Sales are essential to growing a company, increasing revenue, and staying ahead of the competition. Back then, selling a product or service was more straightforward. All it took was understanding the product or service value proposition and selling it to the customers.
But now, selling a product requires much more than selling the value proposition to the customers. With many similar businesses offering customers the same products or services, customers have become more aware of their needs and it’s harder than earlier to persuade them with just your product/service’s value proposition. They want better pricing options, more offers, terms of service, contract length, personalized customer experience, and many more options to buy from you – which is where sales techniques come into play.
Sales techniques are methods that a sales team can adapt to increase sales and generate more revenue. The revenue-driven sales rep should know the best sales techniques to expand their customer base. This article has identified a comprehensive list of 20 effective sales techniques you should know to increase your sales.
Table of contents
- What is a sales technique?
- Why Are B2B Sales Techniques Different Than B2C Sales?
- 20 Effective Sales Techniques Every Sales Professional Should Know in 2023
What is a sales technique?
A sales technique, also known as a selling method, is used by a salesperson or sales team to sell more efficiently and increase the company’s revenue.
It is a proven strategy to improve the sales process of a business and help the sales team to be more productive. However, remember that it’s not one size fits all and must be continuously evaluated to correct mistakes and optimized often to help the company grow.
Sales Techniques vs. Sales Process: What’s the Difference?
A sales process is a chain of the process every sales reps take to move a prospect from the early stage of awareness to a paying customer. It provides sales reps with a structured framework to manage all opportunities and deals and consistently close all sales deals. Essentially, it’s a customer’s journey from the awareness stage to the final purchasing stage.
It consists of 7 steps: prospecting to preparation, approach, presentation, handling objections, closing, and follow-up. While a sales process is the series of steps that gets your prospects from one point to another, the sales technique is the approach you apply to sell more efficiently to the customers and increase revenue.
Keep in mind that there are many sales techniques that many sales professionals can use to close more deals and sell more effectively. You don’t necessarily need to choose a sales technique; try out different styles and work with the ones that best fit your sales process.
Why Are B2B Sales Techniques Different Than B2C Sales?
The B2B and B2C selling techniques differ in how sales are carried out. Since most B2B companies tend to offer services compared to B2C companies that provide products to their clients, their sales strategies and techniques are implemented differently.
B2C Sales is selling a product directly to customers and meeting the needs of the people who now consume the products. This is popular in FMCG, such as shampoos, crisps, cereal, toilet paper, etc. This means that the customers and consumers are the same.
B2B Sales sells a product or service to another business that is likely to use that product to deliver its B2C product. Software products, electronics, and manufacturing companies fall into this category. In this case, the end user is the customer and not the consumer.
Differences Between B2B and B2C Selling Techniques
The difference between B2C and B2B sales techniques includes the following:
1. B2B companies sell to Niche customers, while B2C companies target larger customers
Most B2C companies, like Nestle, create products that best fit the needs of a mass audience. Since their customer’s day-to-day needs use the products, it doesn’t take too long to initiate sales. B2B companies develop products or services that B2C companies use to create their products, hence having a smaller list of clients.
2. B2B sales require Face-to-face Interaction, while B2C sales don’t
B2B companies must set up face-to-face meetings (including virtual) to create rapport with their clients and make sales pitch or sales call to sell the value proposition in a sales pitch to the customers to start the customer journey. While B2C companies have an extensive customer reach and need a strong advertising campaign to sell to their clients.
3. B2C sales require nurturing and retargeting to increase sales, while B2B companies don’t do that much
B2C companies develop products that customers need for their day-to-day activities. So it’s necessary to nurture the customers to encourage repeated sales as that’s a sustainable way to increase sales. However, for B2B companies, the best that could happen after the first sale is to send them a few emails, SMS, etc.
4. B2B sales require high-involvement account buyers, while B2C requires low-involvement account buyers
Most B2B companies’ sales processes have high buyer involvement. Before sales are finalized, the company’s top decision-makers are involved in almost every part of the sales process. In contrast, B2C sales deal with individual customers who can make buying decisions on the go, making sales much faster to achieve compared to B2B companies.
5. Content creation is a big part of B2C sales compared to B2B sales.
Gone are the days when sales reps only sell the product or service benefit to clients; nowadays, customers want more information on how getting the products to impact their growth and not just satisfies their needs.
As a result, most B2C companies have become experts at creating different types of content to get through to their customers. Meanwhile, B2B companies only generate the content needed when prospects are already in the sales funnel, such as brochures, ebooks, white papers, newsletters, and technical products.
Finally, B2B is more extended than B2C because of the different stages of the sales cycle to convert qualified leads to potential customers and turn them into your paying customers.
20 Effective Sales Techniques Every Sales Professional Should Know in 2023.
Sales techniques are essential for sales teams to get more customers for your business. They structure your sales effort and make it easy to follow an effective process to find leads, nurture them, and convert them to paying customers.
Since many sales techniques are available for sales teams, it is essential to determine the best methods for your company, products, and target customers and apply them in your sales cycle. Here is a complete list of 20 effective sales techniques to close deals and increase revenues for your benefit.
1. Perform your customer research
Customers are the lifeline of every business, and every company has customers whose product or service best fits their needs. Therefore, the first step to sales is understanding your customer’s problems and needs to determine the best way to pitch your products.
An excellent way to do this is by conducting thorough customer research using online research, surveys, interviews, focus groups, social media, digital platforms, and ethnographic studies. Based on these research results, you can build your buyer persona and define the characteristics of your prospective customers so you are well prepared to sell to them.
2. Follow a systematic lead generation approach
Lead generation is finding prospective customers for your business and reaching out to them to encourage them to buy from you. This process can be pretty complex. However, if not done correctly, you could miss out on the right clients for your business.
Also, this process will help you craft compelling marketing and sales campaigns to pitch the product or service to them in a way that will compel them to make buying decisions. Here are some practical ways to find leads:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Online networking.
3. Clearly define your sales cycle
A sales cycle is a series of repeatable and tactical sales processes that sales reps use to move a prospect from one stage to another on the sales pipeline. It helps sales teams to identify, nurture and convert a prospect to a customer. It mainly contains 5 to 7 stages which include:
- Finding the prospects
- Reaching out to them
- Qualifying the customers
- Organization sales presentations to pitch products and services
- Solve customer’s problems
- Close the sale
- Encourage referrals
The above is the chronological list that most sales teams follow to move a prospect from the stage of awareness to the customer. The success rate of this step makes it one of the most effective sales techniques you should keep up with as a sales rep.
4. Focus on selling the problem rather than the solution
As mentioned earlier, sales have undergone many processes and transformations. Probably ten years ago, you would have been able to sell a product or service by highlighting the benefits to your clients/customers. However, fast forward to 2023, and selling a product will take much more than highlighting product benefits or solutions.
Now, salespeople need to study their target customers to understand their pain points and challenges to sell this to them and explain how your product or service can be solution to their pain points.
5. Understand your sales quota
A sales quota is the sales goal a sales team or sales rep sets to be achieved within a specified period. In simple terms, they are objectives that a sales manager or sales representative sets to be completed within a specific period.
They serve as benchmarks that help sales reps stay organized and on track with the overall sales requirement to generate the target revenue and ensure that you minimize unnecessary expenses. Notably, a sales quota can also motivate sales professionals to give their best performance. The popular types of sales quotas include:
- Profit Quota – sets profit goals that the team needs to achieve.
- Activity Quota – identifies the required actions to be carried out by the team.
- Forecast Quota – sets the team’s future goals using sales forecasting techniques.
- Sales Volume Quota – sets the required amount of sales that the entire team and individual reps need to generate.
- Combination Quota – quota combines two or more allocations to guide the sales team’s operations.
6. Focus on your prospect
The quality of your sales prospect can determine the success of your sales effort. Therefore, never ignore any essential details about your chance, as this could be your opportunity to pitch and get through them.
Do more research on your prospect, understand their problems, pain points, and situations, and build a solid sales strategy to make valuable and personalized recommendations to move them down the sales funnel. Working with this sales closing technique can help you convince your prospects better.
7. Tailor your pitch
A sales pitch is a short, optimized sales presentation organized by a salesperson to sell the product or service to the client and convince them to believe and buy what they are offering.
An effective way to make your sales process seamless is by presenting your pitch in a customer-centric, personalized, and focused way that would convince your prospect that you can solve their problems. The best way to do this is to conduct thorough customer research, develope a buyer persona, and initiate a sales conversation.
8. Be honest
One of the top sales techniques is transparency and honesty. Nothing good comes from misleading your clients or making fake promises about your products.
Even if you successfully sell to your prospect by deceit, that will most likely be the first and last time they buy from you. Be helpful and take practical steps to solve your customer’s needs and not just hard sell them. Here are helpful sales tips for doing this:
- Ask them relevant questions.
- Be attentive to their concerns.
- Make personalized, professional recommendations.
- Work on your body language.
- Don’t act desperate.
Always remember that your clients trust and appreciate you better when you offer genuine help and may return the favor by making a purchase.
9. Showcase your unique selling proposition
What makes you unique than your competitors? Why should they choose you over others? What’s the unique value your business offers for your existing clients? All these are essential questions you need to answer when pitching your product to your clients.
To generate more sales, focus on the unique features and benefits of your products or service with more value to your customers than your competitors. Pitching your USP can increase your conversions.
10. Leverage Storytelling
Storytelling is the sales promotion technique that uses relevant, compelling stories to connect with your prospects during a sales pitch. This time-tested practice can help you engage and convince your customers to buy from you instead of your competitors.
Storytelling involves sharing an experience, idea, or memorable moment related to your product or service. Telling a good, relatable story can evoke positive emotions from your customers, capture their attention and build rapport and trust.
11. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
An effective sales technique focuses on your buyer’s perspective instead of your own goals. You can do thorough research on the top concerns you believe your customers face daily, their needs, pain points, and problems, to develop a buyer persona that helps you put yourself in their shoes.
This way, you think from your customer’s perspective and define the best way to position your product or service as the solution to these problems. Also, you can tailor the marketing campaign to your customers, so they are convinced to buy from you.
12. Use FOMO
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a marketing technique that uses enticing sales messaging, deals, and discounts to signal the limited availability of an offer to get them to respond fast so that they don’t miss out on the opportunity.
It is one of the most effective sales techniques that have worked for many years, especially when you have a juicy offer for your customers. You can achieve this by offering the following:
- One-time deals.
- Time-bound discounts (e.g., 24 hrs discount)
- Free-shipping offers with a time duration
- Temporary product bundles.
- Limited edition products for some unique customers (especially current customers).
13. Build rapport
Customer relationships are crucial to sales. Before you start pitching your products, you must build a rapport with them by doing a thorough research on their business, their pain points and business struggles to understand where and how your product or service can be a solution for their struggles.
You can do this by making sales calls or setting up a sales meeting to determine common grounds or similarities between you before talking about sales.
Once you have built enough rapport and feel they are ready for a solution to their problem, you can introduce and tailor your offering to them by highlighting your product value.
14. Pay attention to your body language
A sales representative must exude suitable body language and appear confident, trustworthy, and competent.
Whenever you set up a meeting with a potential customer, you need to remember that you are representing the company and want the prospect to trust you with their money, so you need to pay extra care to your facial reactions and hand gestures. Here are some effective physical gestures that every sales professional should note when talking to their customers:
- Be calm and smile where and when appropriate.
- Maintain consistent eye contact.
- Use your arms moderately when speaking.
- Be confident.
- Be mindful of your language and tone.
- Pay attention to building a positive first impression
Maintaining good body language when meeting or communicating your business products and services to a potential client is essential. It projects you and your company as a professional and instantly builds trust amidst your prospective buyers.
15. Ask relevant questions
Sales are critically linked to business growth. There has been so much development in sales with the growing need to sell a problem and not a solution to clients. You must ask the right questions during your meeting with clients to better understand their needs, pain points, and situations.
The answers you get from your clients can help you tailor your campaign and messaging to tackle these needs. Here are some types of questions you should consider asking your prospects:
- Questions to understand their current situation.
- Questions to uncover their needs, problems, and pain points
- Questions to help them understand their issues and significant it is
- Questions to help them understand the significance of your solutions.
16. Leverage social media
Social media is a powerful tool for social selling. Since more than half of the world’s population is now active on social media, it’s an excellent platform to reach your prospective buyers directly. You can strike a connection with them by posting relevant content that speaks about their pain points and offer solutions in the form of your product or services.
You can use social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., to target your prospects and build a rapport with them. Here are the approaches to building sustainable customer relationships on social media:
- Invest in content marketing to educate your target audience about your products and services.
- Leverage personalized messaging to find your target customers and build relationships with them.
- Optimize your social media posts and content to fit your target audience preference.
- Invest in social media ads to reach and connect with a larger audience who are more likely to buy from you.
- Work with famous and professional social media influencers in your niche to promote your brand value and sales.
- Promote sales and special offers to boost sales and encourage repeated buying.
- Use the platform to generate new leads and retarget existing customers for upsell and cross sells.
17. Identify and address pain points
Your customer pain points are the problems or challenges that hinders the day-to-day business activities of your prospects. To sell your products or services to your clients, you must identify their challenges and address how your product/service can help them solve their problems.
The following are the common pain points of customers that you can address when talking to them:
- Poor customer experience.
- Delayed customer support.
- Unaddressed needs or wants.
- Poor quality of products & services.
18. Show the need for change
The ultimate way to increase sales is to give an eye-opener presentation on the problems. As many prospects are unaware of the problems, it becomes slightly tricky to sell your product or service to these individuals. However, by highlighting their concerns and sharing how they can be solved, you can get them interested in your business offerings.
To have a better effect on them, you should also consider emphasizing the consequences of their problems and how your products or services can prevent the negative results of the issues. This way, you can show a strong need for change and convince them to buy from you.
19. Promote referrals
Customer referrals are significant for your sales. It helps you stay at the top of your satisfied customers’ minds and refer you and your product and service to their colleagues, friends, and family. In addition, referrals give you the word-of-mouth advantage at no extra cost.
Depending on your relationship with an existing customer and how good your service was to them, your customer can take it upon themselves to refer you to their close friends and family.
A good way around this is to ask your customers to share a list of people they think your product or service would be of great match. You can then seek their permission to reach out to them and mention them as your reference during their sales calls. This will help boost your sales.
20. Be prepared for objections
We all know that making a sale is not a walk in the park. Rejections are a part of a sales career and sales reps are very often turned down by prospective buyers or in the worst case ghosted by them. Whatever the outcome, be prepared to handle your buyer’s objections when contacting them or even after a series of conversations with them.
Examples of common objections from prospects during sales include the following:
- This is not a good time
- I’m engaged with someone.
- I am too busy to commit to this.
- Send me the details, and we can talk later.
In line with these possible objections, you should prepare your mind to respond to these rejections effectively. Generally, try to acknowledge the complaints and position your message to answer their concerns.
Sales techniques are the strategies every sales team uses to improve their sales methods and encourage more clients to buy from them. Therefore, sales reps must understand and use the proper sales techniques to pitch the company’s products and offerings to the clients and nurture them from your first touch point to the final deal-cracking moment.
We have provided you with 20 effective sales techniques for your sales process. Learn more about these techniques, internalize and apply them to your sales process to help you close your sales deals better.