Sales continues to be a highly competitive industry, with those sellers who possess advanced sales skills coming out on top. As SalesFuel has reported, buyers and their processes are changing, which requires sellers to evolve as well. Specifically, there are certain skills that they should adopt and nurture to meet today’s standards.
3 advanced sales skill for selling today
RAIN Group found that top performing salespeople excelled when it came to certain advanced strategies and skills. Mary Flaherty discusses those consultative skills in a recent article, and she explains why these particular skills align with what buyers want.
One of the most vital skills needed today is the ability to connect with, and sell to, senior executives. This advanced sales skill is important but sellers tend to shy away from it, partly because it can be so intimidating.
“Conversations with C‑level executive buyers usually lead to bigger deals because they are the ones driving strategic decisions about what their organization needs to invest in, and they hold the ultimate budget authority,” Steve Bookbinder writes for IMPACT.
Today’s successful sellers meet this challenge head-on, adjusting their mindset and strategy to better align with what will wow execs. Flaherty has a few suggestions for how to go about working on this skill:
- Bring big ideas to the table that go beyond solving problems.
- Find interpersonal resonance and develop rapport.
- Conduct meaningful and productive conversations.
- Don’t give up in the face of adversity.
Now is the time to go after C‑suite buyers. If you’re still feeling unsure, help yourself prepare by taking a look at SalesFuel’s tips for selling to senior executives. You can also listen to this episode of the Manage Smarter podcast which features expert advice from Jeffrey Hayzlett, author and CEO/chairman of C‑Suite Network.
Know how to “sell” to current clients
Cross-selling and upselling to clients are both advanced sales skills that can result in boosted revenue, as well as even better relationships with clients. Many salespeople find it hard to resist the pull of new business, and they leave opportunities for upselling and cross-selling on the table.
Learn to spot existing and future ways to provide even more value to your clients. Flaherty recommends asking yourself the following to uncover untapped opportunity:
- What are the trends affecting this account?
- What needs does the account have?
- What other insights do we know about this account?
- Who are our competitors?
- What value can we offer?
And once you’ve crafted a growth plan for the client, make sure you present it with transparency and integrity. The last thing you want to do is frustrate or upset a client. Cross-selling and upselling should be done with thoughtfulness; check out some best practices here.
Find your champion(s)
The concept of having a champion at each company isn’t new; still, sellers generally don’t work to have one. As Flaherty reports, RAIN Group found that the most successful sellers are “57% more likely to proactively develop champions.” You can even take this advanced sales skill a step further by seeking out more than one champion.
Given current trends of growing buying groups and job turnover, smart sellers are multi-threading. Finding more than one champion at a company ensures that you not only have multiple stakeholders on your side, but you’re also safeguarded in case someone moves on. Make it a point to seek out more than one champion at current client companies, as well as those you consider prospects. Having multiple supporters in your corner will give you a major advantage over sellers who stick to only one contact.
While these advanced sales skills may require changes in strategy, your time and efforts will be rewarded with increased revenue, stronger relationships and an edge over competitors. And for insight into which advanced skills can help reduce client churn, take a look at these professional tips.
Photo by Mikael Blomkvist