A Tactical Approach to Refreshing your Sales Strategy with Dynamic Guided Selling
Author: Julia Nimchynska
Sales strategies have evolved quite drastically in the last few years.
Although business leaders have long relied on sales tools as a supplement to the conversion journey, these tools have a different focus today.
Traditionally, sales solutions offer an effective way for companies to improve administrative efficiency for sales leaders who can encourage adoption. However, the right tools are ideal for identifying top prospects, providing improved visibility, and reducing admin.
In a digitally transforming landscape, your sales solutions can guide you towards a more effective way of winning each deal. This kind of support is particularly crucial in a world rocked by a global pandemic.
Today, we’re going to look at how sales leaders can supercharge their pipeline with a more intuitive approach to guided, dynamic selling.
The Rapid Evolution of the Sales Strategy
Before we explore the details of guided and dynamic selling, let’s explore why it’s so important to make these crucial changes.
An updated approach to selling gives today’s business leaders the insight they need to speak to their customers on a different level. With effective selling, companies can collect data from various external and internal sources, then combine that information with AI to create a powerful guide for each transaction.
Dynamic guided selling goes beyond static sales strategies to be more intelligent and adaptive. The right solution can integrate various revenue optimization tools, from price and quote solutions, to customer relationship management tools, and AI analytics. The result is a complete path to winning more deals, perfectly laid out for the business leader.
Adopting a more focused approach to selling would benefit business leaders at any time. However, it’s particularly crucial in this new landscape, where sales trends are evolving to suit a world transformed by COVID-19.
According to the LinkedIn State of Sales report, around 70% of managers are searching for new solutions that allow them to manage the sales team through a changing environment.
Guided selling tools help managers to navigate this tricky new landscape in a way that’s more agile and informed. Let’s look at some of the ways that you can use guided selling strategies to thrive in the current environment.
1. Building a Sales Team with the Right Skills
According to the LinkedIn state of sales report mentioned above, 60% of respondents believe that life after COVID will lead to a decrease in sales team members hitting their quotas. While it’s fair to think that the new landscape might affect closing rates, the right team can help to protect against this issue.
Building a sales team that is equipped with the right skills can be a challenging process, but there are solutions out there to strengthen the knowledge and talents of your employees. For instance, data shows that time spent on LinkedIn Learning courses about inside sales and social selling tripled since February 2020. Additionally, sales navigator courses increased by 39%.
The evidence suggests that business leaders looking to upskill and empower their teams are focusing more aggressively on developing social skills. Now, more than ever, it’s important for leaders to understand the needs of prospects and customers.
Sales optimization tools that interact with the CRM system and other sales essentials can help business leaders to understand the pain points of their target audience. At the same time, these tools offer an opportunity to go deeper with the connections to existing customers. The more helpful you can be in this new environment, the better.
Looking at your sales solutions should help to highlight some of the key areas that you need to educate your sales team in, such as:
- Selling with authenticity
- Showing empathy as a sales professional
- Customer journey mapping
- Helping customers with solution sales
2. Moving to a New Sales Landscape
The evolving sales environment doesn’t just affect the kind of employees you have. The number of sales professionals currently relying on intelligence tools has increased by 54% over the last two years. Sales technology is helping to improve the processes we use to connect with customers.
An in-depth insight into the customer journey provides sales leaders with all the tools they need to map out the complete sales journey. When you know the experiences that your audience goes through each day, you can create the scripts that are going to help your sales advisors to close the sale.
Going into the new age of sales, there’s going to be a rising demand for “constant learning”. Companies are going to need to open to the idea of constantly changing, pivoting, and evolving to suit the needs of all kinds of customers.
Even before COVID-19 hit, customers were beginning to demand more from the companies they did business with. Your clients wanted to see that you understood them and their needs before they handed over any cash. Now that clients have a lot less revenue to work with, they need even more convincing.
To start a successful launch into this new sales landscape, business leaders are going to need to spend some more time getting to know their audience. CRM insights can help to give you a better view of your client’s behavior. However, it’s important to combine that data with the information collected from conversations with clients too.
3. Finding Fresh Perspectives
Sales tools for dynamic selling also give businesses a chance to shake off some of the more outdated and stagnant strategies for selling that they may be stuck in. It’s important to remember that even the most talented teams can get stuck in a rut.
The key to success in a changing landscape is making sure that you’re ready to shake things up. However, you’ll need to ensure that the changes you make to your landscape are suitable, based on what you know about the world around you. The 2020 State of Sales report suggests using sales strategies that respond to the context of the world around you.
Conducting your own research into things like customer satisfaction and NPS will highlight what you’re already doing right, and what needs to change in your landscape. Think about what kind of issues might be hindering your ability to serve your audience.
While you’re working on transforming the sales process, remember that different clients will need unique things from your team. According to a book by Tony J. Hughes and Justin Michael, personalization is the force multiplier that’s crucial for current sales.
In other words, transforming the sales stack is important, but it’s also worth making sure that you don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Cut your audience down into smaller segments based on the technology that you have for customer revenue optimization. The smaller your segments, the easier it is to create more meaningful sales messages.
4. Taking a Meaningful Approach to Sales
Speaking of meaningful messages, emotion is often at the heart of the sales journey. Experts and researchers show that people make buying decisions based on how they feel, rather than concentrating on logic alone. That will be particularly essential in this new sales landscape.
Around 88% of buyers say that they’re only comfortable buying from salespeople that they consider to be trusted advisors. This means that if you want to connect with your audience at volume, you need to understand their needs, expectations, and requirements.
Use your technology as an insight into the kind of experiences that your audience is having every day, and what they need from you to reach their goals and overcome their problems. A sales message must focus on the genuine problems that your customers are facing. That means collecting real data about your audience and what they need.
Tech Marketer Gerry Moran says that the best relationships always start with putting the other person first. That’s true for the sales space, just as it is for the personal relationship environment. You need to make sure that you’re addressing the needs of your clients first and foremost, by showing them what your solutions can do for them.
Tools like case studies that highlight the specific use cases your customers are struggling with might help with social proof and conversions. Opportunities for deeper insights into your technology through digital demonstrations and webinars are often helpful too.
5. Get Ready to Think Outside of the Box
Sales teams often talk about “thinking outside the box” as a way of capturing leads and sales. However, it’s time for that concept to become more than just a buzzword. Purchasing activity has dropped significantly in the last few months, and it’s likely to fall even further in the world after COVID-19. The good news, however, is that the consumption of content is increasing.
Forced into their homes by the pandemic, today’s customers are engaging more with the tools that can teach them about their landscape and industry. LinkedIn saw a massive spike in engagement and content sharing during the pandemic lockdown phase.
If you’re nervous about making sales right now, then there’s no better time to start working on the alignment between sales and marketing. Generating positive sentiment for your brand and better brand awareness will lead to more sales in the long-term. Additionally, researching the kind of information your audience needs to make a purchase will help you to tailor your sales messages too.
Now’s the time to get creative with your business solutions in a way that’s new and engaging. For instance, the Gap launched its own B2B sales arm during the pandemic to provide cloth masks to businesses needing to protect and supply employees.
Other companies have found new solutions for sales online in the form of digital webinars and training sessions.
6. Change the Way You Measure Success
Finally, it’s important to remember just how valuable your existing customers are in this new space. Although companies are always focused on winning new clients, you shouldn’t let your quest for new opportunities outweigh your focus on your existing leads.
Currently, the majority of sales professionals are beginning to focus more heavily on customer retention. In a time when your audience is uncomfortable spending any extra money in any environment, it’s easier to convince an existing customer to convert, than to attract new clients.
To survive in this space, you’ll need to ensure that you’re not overlooking the value of the “cold sales lead”. If you have sales prospects that you haven’t followed up with for a while, now’s the time to jump into action and check-in with them. Your clients want to see that you care about them, and the relationship that you’ve built over the years.
Don’t just make assumptions about what your existing customers need from you. Get to know their unique situation and offer solutions that are tailored to suit their requirements. This could tie back into thinking outside of the box and finding new ways to support clients who can’t operate the same way that they used to.
In other circumstances, you might find that adapting to suit your existing sales leads just means giving them more freedom and flexibility. Providing long-term payment solutions rather than asking for payment all at once could be a good way to make your service more affordable.
As you adapt to suit the needs of your existing customers, make sure that you’re measuring your results. You’ll need to be extra careful about getting testimonials and reviews from clients, as these will give you the most accurate insight into what’s working for your company.
Refresh the Sales Strategy and Unlock New Opportunities
Going back to the way things were just isn’t an option for today’s sales teams.
Although the pandemic has been a terrible experience, it’s also an opportunity for us to pay attention to the world around us and get to know our customers on a deeper level. Taking advantage of dynamic sales tools and strategy now is how you show your customers that you’re not like your competitors.
Go out there and prove that you have something extraordinary to offer.
Julia loves all things innovation, productivity, and tech. Currently, she’s helping companies increase their ROE (Return on Customer Engagement) at revenuegrid.com
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