going to contact. It means creating a buyer profile listing off the characteristics that your ideal buyer will have and matching your prospects to see if they might be worth calling. It also means setting up your website to send you inbound leads through your CRM when someone fills out a contact form or visits conversion pages that will let you know they’re active. These are the only buyers you should be targeting—active, ideal buyers.

Sell Solutions
Sales people shouldn’t sell products and services anymore. They should sell solutions instead. Your customers don’t really care about your features and specs. They only care about how you can help them solve their problems and challenges. How you can enrich their lives.

To sell solutions, you need to know what your prospects’ needs, challenges, pain points, and desires are. You need to do your research and get to know them. Then, you need to ditch your one-size-fits-all sales pitch because it’s one of the easiest ways to ensure your sales call fails. Instead, you need to create a custom solution for every single customer. This is how you’ll sell to today’s buyers.

Offer Value
As we mentioned earlier, you’re no longer the gatekeeper of information. Prospects are finding virtually everything they want to know online. They can use the internet to compare products and features. They can compare prices. They can learn more about the different companies that sell these products and services. And they can read reviews, ask for advice, and request recommendations from their online networks.

So when they call you, you need to be able to offer value if you’re going to gain their attention and keep it. You need to become an expert in your field and be able to offer insights, advice, and content that cannot be easily found online through simple research. This is how you’ll build trust and boost your credibility and this is how you’ll make sales. Otherwise, why would buyers want to talk to you?

Sales in 2016 are vastly different from what they were just a decade ago. Sales people must update their sales tactics and strategies in order to adapt to the new way customers buy—because customers won’t adapt to the way you sell.

About the author:

Rhys-MetlerRhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.

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