Salespeople and leaders, listen up. The B2B buyer is changing.
These days, price isn't the only deciding factor behind a successful conversion: It's also about the overall experience they receive while doing business with you.
So how do you attract these prospects and ensure they close a deal? It all boils down to having a good understanding of how they make decisions—and how you can tailor your process to target them.
That's not to say you can simply pull this off using your old tricks, though.
In fact, you're going to need to brush up on some new strategies. In this blog, we'll cover modern sales techniques every industry professional should know, including:
- How to wow prospects with personalized and relevant messaging.
- Why your sales development reps and account executives should team up.
- The importance of adaptability in your sales approach.
- Better ways to target your prospect's pain points and stay in communication throughout deal management.
- How to target those behind-the-scenes stakeholders who could make or break your deal.
Before we dive in, here’s the full webinar recording that covers the topic of modern sales techniques for the modern buyer.
Alright, here we go.
6 modern sales techniques for the modern buyer
1. Personalization and relevance at scale
It's not enough anymore to just send out generic emails that say, "Hey, here's our product! Wanna buy?"
While this method can save you a few more mouse clicks, it'll also land you a few more customers who probably aren't a good fit. You need to be able to get inside your prospect's head, understand what pain points your solution will solve for them, and build relevant messaging that speaks directly to them—and no one else.
This isn't just for brownie points, either: Research shows 79% of organizations that have developed documented personalization strategies are exceeding their revenue objectives.
Data is an accessible and effective way to put this strategy into practice.
For instance, if you have a service that helps small businesses grow their revenue, you can use numbers to understand what challenges your prospects are facing, how much funding they've raised, which industries they're in, and more. This way, when prospecting, you can talk about the specific issues they're dealing with and how your solution is relevant to them.
Ultimately, if your emails sound like they could've been sent to any other prospect, they likely need more personalization and relevancy to make an impact. Once you've got the ball rolling, be sure to continue tracking your metrics to see how you can further scale these tactics.
Check out this video by sales expert Jen Allen from Lavender to learn more about how to use relevance in your outreach.
2. SDR and AE collaboration
Sales development reps (SDRs) and account executives (AEs) are usually on different sides of the sales cycle, but they can work together to create a superhero prospecting team.
Take that, Marvel.
You know the drill: SDRs have the advantage of being able to build relationships with contacts while they're still in the earlier stages of the buying process.
Meanwhile, AEs are often brought into the conversation later on, once a company has decided it's interested in your product or service.
But the two roles don't just complement each other—they should work together to qualify leads and close deals.
According to a survey conducted by Mixmax, 57% of respondents said their SDRs and AEs collaborate often, whereas 43% said they rarely–or never–do.
If your AEs and SDRs aren’t used to working closely together, here are some tips on how your team can collaborate more effectively:
- Set up duos: SDRs and AEs can pair up to make the most of their respective skills. For example, SDRs are often responsible for cold calling or emailing, but they may not have the experience or knowledge necessary to land a deal on their own. AEs can help them with this process by providing feedback on how well they're doing and how to improve their pitch and teach them sales practices for closing a sale.
- Establish a feedback cycle: AEs can mentor SDRs and give feedback on how they can improve their sales skills by listening to call recordings (Gong is great for this) and helping them understand which leads are worth pursuing and which ones aren't.
Keep in mind your SDRs will one day be the AEs at your company. By giving them the tools and support they need to succeed, you'll be creating a pipeline of high-quality talent for the future.
3. Adapting your sales approach to the times and being creative
The world is changing at a rapid pace, and the sales techniques you used yesterday won't always be effective today. If you're not adapting your approach to fit these changes, then you're going to miss out on some amazing opportunities.
As scary as it might be to leave your comfort zone, embracing new ways of doing things and being open to creative ideas is the only way to stay ahead of the curve (because if not, someone else will).
Some areas you can focus on could be:
- Anticipating challenges: Your team can prep for conversations around potential challenges in the journey ahead of time so they can remove barriers and move more quickly internally.
- How you structure your deals: We all love getting paid, but how you earn this revenue doesn't always have to look the same. Would your prospect be more open to a deal with a custom payment plan? Which deal terms can you be flexible with?
- Confidence in your long-term value: Even if it means lowering your initial price or buying out an existing contract, experimenting with modern sales approaches that bring on long-term clients shows your team believes in your solution, and your prospects will notice.
This doesn't mean you have to throw your guidebook out the window. It just means that it's time to re-examine what you know and see if you can improve on what works.
4. Quantification in discovery
As a salesperson, you're probably used to seeing things in terms of numbers. You want to know how many leads you have and how many deals those translate into, right?
But to make your sales strategy truly shine, you've got to dig a little deeper. Just like with personalization & relevance, it's all about understanding who your prospects are, what their problem is, and how you're going to help them fix it.
In short: It's not about you—it's about them.
Take the time to empathize with your prospect. Figure out what their main problem is and how it impacts their business, especially from a monetary and/or time perspective.
Quantification is about understanding if your product or service can help your prospect save time and money by eliminating major issues and blockers for them.
To truly understand that, get answers to these questions:
- What's their biggest problem?
- How much time do they waste dealing with that problem?
- How much money does that wasted time translate into?
- Is the cost of your solution worth it?
- Is your solution something that's actually a good fit?
Don't be afraid to say no if it turns out you're not a match; it doesn’t make sense to waste time for either party. But if you are the right fit and you know your solution can help them out, then don't give up.
5. Using text messaging in outreach
Text messaging is a great way to keep in touch with your buyers, but it's not something you should be doing when you're trying to prospect. Prospecting is about building trust and demonstrating value, which text messages don't often let you do well.
Plus, they can come off as super invasive.
Not all is lost, however! Text messaging works best as part of deal management once some level of relationship is established between you and your prospect/champion.
Here are ways to get the text messaging ball rolling:
- Text your champion right after you’ve given a demo to other stakeholders inside their organization to ask her/him how it went. Make sure you introduce yourself in the text message so they don’t just get a “how’d it go?” text from a mysterious sender (which is creepy and confusing).
- Just ask for permission. Ask if it’s ok to use text messaging as a means of communication. If yes, then great. If not, then forget about it and continue using email and phone.
6. Selling to behind-the-scenes buyers
More often than not, multiple people are involved in making a decision to buy. This can include anyone from the CFO to the head of IT, and unless you're a telepath, it can be difficult to know which ones are involved in your deal.
Instead of focusing on getting the first person you speak with to buy, shift your attention to finding ways to make the buying process easy for other stakeholders in the process.
- Demo recordings: If you're doing a demo, be sure to record your call so other stakeholders can see the value your solution provides in real-time. If you're planning to use a sales material tool for your collateral, incorporate this video somewhere within it.
- ROI calculators: If you have an ROI calculator, be sure to share it with the person who will be responsible for managing the deal. This will help them and others—like the finance team—understand how much money they could save or make by implementing your solution.
By identifying the potential “blockers” (aka the ultimate decision-makers) early on, you can present them with collateral–either directly or through your champion–that helps them a) quickly get up to speed and b) get comfortable and excited about the deal.
There you have it. Six modern sales techniques to help you sell to the modern buyer.
Once executed, these sales practices will help you understand the buyer’s needs, demonstrate value, and build trust with your sales outreach.
Want to watch the full webinar recording on modern sales techniques for the modern buyer? Watch VP of Sales Kyle Parrish from Mixmax and Co-Founder & COO of Qwilr, Mark tanner, tackle this topic in depth here.