It’s no secret that Sales make a Business. It brings in revenue and sustains the business in general. Whether it’s a skill, service, or product, selling is exchanging value for money, which is why it is very important to look for a sustainable structure that guides your company’s sales processes. This system is called a Sales Methodology. It aims to improve the company’s approach when selling, providing a set of anchored guidelines to make sales better and more efficient.
The use of Sales Methodologies has been around for decades, and as many years passed, new methodologies and techniques have emerged to cope with the changing times, as well as to make things faster and easier.
Traditional V.S. Modern Sales tactics
The traditional way of selling focuses more on the “selling” or “pitching” part. It generally tends to seek out prospects manually, by scanning the phone directory or talking to random people on the streets. It involves grabbing a prospect’s attention, telling them about your product, and essentially trying to make a sale. It sometimes involves withholding information, until after a customer converts, making sure that a sale is secured first. Popular methodologies in this category include SPIN selling and the Sandler Selling System.
The modern way of selling involves the use of technology, particularly social media and online advertising to put one’s product or service up in the online space, for people to see. Rather than the sales reps actively reaching out, the modern setup allows interested prospects to reach out to companies to inquire about their products. However, it needs your company to have an online presence, and good marketing to stand out. Software such as CRM can also help manage customer data, and create stronger customer relationships and retention. Digital methodologies include Social Selling and Inbound Selling.
Despite the recent innovations, many companies still cling to the traditional way of selling only. It’s hard to let go of what you’re used to, but the question is, do traditional selling tactics still work today? As the Covid-19 pandemic forced the world to abandon physical interaction and lean towards a more virtual, and online setting, we might have to rethink our current sales strategies.
The old way of selling just doesn’t work anymore
Traditional techniques such as cold-calling, handing out flyers, or going door-to-door, are not as effective as they were before the internet era. Today, it’s all about social media engagement, personalized ads, and inbound selling. Times have changed and because of technology, sales need less manual labor than ever before.
Here are some of the key reasons as to why traditional selling methodologies cannot stand alone in this day and age:
- Customer decision-making behaviors have changed. Nowadays, people don’t want to waste their time taking pushy cold calls and flyers. With the internet, people tend to actively seek out the products they want/need, using the information found online. A survey by BrightMedia revealed that 34% of their respondents look up business information online daily. Modern customers want to know as much as they can about a certain product, and compare it with others, before making a purchase.
- Advertisements should be personalized to aim at their target market. Customers are more likely to respond to tailor-made advertisements instead of widespread and repetitive print ads. Those that target a specific group of people, who would most likely make a purchase, are more effective. The data needed to understand customer similarities, wants, and interests can be analyzed in a CRM system.
- People are on Social Media. Millions of people flock around Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tik Tok, and one of the best ways to advertise your business is to be where the people are. Social media is a very powerful tool for digital marketers. Many businesses are run through social media. Companies or even individuals can run paid ads as well. It’s a lot easier and cheaper compared to trying to publicize your business using traditional methods like print ads and TV.
- Customers value other People’s Opinions on a Product. BrightMedia also found out that in 2020, 79% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust testimonials from family and friends. In a traditional setting, revealing customer reviews are not usually part of the pitch, and even if they are, the authenticity of these reviews can become questionable since the company itself would naturally pick out good reviews. This setup is most effective when it is done online, where anyone can say anything about their experience with a product, service, or company.
However, this doesn’t mean that Traditional sales principles cannot apply at all. Methodologies such as Sandler’s Selling method which involves acting as a consultant instead of a pushy salesperson, Solution selling which focuses on how your product can solve a customer’s problems, and the famous Challenger approach which is all about a salesperson’s tenacity to learn more and dive deeper into the needs of the customer, can all be great guidelines and principles to follow. They are timeless concepts that aim to create sales and provide value to customers.
The key here is to update the platform used to execute these methodologies, which leads us to the next part:
Integrating Technology in Business
Times have changed, and the best way to adapt is by integrating technology into your business. Leverage it to better serve your customers and generate more leads. It is also cheaper and saves more time and effort. Here are some ways your business can step up your selling game:
- Update customer acquisition strategies
- Build a strong online presence
- Subscribe to a CRM solution such as Salesforce CRM, Hubspot or Microsoft Dynamics, and use CRM sales data and reports to improve processes
- Use Social Media to engage with customers
- Simplify and shorten your digital sales cycle
- Create affiliate programs, or tap on Social media Influencers
- Intentionally Customize or Personalize online ads to narrow down to your target market
Depending on the type of business you have, effective methods may vary. However, one surefire way to increase sales by leveraging technology is by using a CRM(Customer Relationship Management) software. It allows your business to track customer interactions and store data. It is an important tool that allows salespeople to build better relationships with customers. A CRM system also helps with tasks such as contacts and lead management, sending emails, online ad automation, and productivity reports to know how your sales team is doing. Finally, leverage your CRM system with Voice to CRM software that can easily improve sales performance by saving your sales people time in doing CRM data entry thus letting them focus on sales with all the benefits that a CRM system can provide. All you have to do is connect a voice to crm service through your smart phone and start uploading your sales meeting notes into the system. Some companies even do same-day entries which would surely be beneficial for your next day sales planning activities.
Bottom line: To effectively increase sales in this digital era, it is necessary to integrate technology into your sales process, combining traditional and modern techniques and methodologies that suit your business. It makes selling more practical and efficient. Leverage its power and be a cut above the rest.