Sales is a competitive sector. To stay relevant and successful in sales, salespeople need to learn how to improve their sales skills. They must have a mindset that’s equally competitive. Sales skills enable salespeople to find opportunities, connect with customers, convince customers to act, and close deals. As per a case study by a well-known sales training organization, RainGroup, a client of theirs that took up training to improve their sales techniques ended up closing 15.2% more deals and improved their profit margin by 12.2%.

Before we tread any further, let’s understand what sales skills are. 

Sales skills refer to the characteristics and competencies that salespeople depend on when they are in the process of getting customers to make purchases or solving problems. Successful salespeople say that they use many interpersonal skills to create the perfect buying experience. Customers look for quality interactions. Effective salespeople are able to create a positive buying experience using a set of skills and techniques that allow them to connect with buyers on a personalized level.

Regardless of who you are, what organization you work for, or what products you sell, there is always scope for improvement. 

In this post, we will take you through 4 old-school sales techniques (that still work today) and 4 modern sales techniques to help improve your sales skills. 

Let’s get started. 

4 Old-school sales methods that still work 

There is a fundamental rule in sales that people buy from people they know, like and trust. This truth still holds good in today’s digital era. The ability to build trust with customers is an important factor, and despite the introduction of automation in sales, it is one of the most valued skills for a sales rep. 

If your current sales tactics are not yielding the desired results, consider going back to the basics. Here are 4 techniques that still work: 

  1. Cold calling 

Cold calling is a technique that is still relevant in generating sales. It is one of the most effective methods for prospecting. 92% of all customer engagements take place over phone conversations.

In cold calling, sales reps reach out to individuals who have not shown any prior interest in the product or service being offered. It is an intimidating process that is dreaded by a lot of sales reps. However, with diligence and persistence, you can create opportunities to generate relevant leads which can be converted into customers. So the next time you hit a roadblock using digital channels, pick up the phone and make a few calls instead. 

  1. Face-to-face prospecting 

In sales, first impressions help define your success more than you can imagine. With face-to-face interactions, you have a chance to display your personality and put your company at the forefront. Emails and text messages can be wrongly interpreted but it’s hard to go wrong with a face-to-face meeting. With the right amount of preparedness and confident body language, you will be able to create a positive impression about yourself and your company, before your customers. 

  1. Direct mail selling 

Every day, customers are bombarded with all kinds of advertisements where they are compelled to try various products and services. It is hard for businesses to compete for their attention. Direct mail selling will help you stand out from the host of advertisements that are sent a customer’s way.

A direct mail addressed to your client will give your company a unique edge. It shows thoughtfulness and it is a message that can’t be ignored. Direct mail selling can include letters, flyers or other printed material that are directly addressed to the recipient. It lets a customer know how the advertised product or service meets their needs. Make sure to get creative with the content and convey the right message to draw the attention of customers to your brand.

  1. Focus on the client’s needs 

Only 13 % of customers believe that sales agents can understand their needs. If you are looking to improve your sales presentation, it’s best to create it around your customers’ pain points. If you are looking to sell better over the phone, steer the conversation to your customer’s needs and wants.

If you want to learn how you can improve sales skills, any skill for that matter, all you have to do is make it about the buyer instead of you. Sometimes that’s all that you need to crack a sale. 

4 Effective modern sales methods that assure success

In today’s fast-paced and competitive world of selling, here are 4 proven techniques you can take to ensure success in sales. 

  1. Customer research 

Before reaching out to potential customers, look for available information to gain more insights about them. Spend time to understand how their industry functions. 

Here are a few questions that will point you in the right direction:

How many employees does the company have?

Is the company growing?

For how long has it been around? 

According to a report by State of Sales research, high-performing sales reps are twice as likely to monitor customer purchase history and competitor activity than their underperforming counterparts. 

  1. Virtual presence 

Since the start of the pandemic, salespeople have had to make considerable changes to the way they work. Physical meetings were replaced by virtual ones through video conferencing. According to a survey conducted by Salesforce, video conferencing was named among the 5 top sales tools that have become more valuable since 2019.  If you are working remotely, it’s important to find a quiet stress-free zone for yourself – where you are away from distractions and can concentrate on your work entirely.

While making video or audio calls, make sure that people can see and hear you clearly and you have a light source in front of your face and your camera is positioned at eye level. 

  1. Data analysis 

Gone are the days of relying on intuition to guide you. Today as a salesperson you have a huge amount of information at your disposal which will help you decide whether you want to target a particular prospect or not.

By understanding customer actions, you will know if they are interested in your products and if you should be pitching to them. This will save you from a lot of long fruitless conversations that will yield no results.

  1. Showing empathy

Empathy is one of the most important sales skills that you can develop. It will help you meet customers’ needs. By being empathetic, you see things from the customer’s point of view and you are sensitive to their needs and problems. When you connect with a prospect or customer, try to make the person at the other end feel comfortable. 

For example, you may ask questions about how their business is adjusting to the pandemic situation or how has it been for their teams working from home?

You may share your experiences too. This will encourage them to let down their guard and feel more comfortable.

Power-up with these tried and tested sales techniques

While a lot has changed with the Covid-19  pandemic striking the world, the sales process at large remains the same. The key to success amid challenges is to find ways to stay positive and reach out to your team for support when you need it. The techniques we have charted out here will help you to stand out in your team! If you’re looking for ways to turn your routine tasks into fun, engaging activities then you need to sign up on Unomok today – this sales gamification platform is powering sales teams to stay ahead.

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