Mastering Sales Course Overview

    Mastering Sales Technique Overview

    Organisations focusing on sales to generate a significant part of their revenue rely heavily on sales techniques and methods to enhance efficiency. Regardless of the sales technique, the goal is to build sustainable relationships with clients so that they keep returning to the business to make purchases. 

    Traditional sales techniques are least likely to cut through the current business landscape. Customers are spoilt for choice, with almost every company giving their best foot forward to sell their products and services. Not just that, customers today are more informed than ever and have multiple options available to them. Naturally, they wouldn’t think twice before rejecting a brand and moving on to another one, probably because it was marketed and sold better.

    At the heart of any modern sales technique to persuade prospects to make a purchase, making sales training is a prerequisite for any salesperson.

    Introduction to Mastering Sales Technique

    A sales technique is a selling method that sales professionals use to boost sales and increase revenue. It encompasses a wide range of selling strategies to sell more effectively and close deals faster, and these methods can be applied to almost any sales process. 

    Unlike a sales process that covers the steps to convert an unqualified prospect into a customer, a sales technique focuses on a specific aspect of the sales process. The sales technique deals with the methodologies and communication skills one can apply to different parts of the sales process.

    Even when a business closes deals and brings in sales, marketers may need to boost demand and increase sales in the short term, and this is where sales promotion techniques come into play. A strategic sales promotion involves a business using short-term campaigns to create demand for a product or service and trigger an increase in sales to reach a marketing goal. Apart from boosting sales and revenue, the benefits of running a sales promotion include customer loyalty and insights into customer buying behaviour.

    Understand the customer's needs

    The biggest take-home lesson from any sales and marketing management course is that you must know and understand your customer's needs, whether selling to a business or directly to clients. Every business holds its unique selling proposition (USP), or the reason customers should buy from them and not their competitors. While USP is dynamic and keeps changing with the market, its core idea remains the same - it is driven by what customers potentially look for when making a buying decision. 

    Knowing your customers involves tailoring your USP so that your products and services meet your customers’ needs. At the same time, you must keep a tab on what your competitors are offering - if their products and services match yours, there is nothing unique about what you deliver. 

    The customer’s needs fuel their motivation to decide and purchase one product over another. By studying your customer’s needs, you can provide them with better products and services and streamline your marketing strategies. 

    understand customer needs
    Physical and psychological needs

    Before you master any sales technique, you must understand that customers’ needs are of two types: physical and psychological

    While physical needs are relatively easy to identify, understanding your customers’ psychological needs can be more challenging. For example, if someone needs a t-shirt, they will buy one, a basic physical need. However, the person’s psychological need to be more environmentally conscious will make them opt for brands that sell sustainable products. On the contrary, if the person believes in a minimalist lifestyle, they will buy products that meet their physical needs rather than splurge on expensive items.

    How to understand customer’s needs

    Physical and psychological needs often overlap, and it can be challenging to differentiate between them. Below we list some ways to help you understand and meet your customers’ needs:

    1. Create a buyer’s persona

    Understand who your customers are before identifying their needs. The best way to do this is by creating a fictional description of your ideal customer (buyer persona) based on your research and current customer base. Crafting a buyer’s persona helps you identify your target audience and what appeals to them based on age, income, hobbies, gender and the like. For example, young adults in their early 20s will have different needs than people in their 40s and 50s.

    2. Collect direct customer feedback

    One of the easiest ways to understand your customers’ needs is by asking them about their likes, dislikes and preferences. You can collect customer feedback using several ways, including online surveys, social media tracking, messaging platforms, etc. Ask customers how the product made them feel and the improvements they’d like to see. Learn about their physical and psychological needs through questions and implement viable suggestions.

    3. Analyse your competition

    While you focus your energy on understanding your customer, ensure that you keep a close eye on what your competitor offers. If your competitor offers a new feature in their products, customers in the same target market will expect the same in all their buying options. The dominance of online sales channels and platforms makes it even more challenging since you are competing with local businesses and brands from different countries with the potential to impact your customers’ needs.

    4. Develop a customer needs statement

    A customer needs statement is like a customer analysis that helps identify and fulfil customers' requirements. It provides a detailed overview of the customer and is frequently used in marketing, product development and customer service. The statement must reflect your customers’ needs in clear and lucid language and help your organisation's sales, marketing and product development teams. It must be consistent with the buyer's persona and state how your product will serve customers better than a competitor’s.

    Establish Trust

    Customers are likelier to recommend a brand to others when they trust it. On the one hand, trust generates positive word-of-mouth; on the other, it increases customer loyalty toward a brand. It helps your business grow since customers who frequently return to purchase from your brand tend to spend more than new customers. Thus, customer trust and loyalty are crucial to establishing long-term business success.

    Understanding that customer trust and loyalty are crucial goals paramount to devising your sales technique. While establishing trust is a long-term process and does not happen overnight, there are proactive steps a business can take to achieve this goal. 

    How to build customer trust and loyalty

    how to build customer trust

    Below we discuss the top five strategies you can apply to establish a more trusting relationship with your customers and pave the way for business success:

    1. Offer stellar customer service

    According to Salesforce research, 89% of customers are likelier to make a repeat purchase after a positive customer service experience. The same report states that 78% of customers who receive excellent service will do business with a company even if it has made a mistake. The stats are enough to highlight the sheer importance customer service can have on customer loyalty and retention. Thus, you must dedicate staff and professionals who can deliver top-notch customer service with consistency and efficiency.

    2. Be honest and transparent

    How you market and sell your product/service directly impacts your brand image. Adopting shortcuts and clickbait techniques may seem the easier way out and may even drive traffic to your site, but not in the long term. When customers have a sea of options available to them, they can conveniently take their business elsewhere if your product or service does not meet their expectations. Thus, it is vital to be honest, and transparent about your offerings to establish genuine customer expectations and build a loyal customer base over time.

    3. Ask for customer feedback

    Encourage your customers to leave reviews about their purchases and send periodic customer feedback surveys to collect their opinions. At the same time, respond to negative reviews to show that you care about your customer’s views. Ensure that you don’t weed out every negative feedback to make your page look attractive since it will lead your customers to second guess the credibility of your brand. Besides understanding your customer’s needs and establishing trust, genuine customer feedback helps uncover business areas that need improvement.  

    4. Offer loyalty programs

    Incentivising your customers for their loyalty to your brand builds and sustains long-term trust. One of the best ways to reward your customers is by offering loyalty programs. These increase customer lifetime value and drive sales since customers will be more inclined to make purchases when they can expect rewards. Offering perks like bonus items to frequent shoppers, early access to sales and exclusive deals strengthen ties with customers and assures them that you appreciate them.

    5. Accept responsibility

    Most importantly, take ownership of any problem your customers might face when engaging with you. It could be a defect with one of your products, late delivery, an issue with the customer service and so on. Accept the responsibility for the issue and ensure that the customer’s problem gets solved in the shortest possible time. It is part of the overall customer experience since every small interaction a customer has with your business directly impacts their buying decisions and how likely they are to recommend you to others.

    Keep Your Product Knowledge Up-to-Date

    Product knowledge is an essential selling skill that any salesperson or customer support agent must have. Before you apply any sales technique to sell your product, you must know your product inside out to explain its features and benefits to the customer. Even if you have a stellar product with out-of-the-world features, it is least likely to sell if your sales team is inadequately trained to convey its value to customers.

    Think about it from a customer’s perspective. 

    Suppose you want to buy a coffee maker but cannot decide which brand would be the best since most of them apparently have the same features. So, you contact the customer support team or the sales department of a specific brand and ask about their coffee maker’s USPs. However, if the customer support rep does a poor job explaining the product features, you wouldn’t be persuaded to buy it. 

    Get to know your products 

    Understanding your products is crucial from a sales perspective because customers are more likely to trust confident salespersons who know what they are selling. The only way to build this confidence is by proactively increasing your knowledge about the products and services you sell.

    You can resort to several sources of information to get an in-depth understanding of your products or services, including:

    • Product literature like brochures, manuals and catalogues

    • Your team members

    • Sales training programs

    • Trade and industry publications

    • Online forums

    • Internal sales records

    • Customer feedback

    • Competitors sites

    • Your own experience of using the product

    Benefits of product knowledge 

    Having up-to-date knowledge of your products enhances any sales technique you use and positively impacts your business reputation. Some product knowledge benefits include:

    benefits of product knowledge