Karina Collis
Viktoria Fischer-Werth

5 sales insights
TO take your sales tactics
to the next level

Monthly digest, July

How to deliver a B2B sale?
B2B sales are not always straightforward. There are many moving parts you have to pay attention to: how to present your product? What are the best ways to persuade others? And how to catch someone's interest in the first place?

People's average attention span drastically decreased over the past years: it went down from 12 to 8.25 seconds – resulting in a shorter attention span than a goldfish has. With all the distractions our digital world offers, it can be quite hard to catch your prospects interest (and most importantly, to keep it).

Once you won your prospects attention it continues. You need to build credibility for yourself and your product. Finally, you need to find a way to close the sale. But what is the best way to successfully execute all these steps?

We publish our monthly "5 Sales Insights" series to help you navigate through the complexity of B2B sales. We want to share with you a collection of powerful techniques with which you can win your prospects interest and master your sales process. Every month you can learn more about tips to catch people's attention, persuade better and improve your sales.

Sales insight #1. CONNECT WITH OTHERS

Slide with text: spend more time connecting to people
It is easier to make a sale when your prospect likes you, because people tend to buy more from people they like and trust.

The human brain is designed in such a way that, once you have established a personal connection, your prospect will look for reasons to support your information as factual and useful.

Conversely, without a personal connection, none of your information will be taken as credible. Your prospect will be looking for reasons to reject what you are saying.

That's why establishing a meaningful relationship with your clients is crucial in sales. Spend more time connecting to people and emplify the human side behind you as a salesperson. Show what's behind your brand and demonstrate the unique personality of your team. It will pay off if you invest into personal connections and create affection.

Sales insight #2. ASK FOR A REFERRAL

Slide with text: always ask for a referral
One of the easiest and most powerful ways to generate quality sales leads is right in front of you: your existing customers. Simply ask your current customers to refer your product to others. What is more convincing than someone's recommendation?

By asking for a referral you leverage the trust that you have build with your customer, and the trust your customer has with someone else. Sales generated through referrals typically lead to higher closing rates than other methods.

Salespeople often show reluctance to ask for a referral. This can have various reasons: they think referrals should happen naturally. They don't want to cheapen their relationships by commoditizing them. Or they are simply scared of rejections.

But the benefits are definitely worth it:
of people are more likely to buy when referred by a friend
of referrals are more likely to convert, compared to non-referrals
of referrals have higher retention rates compared to non-referrals
So forget about cold emailing and cold calling. Check your Rolodex instead. Reconnect with your network, schedule a virtual coffee to connect and ask to introduce you to those, who might benefit from your offer. Go out there and keep in mind: always ask for a referral!

Sales insight #3. LISTEN, AND HEAR

“Most people don't listen with
the intent to answer. They listen
with the intent to reply."
Stephen R. Covey
Selling is not the same as talking. Listening is an important part of it.

The importance of listening comes from the fact that the most important information is hidden between the lines. But too often people just wait till it's their turn to talk. Instead of actively listen, they think
about what they want to say next.
Slide with text: listen to understand

If you don't really listen, you will miss out on what your prospect actually needs. Research shows that 43/57 seems to be the golden ratio: 43% of talking done by the salesperson, and the majority with 57% done by the prospect.

But not only the quantity, also the quality of listening matters. Don't interrupt, listen to emotions and don't assume anything. Clarify, ask more questions and summarise what you have learned. These little steps will help you to listen … and to hear your prospect!

Sales insight #4. ASK MORE QUESTIONS

Slide with text: ask questions to persuade better
What is the best way to persuade others?

Asking questions. It may sound simple, but it is a powerful tool to easily catch your prospects attention and lead them into a certain direction. It also helps you to discover your prospects needs and to connect with them.

A lot of sellers do too much talking and presenting, and miss out on the many different advantages asking questions offers:
3 reasons why you should ask more questions
they engage your counterpart, and as a result, you control their attention
they get your prospect talking, which helps you understand his needs and challenges
only questions, not reasons, persuade
Even though you can never convince people of anything, you can ask the right questions which will allow people to convince themselves.

For some example questions you could ask, download our 66 Questions to drive a sales process to win any sales conversation.


What catches someone's attention more than an interesting story?

Stories help us to connect on a personal level. We think and feel through them, and often re-live the storyteller's experience with all its emotions.
Slide with text: replace facts with personal stories
That's why it's so important to support your sales conversation with personal stories from your customers. Studies have shown that charities pull twice the donations when they tell about one person as opposed to the presentation of only facts and figures.

Of course, you don't want to lose business credibility by skipping facts and figures. So here is our tip: state a value proposition, include facts and quantified results and then give an example from your customer through a personal story.

For example, you can say: "our solution helps reduce by up to 75% the time spend on …. I have just spoken to our customer [name] who was so impressed with the results. His story is incredible [share the story] ..."

You will see: stories, not only facts, catch people's attention and sell your product.
Sales are not only about telling a person why they should buy your product. If you want to sell successfully, there is so much more behind it: how do you talk to your prospect? What is your purpose in engaging? Can you help them find a solution to their problem?

There are many different aspects you should pay attention to, but also many useful techniques which will help you close a deal more easily.

Stay up to date with our monthly digest of 5 powerful sales insights to learn more techniques that will help you win your prospect and increase your sales. For other sales insights, cold e-mail templates, and more tips have a look at our other articles.

Good luck with applying the techniques we share! The more you practice, the better you will become.

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