A sales team's main goal is to continually acquire new sales – right? However, digitalisation has put the customer in the driver's seat, and the salesperson in the back seat, which can present a challenge. So how do you conduct a good sales meeting in 2018?
There’s no denying that digitalisation has made the sales process more demanding. All the information and the opportunities the internet has brought with it, has led to the fact that today's customer is much more informed in the buying process than he or she used to be – which in turn requires the salesperson to refresh his or her approach to sales.
Digitalisation has also led to greater competition. And with that, inbound sales have grown. This is a sales method that better matches the buyers' preferences and the behaviour of the modern buyer.
Inbound sales is about listening and putting the buyer's needs first. The process is tailored to the individual buyer's needs, frustrations, challenges, and goals. To help you get started, we’ve listed the four most important things to consider before entering a sales meeting:
1) Prepare to listen rather than talk
Salespeople can often put too much of themselves into a sales meeting. They get used to saying “me” too much. In inbound marketing, one listens to customers’ needs and stops focusing so much on themselves.
To create a successful and efficient sales team, one MUST care about the prospect. Don’t get caught pretending – you need to genuinely be invested in order to sell. So how can you make sure that the prospective customer knows you care about him or her? Indeed, by listening to them.
Be the ultimate listener. Stop shouting loudly about how great your product is and instead listen to what your prospects need, what they like, and what issues they face. That way you’ll know how to solve their problems.
2) Become a thought leader in your industry
Would you ever heed the advice of an unknown person who can’t show for any results? Probably not. Salespeople can, therefore, take great advantage of taking the position as a thought leader in their industry. This means that the company, or the person in question, gains authority in a particular field or in a specific industry and that the knowledge possessed is prized and sought after.
If you become a thought leader in your industry, potential customers will more easily notice you and gain confidence in you. This is important to keep in mind when entering a sales meeting — because people talk. And if you decide to take the position as an expert in the sales meeting, the word will spread to other potential customers.
It's easy to get stuck when you're a salesperson, but if you embrace inbound sales, you’ll have opened yourself up to a brand new and exciting world out there; one that can help close a lot of deals.
3) Inbound salespeople must be advisors
Technology has replaced much of the original role of the salesperson. Potential customers no longer rely on the salesperson to get to know products, access the right people, or read a case study. Therefore, today's salespeople must take on the role of a counsellor rather than one that provides potential customers with information. By being an advisor to the customers, you will build an even more valuable relationship with them.
This is very important to consider when entering a sales meeting. The customer has most likely already googled and read a lot about both the company and the product you are going to sell before the meeting. Therefore listen to what their problems are and advise them on what you and your company can help them with and how.
The first thing you have to do is ask questions, both the critical questions and those that give you a lot of information about the prospect. Then, learn how to help them solve their problems. The last step is, of course, to show the prospects how your products or services can help them.
4) Be prepared!
Forget the age-old excuses about wifi not working or your presentation having broken overnight. Always come prepared for meetings! There is nothing more unprofessional than a salesperson that comes unprepared for the sales meeting.
Being prepared means you need to do research, know what to say, proofread your presentation and study your competitors (nobody said it's a simple task to be prepared). Being prepared requires work, but your company relies on you, so make preparation before the sales meeting the main priority.