Category: Blog

23 May

The 5 Most Important Words in any Sales Rep’s Vocabulary

EmilySchantz Blog, Sales Tags: , , , 0 Comments

There is a kind of power in words – and choosing just the right expression could be critical to closing a successful sale. Confucius said: “Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.”

There’s always a place for an attractive image, an eye-catching infographic, even an impressive chart or two – but the power of persuasion, and the real weight of our arguments lies in the way we use our words.

Sales reps can benefit from knowing how to weigh their words carefully, and there are a few words that never fail to hit the mark when it comes to persuading a prospect to make that final decision to purchase.

1. “Instant”

Our culture is an impatient one. We demand instant gratification. Why wait? Who’s got the time?

In the business world this is probably more valid than anywhere else. Nobody has time for solutions that take days, weeks – or heaven forbid – months to take effect. Customers want immediate solutions to their problems. They want tangible results now.

Using words like “instant,” “immediate,” “fast,” and, if you’re feeling adventurous, “rapid,” or even “prompt,” can give your pitch a sense of snap and urgency that customers will be attracted to, subliminally.

2. “Result”

This is what we’re all after, isn’t it? It’s what drives our companies, and pays our salaries and bonus checks. Managers demand results from employees. Customers demand results from service providers.

When discussing a customer’s specific needs and pain points, it’s useful to sprinkle this word into the discussion from time to time. Make sure he knows that the “results” are going to be positive ones, and of course, if it’s feasible, “instant results!”

3. “How”

A sales pitch that deals in generalities and vague concepts lacks power. A customer wants to know exactly how your product works, and how it is going to help him.

The word “how” is always going to be connected to a practical solution. Practical solutions always sit at the top of a customer’s wish list. For example: “Let me show you how this relates to your specific problem.” “This is exactly how it will impact your ROI…”

4. “You”

Not everyone is a narcissist, but even so, the word “you” is probably the most important in a sales rep’s arsenal.

Using “we” or “our” might be seen as polite, or even diplomatic, and create common ground to work from, but ultimately it takes the focus away from the person making the decision – the customer. What you’re selling isn’t going to benefit “us” it’s going to benefit the individual you’re talking to. It’s a customer-centric market, after all.

5. “Known”

This word relates to how dependable, reliable and trustworthy your words are. It reassures the customer that he’s not in uncharted territory, and he’s not a guinea pig for a new and experimental product. What you’re saying is tried and tested, and you’ve got the research and experience to back it up. Social proof can add weight to your argument, and proven results can clinch the deal.

The right words can influence a decision to purchase. They might operate on a subliminal level, but they have power.

If you’re a top-performing sales rep preparing your line of approach, consider peppering your speech with some of these power-words. They could add a subtle but persuasive edge, and help you secure new clients, or cement your ongoing relationships.

16 May

How Digital is Changing ‘Business as Usual’ for Sales Reps

EmilySchantz Blog, Sales Tags: , , , , , 0 Comments

It’s an undeniable fact – the world has gone digital. Customers prefer digital engagement over traditional ways to buy, and this has changed the way organizations need to interact, and the way they need to think in order to survive.

New technologies seem to be sprouting up every week. Big and small companies alike are hard-pressed to deliver a user experience that’s up to date, interactive, and mobile friendly. Buyers expect more, and demand more from sales reps.

The latest mobile sales enablement technologies are the new ‘business as usual’ – and if you’re not familiar with them, you’re already a step behind. Here are five of the biggest ways the process has changed:

1. Marketing has Become More Personal, and More Relevant

We’re moving towards a world where sales reps are far better prepared. They aren’t digging through the research papers, a day later, to answer a customer’s questions – they already know what kind of questions the client is likely to ask, right from the start.

Sales enablement helps your company know the needs and preferences of each client. It helps you know beforehand which kind of message is most likely to work best. That makes the process of selling more targeted, more intelligent, and more effective.

2. Marketing Automation Dovetails with Sales Enablement

1 in 4 companies say their marketing and sales teams are either “rarely aligned” or “misaligned.”

Smart marketing automation technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum, or in a separate box. It now joins seamlessly with sales enablement so management, marketing, and sales teams know exactly where each prospect is in the sales journey at any given stage.

Aligning each aspect of your company’s digital strategy into one cohesive unit means that there is unity and harmony across the organization – and more importantly, cost savings, and better results.

3. Content Management is More Focused

New research from SiriusDecisions shows that up to 70% of content created by B to B marketing teams is never utilized.

Many companies jumped on the marketing content bandwagon some time ago. The result is a mass of sales collateral – which is a good thing – if your customer gets to actually read it. Much of it, unfortunately, gets relegated to a folder somewhere, and seldom sees the light of day.

Sales enablement technology changes all of that. Sales reps can easily find and utilize just the right assets in order to make the pitch count. Sales calls, and post-sales visits are more effective.

4. Customers are Now Constantly Connected

Knowledge is power, and the fact that information is so easy to get has meant that the balance of power has shifted into the hands of the customer. Gone are the days of a company-centric buyer experience.

Sales enabling technologies are a vital lifeline for sales reps in this kind of environment. Customers can easily connect across multiple channels, and it’s important that sales reps have the tools to stay competitive.

5. Sales Enablement has gone Completely Mobile

Not too long ago a sales rep might have felt a bit lost without one of those laser pointing devices. It was high tech. These days the most important weapon in a sales rep’s arsenal is a tablet, provided of course it’s online, and armed with mobile sales enablement. The way reps need to engage customers has evolved.

The art of selling might always stay the same, in a certain fundamental way, but the tools we use to sell need to adapt to the environment we live in. How does your sales team measure up?

09 May

3 Ways to Build Lasting Relationships with your Customers

EmilySchantz Blog, Sales Tags: , , , 0 Comments

It’s one of the foundation stones of successful business. Everyone knows that building great relationships with customers leads to better sales conversion rates, more repeat sales, long-term relationships, and a more lucrative future for your company.

Of course, the fact that everyone knows is also part of the problem. Your competition is out there, building relationships too, so that means you need to make sure you’re on the cutting edge, not drifting behind the pack.

The following tactics can help you develop strong customer relationships.

1. Engage Your Customers with Content that Actually Matters

There’s no disputing a solid fact. Hopefully your content already contains the facts about what you’re selling – and why it makes sense to buy it. Unfortunately, facts alone don’t convince people to spend their money.

To make your content more engaging, you should keep emotions in mind, in other words:

  • Personalize your content as far as possible, make it approachable,
  • Address problems that are actually important to your customers, emotionally, and intellectually, and offer workable solutions.
  • Get your audience involved – don’t just ‘preach from a pedestal.’

Facts alone are useless, unless they really matter. In other words, your message needs to press the right emotional buttons. That means you need to know where those buttons are – and that brings us to the next important part of the strategy.

2. Let Them Speak, and Learn to Listen

Even the most engaging message on the internet will only get you so far. Relationships mean interaction – there are two parties involved, and both sides have a voice. It’s just as important to listen as it is to say the right things.

Just as your world keeps changing, evolving and expanding, so does your customer’s world. Their world should matter to you. Also, no two customers are identical.

Make sure you keep your finger on the pulse by taking the time to stay in touch, and find out what’s happening in your customer’s world. Here are some practical suggestions:

  • Study what customers are doing on your website,
  • Find out what questions individual clients are most interested in finding an answer to,
  • Use website surveys and online questionnaires to give clients a place to leave feedback,
  • Hunt for online forums, or create one to find out what people in your niche are talking about.

 3. Build and then Maintain Trust

Albert Einstein once expressed the importance of trust this way: “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

It’s something to keep in mind in life, and it’s a vital part of marketing your business too. Customers will lose trust in your brand if at any point they feel cheated, conned, sweet-talked or tricked. It’s important to stay above board, even with the tiniest details.

Trust can be built and maintained by focusing on customer service, the kind that makes people feel you have their best interests at heart. In addition, you need to remain transparent, and stay consistent.

By keeping these three golden rules in mind, your marketing can only benefit. If you’d like to find out more about how to implement these strategies, we’d love to help.

02 May

The Impact of Interactive Sales Presentations on the Sales Process

EmilySchantz Blog, Sales Tags: , , 0 Comments

Twenty seven years ago, The Father of Modern Marketing, Philip Kotler, said, “Revenue performance is directly tied to the success of sales.” What does this mean, today? It means exactly the same thing as it did back then – a successful business is sales-driven.

And because sales is the key to driving business success, it is critical to empower sales in their effort to close deals. And that begins with delivering our intended message. What’s the ultimate way to achieve this? It is to let our audiences navigate through the features and benefits of our product themselves.

Our audiences go through the sales process on their own for the majority of their purchase cycle. They read articles, they visit our websites, take advantage of social media, and they get information via email. But what we are seeing more and more, is that Sales Enablement is becoming a critical process for sales success; one that enables customers to interact with our brand via sales tools.

According to a CEI Survey, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations (Forbes). And while a better customer experience starts with marketing, top performers have learned that going beyond marketing, and empowering sales teams is critical if we want to succeed with customers.

This is where interactive sales presentations come in. According to Brainshark, 55% of top-performing companies are driving productivity by investing in sales enablement technology. Sales enablement technology has become a critical tool in the sales rep’s arsenal that arms them on sales call. Sure we can talk about our product as much as we want. We can outline the features, the benefits, the advantages, but what if we were to add media into the mix?

Tablets and the technology behind them have taken the tech world by storm. Linus introduced the technology in 1987, and in 2010, tablets became one of the most desirable technologies once Apple introduced the iPad (Business Insider, 2013). Today, tablet technology enhances the customer interaction, and, in turn, marketing and sales effectiveness in B2B sales.

The use of visual sales tools to drive home a message has become essential. Making use of visual sales tools when meeting with potential customers, and showing them first-hand what you can do for them, enables them to see your product up close. By letting them see what it does, and what it looks and feels like, we demonstrate the solution.

The old adage, “Show, don’t tell,” applies to effective sales presentations. Coming into the boardroom, and demonstrating an interactive presentation gives customers a hands-on experience that will enable them not only to understand the solution, but also remember it long after the presentation is finished.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but an interactive presentation via a sales tool is worth even more. Advancement in tablet technology enable us to interact with our audiences on an entirely new level. How effective are your presentations? Are you making use of interactive technology to close deals?

25 Apr

The Importance of Controlling and Organizing Your Content

EmilySchantz Blog, Sales 0 Comments

A paradigm shift has taken place in the tasks and activities of the modern day sales rep, and the tasks and activities that once belonged to a more traditional style of selling. The need to knock on doors and pitch a hard sell to close a deal is long-gone. Today, sales teams are empowered by technology.

Technology has shifted the job of the sales team from sales reps who push a sale and act as walking billboards, to concierges. Customers have so much product and industry knowledge at their fingertips that they don’t need someone to tell them that their product is the best – they need someone to assist them in their sales journey. After all, 70% of the information customers see before making a purchase decision is self-discovered.

The advent of sales enablement technology has provided so much data at the hands of marketing and sales teams that the need for sales reps to be more organized and have more control of their internal processes has become critical. Today’s sales enablement comes in the form of sales aids that are used on sales call to record the interaction – so that when the meeting is over, marketing has a better grasp of what it is the customer was looking for to refine campaigns for future prospects.

Sales enablement technology ensures that a sales team has all the collateral they need, when they need it, and where they need it. Because the sales rep has become mobile, this has lent itself to the need to become more organized and in control of customer data, touchpoints, and all related sales (and marketing) activities.

Let’s look at 4 ways sales enablement helps sales reps

1. Maintains control over documents

Studies show that the opportunity cost of unused or underused marketing content is roughly $2.3 million for enterprise organizations. Where is the content? Is it compatible with each stage of the sales cycle in terms of the needs of the customer? Is it easily accessible and easy to retrieve? Sales enablement helps sales rep maintain control over all documents so that when a need arises, the sales rep is there to provide information momentarily – via email, via phone and on sales call.

2. Keep sensitive material in compliance

Protecting company reputation and your brand is critical. You don’t want your company having an information privacy breach. Sensitive information needs to be protected as part of a daily routine across the organization. Even a single instant of unauthorized access to data could have significant consequences. The right sales enablement tool keeps all material in compliance.

3. Organize files and devices into meaningful groups

Organizing customers into groups is beneficial because it enables marketing to create campaigns around where customers are in their buying journey. This, in turn, provides better targeting and messaging, and enables sales reps to have transparency into the sales cycle.

4. Making sure users always have the most up to date versions

Making the most impact with sales presentations begins with having the latest versions of sales enablement technology. The more up-to-date sales and marketing teams are, the more it is possible to be organized and in control of the conversation.

A study conducted by CSO Insight found that organizations with sales reps at the forefront that used mobile CRM and social sales tools won 7% more deals than their competitors that did not use mobile tools. Tablets deliver a customer experience like no other. And with real-time access to the right information to advance the sale process, Mobile Sales Enablement is setting the bar high when it comes to the sales rep/customer relationship. Staying ahead means adopting new technologies, and when we are in control and organized with our content, it becomes easier to engage with customers.

How effective is your content collateral? Do you need to boost sales performance by becoming more organized and in control of your content? vablet can get you there.