You are likely very familiar with the skills needed to be successful in this industry, but there are certain sales skills that will be absolutely necessary for success in 2022. These skills are not only fundamental sales skills, but also ones that will appeal to the modern buyer. Today’s buyers are unique from those in the past, and it’s up to you to meet their unique expectations.
4 essential sales skills for 2022
Hubspot’s Jay Fuchs shares skills that salespeople should adopt, and work to master, this year. He emphasizes the fact that sales skills are always evolving; developing them really doesn’t have a clear endpoint. Buyer preferences and expectations change, as do sales methods and tools. So, no matter how much of a veteran seller you may be, you should never stop seeking ways to improve upon or learn sales skills.
Below are just a few that Fuchs suggests that can help:
- Leading With Empathy
- Staying True to Your Sales Process
- Accurately Depicting the Purchasing Process
- Conducting Effective Buyer Research
Leading with empathy
I’ve discussed the growing awareness of how important empathy is in sales. Fuchs agrees, pointing out that leading with empathy is a skill vital to selling today. And research also backs up the importance of empathy. SalesFuel’s Voice of the Buyer survey found that one of the top attributes buyers want from a seller is “care about me and my business.”
Fuchs recommends “taking the time to consider your prospect's circumstances, focusing on relationship building, and staying mindful of how your prospects are feeling to inform how you pace your sales efforts.”
Staying true to your sales process
Another necessary sales skill for 2022 is staying true to your own sales process. It can be tempting to deviate a little (or a lot) from your company’s process. But, doing so isn’t conducive to success. As Fuchs points out, that process is in place for a reason. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t add your own personal touch and adapt aspects thoughtfully. “Understand your organization's process, and stick to its steps [but] you can add your personal touch within its boundaries. Sales will always require some degree of direction, and that ‘direction’ is generally a byproduct of how well you can adhere to your sales process.”
Accurately depicting the purchasing process
Buyers want transparency and honesty, and your sales skills should align with these wants. Being clear about your purchasing process is a sales skill that today’s buyers will appreciate. When discussing with prospects, be clear about all elements and make transparency a priority.
As I wrote in a previous SalesFuel blog post, “Transparency and sharing are major parts of buyer-first selling …Whether it’s about pricing or how you fare against the competition, always be straightforward.” By being honest and letting buyers know what to expect throughout the buying process, you’re establishing trust and credibility, two things that are vital to successful selling.
Conducting effective buyer research
Approximately half of today’s B2B buyers say that it’s important that a seller knows and understands the prospect and their business. 44% say they want to work with a seller who knows the prospect’s customers. And 55% want sellers to provide relevant insight and ideas to help their business.
Going into a call or meeting without doing any research won’t cut it anymore; you simply won’t meet the expectations of today’s buyer. Conducting research is an essential sales skill needed for selling today; it’s up to you to come to the table ready to discuss the prospect’s business in-depth and be prepared with relevant and valuable insights and solutions.
“Try to address as many angles as possible here. Put together a holistic picture of your prospect and their business, and start to tailor your communication to best connect with them,” Fuchs advises. These efforts won’t go unnoticed and you'll likely stand out from competitors who don’t practice this sales skill.
Make 2022 the year you master these skills
Now is the time to prioritize certain sales skills to sell successfully this year and beyond. As buyers change, so does the need and desire for certain behaviors and processes. Don’t fall behind by relying on outdated techniques. Instead, evolve and grow as a buyer by following Fuch’s advice and ensuring your skills align with what buyers want.
Photo by Emmy E from Pexels
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