A Sales Tactic Clean-​Up Guide for 2021

BY Jessica Helinski
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A specific sales tactic won’t always be applicable, efficient or appropriate in every situation or time. Salespeople must be able to recognize when a certain action should be avoided. 2021 brings another year of adapting and switching up the usual strategy. “2021 will bring sales professionals a host of new challenges and trends to consider, and it could be tricky to adapt,” writes Jay Fuchs for HubSpot

He outlines each sales tactic that reps might want to avoid this year due in part to the continuing unique environment we all are in. Like in 2020, reps should still be thoughtful about how they carry out business and leave outdated tactics behind. “Several salespeople are coming into this new year holding onto some dead weight: outdated strategies that are bound to undermine sales efforts instead of enhancing them,” he adds.

Sales tactic primer for 2021

Fuchs shares 10 different tactics that reps might want to avoid using this year. Some are outdated and incompatible with today’s buyers while others don't align with the current environment. He encourages reps to rethink using any of these, and he backs up his reasoning with expert advice from others. Below are just a few:

Using outdated positioning statements. Don’t throw away your positioning statement; just dust it off and update it. So many things changed in 2020 for both you and prospects and clients. Goals, challenges, and so many other things shifted due to the pandemic, which is still impacting the world. Update your position statement by considering how prospects have had to pivot in the past year and researching where they are currently headed and what they are prioritizing now. Fuchs shares advice from HubSpot Sales Manager Korina Ortiz who advises sales reps to forget what they “know” and instead, "be 100% curious about their customers' new reality."

Reinventing the wheel. Sure, this sales tactic is typically a good thing. Salespeople are usually encouraged to think outside the box and forge new paths. But, Fuchs believes that reps should focus on simplicity this year. Everyone has experienced a major shift, so try not to complicate things. 

Qualifying on the connect call. Often, to save time, reps received advice to go ahead and qualify a prospect on the first call. While time isn’t any less valuable in 2021, this sales tactic should be dismissed. Fuchs uses advice from HubSpot Sales Director Dan Tyre to support this point. “Things have changed,” Tyre says."If you ask qualifying questions like 'Is this a priority? Do you have the budget? When will you make a decision?' on the connect call, you won't get far. The inbound methodology is all about helping, not putting someone in a sales funnel." 

Be mindful in 2021

Fuchs encourages reps to think, and refer back to his list, when navigating sales this year. Consider whether what you typically do is outdated or not aligned with the current sales environment. As he explains, “There's no telling what the sales landscape in 2021 will look like, but that doesn't mean you can't make some educated adjustments to approach it more effectively.”