Staying current with the latest sales techniques is critical for sales leaders today. By embracing emerging and innovative strategies, you can help keep your organization ahead of the competition and build a strong sales engine.
Let’s take a look at five of the top sales techniques for 2023 and how to get started implementing them.
1. Account-Based Selling
A strategic approach to B2B sales, account-based selling (ABS) focuses on targeting and engaging potential high-value accounts with personalized marketing and sales initiatives. By focusing on high-value accounts, your sales team will be able to better prioritize their efforts and resources, which helps increase the likelihood of closing larger deals. In fact, 84% of B2B companies believe ABS delivers higher ROI than other marketing initiatives. Here are tips for getting started with ABS:
- Analyze your existing customer base, identify common characteristics among your most successful clients, and create an ideal customer profile (ICP).
- Use your ICP to target new high-value prospects and prioritize your sales efforts.
- Tailor your outreach messaging and content to address the unique challenges and pain points faced by key decision-makers in your target accounts. For example, a marketing agency could offer customized marketing strategies, while a product manufacturer could provide personalized product recommendations.
2. Embracing Digital Sales Transformation
Digital technology has significantly transformed the B2B sales process over the last decade or so. The current sales technology we recommend keeping a close eye on includes AI, automation, and sales videos:
- AI-Driven Prospecting: Using tools like predictive analytics with an artificial intelligence (AI) component, sales teams can quickly identify high-value prospects, helping speed up the sales processes. Research from McKinsey found that companies that embrace AI-driven sales have the potential to increase their leads by an average of 50%.
- Automation for Lead Nurturing and Follow-Ups: Automating routine tasks like lead nurturing and follow-up communication helps free up your sales team to focus on high-value activities. For instance, a marketing agency might use marketing automation tools to streamline their email campaigns, while a product manufacturer could utilize chatbots for customer support.
- Personalized Video Messages: Video is an incredibly powerful tool for sales. But we’re not talking about a highly polished marketing video. Sending prospects personalized video messages that your sales reps film on a webcam can increase engagement and demonstrate your commitment to addressing their needs. Personalized videos have been shown to boost reply rates for over 70% of sales reps.
- Interactive Product Demos: Video does it again! Interactive (live) virtual product demos allow prospects to experience your solution firsthand, increasing the likelihood of conversion. For example, a marketing agency could take a prospect through a personalized walkthrough of their analytics dashboard, while a product manufacturer might offer virtual product tours.
3. Value-Based Selling
This B2B sales methodology focuses on understanding and addressing the specific needs, pain points, and goals of your customer instead of simply highlighting the features or price of a product or service. Sales representatives position their offering in a way that demonstrates the unique value it can deliver to the customer. Here are steps to take to start implementing a value-based selling strategy:
- Understand Customer Pain Points and Goals: By understanding your customers’ problems and getting a feel for their main business goals, you can better tailor your solutions—and sales strategy—to meet their needs. This deep understanding will enable you to build stronger relationships and increase customer satisfaction over time. Consider doing some customer research to really dig into the mindset of your best patrons, and gather information around the value of your offering and how it benefits your current customer base.
- Craft a Compelling Value Proposition: A strong value proposition sets your offering apart from the competition and demonstrates the unique benefits of your solution. Marketing agencies might emphasize their expertise in a specific industry, while product manufacturers could highlight their commitment to quality and innovation.
- Communicate Value Throughout the Sales Process: Consistently communicating value to prospects at every stage in the sales funnel reinforces your offering’s benefits and helps you overcome any objections. During initial outreach, for example, you might craft personalized messages and content that address the prospect’s pain points and emphasize the value your solution can provide. Once you have a prospect on a demo call, focus on the unique benefits and value your solution delivers, rather than merely listing features. Use visuals and stories to illustrate the positive outcomes your product or service has achieved for other clients. Even after closing the deal, continuing to demonstrate value through regular check-ins will help foster customer loyalty and could lead to cross-sell or upsell opportunities.
4. Sales Enablement and Training
We’re big believers in sales enablement (we wrote a whole article on it) and training, and it’s a space that is constantly evolving with new tools and tactics to help support your team’s professional development.
Investing in ongoing training helps your team adapt to new technologies, industry trends, and buyer preferences, which can lead to increased revenue and improved customer satisfaction. For marketing agencies and product manufacturers, continuous learning ensures that your sales team is knowledgeable about your specific offerings and the evolving needs of your target customers. Let’s look at some current best practices.
4 Best Practices For Effective Sales Training
- Align Training with Organizational Goals: Ensure that your sales training program is designed to support your company’s overall objectives, whether that involves expanding into new markets or increasing customer retention.
- Use a Blended Learning Approach: Combine various training methods to cater to different learning styles and preferences, from instructor-led workshops, to e-learning courses, and peer-to-peer coaching.
- Incorporate Real-World Scenarios: Use case studies and role-playing exercises to provide your sales reps with hands-on experience in addressing common customer challenges and objections.
- Measure the Impact: Track the effectiveness of your sales training program by monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs), like the number of closed deals, average deal size, time to close, and sales cycle length.
Microlearning and Just-In-Time Training
Traditional sales training isn’t the only path for helping your sales employees grow professionally. Microlearning and just-in-time training can also be effective. Microlearning involves bite-sized, focused training modules that can be easily accessed and consumed by sales reps on demand when they need the information. Just-in-time training, in turn, provides relevant information and guidance at the precise moment it’s required. To effectively deliver this training, sales managers must be ready to jump in and give an impromptu lesson when the opportunity presents itself. By incorporating these two approaches into your sales enablement strategy, you can:
- Increase Knowledge Retention: Short, focused training sessions are more likely to be retained and applied by your sales team than lengthy, comprehensive training programs.
- Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning: Making training readily available and easy to access will encourage your sales team to engage in ongoing skill development.
- Improve Sales Performance: Just-in-time training helps sales reps address specific challenges or knowledge gaps as they arise, leading to more effective sales interactions and better results in a timelier manner.
5. Data-Driven Decision Making
Using insights and analytics to guide your sales strategy, optimize performance, and achieve better results is nearly a requisite for business success today. By leveraging data, you can identify trends and uncover opportunities that help your leadership team make more informed decisions. Using data to drive sales strategy ensures that your efforts are targeted, efficient, and tailored to the unique needs of your customers.
Some ways to apply data insights to optimize your sales organization include:
- Identify high-potential prospects. Analyze customer data to identify common traits among your most successful clients, and target new prospects with similar characteristics.
- Monitor sales KPIs. Track key performance indicators like conversion rate and average deal size to identify areas for improvement and measure sales success.
- Optimize sales processes. Use data to identify bottlenecks in your sales process, and implement changes to streamline operations and improve efficiency.
Using CRM and Sales Enablement Tools
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems and sales enablement tools can help sales teams collect, analyze, and act on data more effectively. These platforms help sales reps:
- Access customer information and insights in real-time
- Automate routine tasks like lead nurturing and follow-up communication
- Monitor their performance and identify areas for improvement
Drive More Sales with the Best Sales Techniques for 2023
Choose the B2B sales techniques that are the best fit for your business, and get started implementing them. We recommend tackling one technique at a time to ensure it’s implemented effectively before adding another sales methodology to the mix. With diligence and commitment, you can build a more effective sales organization for your business.