There are a lot of misconceptions about how to productively increase sales. The situational selling aspect of how you sell to your buyer is one of the most important facets of being effective. Typical salespeople dive in with just one goal in mind: to CLOSE. Some salespeople wing it and hope that their charm and knowledge of the product or service will get them the sale. A few sales people even think the best thing is to reach out to a prospect repeatedly until they get an answer. None of these are wrong, completely… But it’s how you communicate throughout the entire sales process that will make the biggest difference in getting a CLOSE or a walk.
There are a slew of different ways to connect with buyers and part of connecting correctly includes how you use your sales enablement tools. Phone calls and email are the standard initial outreach. If only all of us were lucky enough to have buyers find us from our website and call “ready to buy”. Very rarely does this happen. Let’s take a look at how buyer initiation begins and the different ways to become versatile.
While we all know that there are far more steps in a “standard” sales process than the three that are listed here, the point that we’re making is that the interaction process is far more critical to creating high-impact customer engagement than the research and follow-ups.
MEETING THE BUYER
Whether the initial outreach came from a phone call, email or the buyer found out about your company somewhere else, you’re already in a good spot. You have the ability to talk. Now, this is where it gets tricky. Some sales training says to get right into the sale. Start giving the buyer the ups and downs of your product or service and tell them how it can help. While that is the end goal, starting like this has a failure rate of more than 60%. Lead generation, cold calling and new business development specialist Wendy Weiss, says to “Dedicate more time to the process upfront… Salespeople are so fixated on the end result—closing the sale—that they neglect the important initial steps.”
The absolute key here is to get them talking. Get them interested. Give them a feeling knowing they are giving you their precious time for a reason. One of the worst things you can do is lead WITH your products or solutions. The first key in effective situational selling is leading TO your products or services. Be adaptable. Be situational. This is where you have the opportunity to ask questions, build rapport and let the buyer understand that you know their business and their pain points. This is building a user case for you and your company and will keep them engaged so when they are ready to purchase, you are the first person they think of.
- Ask questions
- Discover pain points
- Relate and empathize with their problems/needs
- Structure content or story to only what would be helpful
BUILDING THE STORY
Once you have built the relationship to a point you feel is comfortable to begin the sales process, you should have enough information from the list above to craft the story. The questions asked were framed around building rapport and understanding their industry. The pain points, I’m sure, are similar to others in your CRM… that’s why you’re calling them anyway, isn’t it? This is where you can prove your product’s worth and become not just the trusted advisor but an information connector.
These reps serve as storytellers or guides to information rather than individual experts. They largely focus on finding and directing customers to the right information‚ tools and data rather than relying on individual experience. This gives the buyer the relationship and peace of mind that THEY are in control of making the decision and not being “sold”.
Armed with the PowerPoints, Images, Brochures, Videos, Case Studies and Data Sheets, plus all other collateral… it should be easy. Right? How many times have been in the midst of a presentation only to realize information that would’ve been instrumental in moving this sale forward is missing? Is it on a cloud-drive? Is it on a jump drive in your car or perhaps in a box of brochures in your trunk. So many times it’s paramount to be prepared and have all of the right materials ready for the right audience.
Many sales people spend countless hours tailoring their presentations before they meet a prospective client. Going through what are generic talking points, what you think they are interested in specifically and the next steps to get them on-board. Building your story, custom per the buyer is hard work. Of course, there are the staple Company Background pieces of information you want to present to show you are part of their solution and you are battle-tested. But what if you’re presenting to marketing, sales, engineering? Prepare your information in a way that is relatable to all audiences.
But how? Forrester examines that it’s important to: Implement flexible delivery processes. Software delivery processes that can flex to meet unpredictable business schedules and multiple stakeholder perspectives support cross-silo teamwork. There is really no excuse for sloppy management of content and your company’s brand. On CRMs, on jump drives, on cloud-servers, on hard drives; there is content living everywhere. By sales and marketing coming together for the shared goal of propelling the company forward, being flexible and responsive when delivering the most up-to-date information, instantly.
Marketing has always taken the reigns of development and delivery of what’s seen by the public. Sales is responsible for getting the message to the masses. What if both could work in tandem to have all of their storied sales materials in one place? Solutions like Command.App give marketing the control to deploy content instantly to the devices that Sales Teams already use everyday with an interactive situational navigation option so Sales has a beautiful customer experience ready to build their custom story for their buyer. In your storytelling, Gartner Author & Sales Professional Jordan Bryan states, “Sellers must serve as a guide for buyers to simplify the buying journey.”
VALIDATION and PURCHASE
Once the story has been told and the decision has been made to move forward or move on, the final validation is key to closing the deal. Sales reps must seamlessly transition to gathering information to close the sale. They have to help connect and make sense of information for buyers, who must navigate a long and difficult journey. Sales reps need to provide buyers information that is helpful in advancing the purchase process. In a survey of more than 250 B2B customers, Gartner found that 77% of them rated their purchase experience as extremely complex or difficult.
By selling situationally, you have communicated specific information to address your buyer’s particular needs so they can make an informed and quick decision. There are a multitude of ways to ask for the sale, you can find more information on Hubspot, but just remember that the relationship and rapport you built up until this point is the key in choosing how to ask for the sale.
Schedule a free demo to experience how our clients are doing great working virtually and turning presentations into conversations.