It takes skill to be good at anything, irrespective of the field and audience. Sales skills are no exception. To be a successful salesperson, you will have to keep improving your skillset to succeed in the constantly evolving sales ecosystem. It is of paramount importance that you keep your sales skills relevant and updated to increase your sales and revenue. Whether you use sales battle cards or know your company inside out, you will have to keep some pointers in mind to ace the sales game.
Indubitably, sales is not only about being persuasive and convincing your customers to close a deal. It involves a lot more and you will have to keep improving your selling skills if you wish to get an edge over the competition. If you are someone who is trying to develop and refine your skills to enhance your profit margin and progress in your sales career, this article is for you. Read on to know some simple yet effective ways to improve your B2B sales skills.
1. Implement roleplay sessions
Sales pitches are unpredictable. Even if you are having multiple meetings with the same client, you will never know how they will react to your pitch. You must be prepared to face any question, rejection, objection, or unexpected circumstance that your customer throws at you. By implementing roleplay sessions and imagining a conversation with your prospect, you can practice the flow of conversation.
This will help you predict what follow-up questions will be asked and curate answers accordingly. Furthermore, you can make your questions less interrogative and more authentic to glean information from the client. Try to make situations as extreme as possible and even practice a session where you have to walk away without closing the deal.
Try to prepare responses for your prospect and relate your products or services to their possible needs. You can also be prepared to overcome common objections and keep the conversation moving forward.
2. Know your product/service inside out
It is a good idea to know your business like the back of your hand. It is useful to have your points at your fingertips and deliver them at the right time. Customers are more likely to listen to and trust sales professionals who show confidence in the product or service that they are selling. Apart from being ready with your points, the ability to think on your feet and spontaneously save conversations is also an important skill set to have.
Try to empathise with your prospects and be confident while communicating the particulars. Turn the product or service features into benefits that will add value. Whether you are offering demos, exclusive discounts, or sales presentations – be confident and address the decision-makers with persuasive communication. Keep practising and honing your skills. Keep yourself updated on your products and services and also details pertaining to your industry and competitors. Information is power and this will make your more confident when facing the customer.
3. Improve your sales prospecting skills
Imagine being a rainbow in a world that is colourblind. No matter how attractive and irresistible your potential is, people will never know your value. No amount of convincing will make them see your worth. Every sales professional knows the importance of prospecting, but this is a sales skill that needs to be constantly upgraded.
Attend seminars and events that your prospects are likely to attend or sending customised emails to segmented audiences. You could even spend time on social media to connect with your clients on a deeper level. Have a good plan in place and prioritise businesses that meet your ideal client profile. Map industries and businesses that that are on the rise and have great potential. For example, you could contact a company that has received funding and has shown profits in the last two quarters. Building discipline into your prospecting will ensure that a constant stream of deals is making its way into your pipeline.
4. Ask questions to people who have faced similar circumstances
A common saying goes – It’s better to be a fool for a moment than to remain stupid forever. What we are implying is that if a customer meeting didn’t go as per plan and the client posed questions you weren’t ready for, then make sure you learn from the incident. Ask questions to your managers or your peers. They must have surely come across the same situation, and it will help to learn from them. We don’t have the time to learn everything by ourselves, so it helps to speak to someone who has made the same mistakes or faced the same situation and learn from them.
Pay attention to how they comprehended and navigated the situation. It will help you face the customer if the same question or situation pops up in another instance. If you encounter a question or objection that caught you off-guard, try to dust it off and spend your next role-play sessions answering it. The best part about learning is that there is no end when you face a roadblock. You can always learn which diversion to take to avoid it the next day and travel on a smooth road to arrive at your destination.
5. Play the role of a trustworthy friend
As a successful sales professional, you must not give the prospect the impression that you are only trying to make conversion. Project yourself as a trustworthy friend who has understood the pain points the client is facing. You have the ultimate solution to permanently rid them of the issue they are facing – this is where you play smart and link your products or services to their needs. You can achieve this by being a good listener. A common mistake people make is forgetting to pay attention to what the other person is saying if you are too busy preparing your next answer. Take a step back and listen. You can learn so much more that way. This is especially true in B2B sales where there are several stakeholders involved and each has their own agenda.
6. Review your sales calls and gain feedback
Anshu Mor, the famous stand-up comedian said in an interview with Tripura Multinational, “I always rewatch my shows and note down where people laughed and why. I analyse my body language and confidence while delivering the punch lines. I notice how people reacted to the jokes and what made the bad ones fall short. This helps me improve myself for the next show – especially if I am going to be performing the same set again to a different audience”. Similarly, it works well if you review your sales calls and record them to track your progress.
- Check if you understood the buyer’s pain points
- How personalised your call was
- Your attitude and confidence
- How your customers responded to you
- How well did you set the agenda
- How smooth your closing was
- How well do you know about your competitors
- How well you knew the product/service, and
- How updated you were about the prospect
Tracking and analysing each step on your sales call will prepare you to perform better in the next one. Just like the comedian, you can improve the same content for the next meeting you attend with a different prospect. You will of course make new mistakes, but you can be sure that you won’t repeat the old ones.
Key takeaways we have learnt
The best way to improve your sales skills is to consider yourself a lifetime learner. There is no endpoint to your journey and the beauty of selling is constantly updating your skills. The more you grow and the more you experience, the better your sales meetings will be in the future. The more presentations you attend, the more confident you will be for the next one. Sales is all about learning and growing from your mistakes – make the mistakes and keep reviewing your sales calls to improve yourself.
By continuously working on your selling skills, you can advance in your sales career. You can adapt to new challenges and face various buyers – the easy ones, the hesitant ones, the demanding ones, and more. The art of selling doesn’t stop at closing a deal, it involves nurturing and upselling to current clients while gaining new prospects. Stand out from your team with modern selling skills and implement new strategies to approach your customers confidently.