Welcome to your sales weekly roundup for May 26-June 2. This week we’re diving into 9 battle-tested tactics for making a successful sales call, the importance of multi-threading relationships and what new features salespeople can expect with LinkedIn/Microsoft’s acquisition of sales tech startup, Heighten.
Scott Leese, SVP Sales, Qualia Labs Inc., writes on how to execute a winning sales call. While social selling can help better prepare salespeople before making sales call, they need the following tips to perform in action. Caveat: while these tips are written for transactional sellers, they translate well for more consultative sellers.
Talk to a decision maker. First off, ensure you’re talking to the owner/decision maker. You don’t want to waste your time or somebody else’s. If you end up speaking with a gatekeeper: “Be friendly and provide a snippet of the pain they are likely experiencing along with some value so they know your call is important.”
Find the pain. You need to dig deep here on background, experience, current business initiatives, etc. When you hear “I don’t know how to do that,” or “I’ve never done that before,” you’ve hit the sweet spot. You need to get them to say these things; if the pain doesn’t come directly from the buyers’ mouths, they’ll never believe they have a problem.
Build value. “Once your prospect has admitted their pain point, it’s your job to make them understand why they should care about the problem.” Educate your buyer, make them want to make a change. Use stories and experience to develop a human connection.
Create urgency. Illustrate how and why they are losing business every day by not addressing their problem. The more you can provide concrete data, and specific and personal examples, the better. Ask additional questions to take your buyer from one mindset (not considering your solution) to the another (open mind considering your solution).
Talk about what you do. Only once your buyer has admitted they have a problem and are compelled to act do you have permission to talk about what you/your company does. Leese stresses not overselling and getting into details. Push for an honest opinion. “Okay” or “It Looks Good,” means your buyers isn’t fully sold on the value or don’t understand it.
Discuss opportunities. Always go back to how your product/service will benefit them. Summarize their problem and how your solution will be of value right now.
Attempt to close. If you’ve done the above correctly, the “table is set” for a close. Try breaking the ice with the phrase: “There are a couple of different ways we can partner with you.” Start with the lowest price point first and work your way up.
Handle objections (and rebut them). There will always be objections: doubts, fears and budget constraints are bound to pop up, says Leese. This is what all your practise, rehearsing and scripting has been for—time to put it into action.
Close or set a follow-up. After dealing with objections, try to close once again. If the deal’s not moving, arrange a proper follow-up with a date, time and expectations/goals for the call.
Ben Daters, VP of Sales, People.ai, writes on the dangers of relying on one potential contact for a deal to go through. “People leave their jobs or their jobs leave them,” he writes. Here are three insights to help you prevent this from happening:
Why Single-Threaded Relationships Happen
The single biggest reason sales reps continue chasing deals held by single-threaded relationships is because they failed to map various key players in the deal. If your company doesn’t have org charts, it’s in reps best interests to ask for help in mapping the multiple departments and, on average, the 6.8 decision makers involved in a B2B purchasing decision.
Why You Should Avoid Single-Threaded Relationships
“Decision makers are important contacts to have, but they should never be your only contact,” says Daters. Their job description does not include respecting your sales cycle, he adds. Competitors could have been establishing multiple conversations before you; don’t set yourself up for failure by limiting yourself to one contact in buying committee.
How To Implement a Multi-Threaded Relationship in Your Sales Cycle
Great sales teams know the more contacts you have within a company, the better. Hence, creating multi-threaded relationships should be a part of the prospecting process, via tech or investment solutions.
LinkedIn, which was acquired by Microsoft last year, purchased sales tech startup Heighten earlier this week to add new features to “accelerate our system of engagement.” The financial details of the purchase have not yet been disclosed. Here’s how Heighten’s technology will help LinkedIn:
Sales Process Tracking: Heighten’s sales process tracking feature allows salespeople to transfer their physical playbooks into software. This will make it easier to see actions and content relevant to each pipeline stage, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reports.
Pipeline Reporting: “The sales pipeline reporting feature lets managers and reps see current opportunities and update key aspects like amount, close date, stage and next steps on a single screen, with all changes automatically written back to CRM.”
Note Taking: Managers and reps can take free-form notes and with one click, transfer information into their CRM. Additionally, it allows access to key deal specifics such as “person and account profiles, collateral, and competitive battle cards.”
What are your thoughts on the acquisition? Leave a comment below!