Sales Skills that Improve Conversion Rate & Close More Deals
I was trying to decide what should be included in this article as there are many skills that are important for closing a deal & doing it consistently. I also looked at various articles already out there and most of them talk about skills like Communication skills, never give up attitude and what not.
I mean really? Do we even have to talk about such basics?
I would like to raise the bar and talk about skills which come from experience, skills which differentiate amateur salespeople from professionals. Let’s start.
Don’t forget to talk about QVP (Quantified value proposition)
The Quantified Value Proposition(QVP) is quantified form of value that your product can offer to your customers. For example “Our product will help you increase conversion rate by 10%” or “Our solution will increase footfalls to your store by 5%”
QVP typically talks about how you can improve a particular metric for your potential customer and by what quantity.
QVP can immediately capture attention and bring authenticity to a sales pitch. Back your QVP with the real case study where you actually helped a client achieve ROI that you claim.
QVP will also help you justify the price of your product/solution.
So, do you have a QVP for your sales pitch?
Understand difference between a good to have and must have solution
When you ask right set of questions, you can figure out if the customer considers your solution as “good to have” or “must have”. There are times when customers tell you that your product is cool or good to have but they are not really willing to buy it yet. Possible reason? They just don’t consider your product as something they desperately want and willing to pay for. Make sure you understand if your customer thinks it’s a “good to have product” or “must have”.
You can find out how they perceive your product by asking right set of questions like “How are they currently solving the problem solved by your product?” “How important is it for them to solve that problem?” “Why is it important to solve this problem?” “How have they tried to solve the problem so far?”
When you sense a deep pain point or desperation in the voice of the customer to solve the problem or they have tried multiple ways to solve the problem, then you have a product that is important for them.
It is better not to spend time on leads who are not very excited about the problem you are solving.
Focus on customer problems and needs
A good sales person knows that he can sell the product only by talking about customer problems and needs and better yet let customers talk about their problems that your product can solve.
Think about customer problems will help you figure out trigger words and trigger events while email messaging, phone calls and sales collaterals. Use these trigger words which immediately catch attention. Don’t just talk about what your product can do or how great your product is. Your leads don’t care about you or your product or how good your business is. They care about their problems and constantly think about how to solve them.
Many sales email (Not all) I see are filled with self-centered talking about how good their product is and better than the competition or patents they have. Such emails never get much response.
An example of self-obsessed email is below. It is a perfect example how to not write an email. It is all about “we do this” “we are that” .. just me me me.
Very good listener
Asking the right set of questions and listening is crucial in sales.
Only when you listen you will open up your mind to customer wants and needs. Sales people do the mistake of just selling by thinking of their own needs and problems. You should focus on customer problems and customer needs and for that, you have to ask right set of questions and listen. Ask the right set of questions which will bring out the problems you are trying to solve for your customer. When you have heard enough, wait for the right time and situation to hit them with your proposition while still not making it seem like a sales pitch.
“Sales is about 2/3rd listening and 1/3rd talking”
Know how to qualify a lead or disqualify a lead early in the process
You should know what kinds of leads can become ideal customers for you in the future. You should spend your time on leads which have highest chances to convert. Don’t spend too much time on leads which do not match the profile of your ideal customer. Spend more time on leads which are direct competition to your existing customers or have similar business demography.
You should do the activity of target customer profiling along with the team even before starting the sales process. Prepare a profile of ideal customer by looking at already existing customers that you have. If you don’t have any customers then take an intelligent assumption and optimize based on the response you receive.
Use terminology your potential customer uses & understands
Try talking the language and use terms which your potential customer uses on a daily basis. It makes them feel you are someone like them and they will open up more with you. This is just a small aspect of sales but very powerful. They shouldn’t feel like they are talking to an alien or somebody very different from them.
Never lie or camouflage or disguise your messaging
You are as good as conning the potential customer if you do camouflage or disguise and for sure they will not stay as your customer for long even if you are able to sell your product to them.
Building trust is very difficult in sales and losing it is very easy.
These are some of the important skills that will help you close complex sales process. Do share your thoughts with us.