Can’t convert your prospects into customers? What if you changed your sales technique to boost your sales and customer conversions? Imagine shining during your professional meetings and collecting the signature of the contracts that are important to you. To make this sweet dream come true, here are the 7 most formidable sales methods in btob.
What is the purpose of a sales technique?
A sales technique is a strategy that facilitates certain stages of the sales process. A sales method can be set up for prospecting , to identify the needs and areas of interest of a prospect or to convert him into a customer.
Sales techniques are comparable to tools that allow you to:
- Facilitate the preparation of your professional meeting by collecting information about your client in advance;
- Identify the needs, expectations and objections of your prospect;
- Know how to be reactive and develop your sales pitch effectively to convince your prospect;
- Conclude a sale thanks to the different sales techniques and increase your turnover.
Using sales techniques on a daily basis achieves several goals, but usually, it’s all about finding new customers and growing your business.
Discover right away the sales techniques that every btob salesperson must know.
The 7 sales techniques to adopt in B2B
1. The SIMAC method, a commercial technique for asserting one’s expertise
SIMAC is a sales technique that allows you to structure your sales interview and increase your customer conversion rate. Indeed SIMAC is an acronym which means:
- Idea ;
- Benefits ;
Each initial represents a stage in the sales cycle.
The situation is the search for the needs, but also the fears of the prospect: it is the global context and all the elements that intervene to be taken into account.
To illustrate this, let’s imagine a salesperson offering a service. It faces either:
- To a reluctant prospect who does not have the sufficient budget nor the time necessary to devote to this service.
- To an interlocutor who seems interested. He asks questions and even tells you that he is looking for solutions to boost the potential of his salespeople.
Depending on the situation, the salesperson can reflect and anticipate his sales pitch. Subtly, he questions the prospect in order to identify his real needs, but also his problems.
The second step, that of the idea, consists in arousing the interest of the prospect for your product, service or service. For this, your arguments stem from the previous situation and correspond to the needs of the company.
In this step, it is a question of detailing your idea with precision and reassuring your prospect. Explain precisely how this can be put in place and remove any blockages from your prospect. In other words, prove to him that he needs your service and show him how he can help him. Do not hesitate to use concrete examples of results and explain to him how this translates to his specific case.
For example, you meet with a client who is looking to invest in sales prospecting software. Explain to him what he’s getting and how you solve his problem with your prospecting tool: automate time-consuming tasks (sending LinkedIn™ invitations, emails, etc.), speed up certain actions (send 1,000 personalized emails in 5 minutes ) and gain in efficiency (precise targeting to identify qualified prospects).
Statistics and customer reviews are recommended to reassure your prospect and convince him that he absolutely needs your services to boost his sales!
To end on a high note, reveal your arguments and the benefits of your service. Giving concrete examples of the application and results of your solution is also a good idea.
Plus, it’s the perfect time to make him a tempting business offer he can’t refuse! For example, stand out from the competition by offering personalized support or by offering options such as tailor-made advice to make progress faster.
Reveal your expertise, your know-how and your vision for the rest of your collaboration.
Here are some tips for a successful interview and building a relationship of trust with your client:
- Get involved in collaboration and do not neglect the human side;
- Stay tuned: ask open-ended questions and rephrase;
- Be smiling and kind to him in order to build a relationship of trust.
In this last step, it is a question of concluding the sale by inviting the prospect to make a decision. It’s time to show off your closing skills! If the client does not wish to sign the same day, offer him a new appointment. It is recommended not to end a sales interview on indecision. If not, congratulations, you have won a new client!
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2. The SONCASE method, an effective classic
This sales technique makes it possible to classify the prospect in a category, in order to better identify his needs and adapt his commercial speech according to his expectations. Indeed, SONCASE is an acronym meaning:
- Security ;
- Pride ;
- Novelty ;
- Comfort ;
- Money ;
- Sympathy ;
- Environment .
Prepare a framework for your interview in advance, which lists the advantages of your product for each SONCASE profile. This allows you to adapt your speech according to the profile of your prospect.
Thus, depending on the adjective you assign to your client, your sales pitch will not be the same!
Profiles of the SONCASE method
- S: For safety, it is then a question of reassuring the prospect by proving to him the effectiveness and the quality of your product. Do not hesitate to bring him proof, it is infallible to make your client’s hesitations and fears disappear!
- O: With a proud prospect, you have to flatter him and prove to him that you really care about his satisfaction.
- N: The novelty is the customer who loves innovation, who is curious and who seeks to be trendy. He wants to own the latest fashionable smartphone, because he likes to test novelty and also the image it gives him. Here you have to bank on the fact that this is the latest product released by the brand and that it is an item that everyone will be snapping up in some time!
- C: As its name suggests, the customer seeks comfort before aesthetics and quality. He seeks a certain well-being, an improvement in his standard of living.
- A: The money, the client is very careful with his budget, the price can be a crippling criterion. He seeks to invest his money intelligently in an effective solution. Prove to him using figures or concrete results that the quality/price ratio and the ROI (return on investment) are effective.
- S: Sympathy means that the customer seeks above all a benevolent and pleasant relationship with the seller. He is looking for human contact and likes to discuss with the salesperson before making a purchase. He needs to be considered and for that, favor personalized messages and remember all the details of his problem.
- E: Finally, the environment is an important criterion for this type of client. In this specific case, he favors eco-responsible and local products.
3. SPIN selling
SPIN selling is a method of selling that involves practicing active listening and asking questions during the meeting. Indeed, SPIN stands for Situation, Problem, Involvement and Need payoff. Your interview is therefore based on these 4 stages of SPIN selling in order to understand and meet the expectations of the prospect and close the sale. This multi-step sales process is effective in converting your prospects into customers.
In the first step, you define the context and the needs of your prospect. The goal is to understand a little what he expects from your articles, your services or your benefits. To do this, you ask him several open-ended questions.
Be careful though, spin selling is a sales technique, not an interrogation! So try to ask questions discreetly and naturally. Do not ask several questions in a row at the risk of boring your client!
For example, ask, “What is your annual revenue and conversion rate?” »
Now you identify the obstacles, the current problems that your client is facing. What prevents it from prospering, what are the difficulties it faces? The objective is to be able to accompany him and solve his problems by helping him to be more efficient.
To do this, ask him, for example: “Are you satisfied with the software you use? What are the elements that could be improved? »
The involvement phase of SPIN selling amounts to making the prospect aware of the consequences of problems listed earlier. It is not a question of directly praising the merits of your product, but simply of accompanying him in his reflection so that he understands that the anomalies which he thought were minor are in fact important.
Questions should be subtle like: “Is team training included in your monthly subscription? Do they have access to online information easily and at any time? »
Need-payoff means “need to be filled”, it is the conclusion phase of SPIN selling which consists in proposing solutions to its problems. Your goal is for your prospect to plan and prepare for the purchase of your product.
Be careful, this is still not the time to argue! Your role is simply to make him understand subtly that you can help him.
Here are some examples of questions: “Would a more accessible and personalized training system allow your teams to perform better?” What benefits do you expect to get? »
4. The CAB method
This sales technique consists of preparing a commercial or marketing speech and an infallible sales pitch in order to convince your client and close the sale. It is an effective sales method that allows you to structure your sales pitch to make it more relevant. CAB is an acronym meaning:
- Features ;
- Benefits ;
- Benefits .
As its name suggests, in the first step of the CAB method, the salesperson lists the characteristics of his product, his service or his performance. Your speech is cold, you do not seek to enhance the content of the technical sheet or to stand out from the competition.
It is simply a matter of setting the context and presenting your product in detail. Thus, the seller states various information to the prospect.
- For an article, a product: the weight, dimensions, materials, functionalities, power, storage space, taste, resistance, etc.
- For a service, a service: the duration, the program, the actions carried out, the software used, etc.
Discover the benefits of active listening in a few paragraphs!
In addition to the characteristics listed, there are advantages that allow the potential of the product to be explored. This is an important step in the CAB method, because the seller must advance subtle and discreet advantages, which extend its particularities.
For example :
- Powerful and fast;
- Waterproof ;
- Easily transportable;
- Highly qualitative;
- Integrated secure system.
The benefits are in addition to the features and benefits mentioned earlier. This is the finalization of the sales process of the CAB method. To finish proving to your prospect that your product, your service meets his needs, show him its potential by listing the advantages it provides.
For example :
- Time saving ;
- Gain in performance;
- Optimal protection;
- Savings on an invoice.
5. The dirty challenger method
It is a sales technique that takes its name from the book “The challenger sale” in French, “New way to sell”. This method creates an upheaval in the commercial and marketing environment, because it shakes up the codes and offers to sell differently.
The 5 sales profiles
Challenger sale classifies salespeople into 5 categories:
- The challenger offers an innovative vision of the world;
- The lone wolf prefers to work alone;
- The relationship builder seeks to create a relationship of trust with his clients;
- The hard worker, works hard and tirelessly;
- The problem solver seeks to solve all the difficulties.
This sales technique advocates the challenger salesperson, since it is this profile that generates the most sales.
The commercial teaching of the dirty challenger method
Then, it is necessary to apply a precise sales process, comprising 6 steps, it is called “commercial teaching”.
- Warmer: this is the first step, it consists of showing your prospects that you have perfectly identified their needs and their expectations in relation to your product.
- Reframe: it is now a question of revealing to your customers a brake, hitherto ignored and which can lead to significant consequences. You redefine their needs.
- Rational Drowning: you offer solutions that could solve their problems. You prove the benefits of your strategies with concrete information.
- Emotional Impact: Here you create an emotional shock by picking up on issues revealed earlier. The goal is to humanize so that the customer feels directly concerned. For example: “By doing this, you are letting prospects pass every day! »
- Value Proposition-A New Way: Now is the time to detail your solution. Argue and rely on figures, testimonials, concrete and truthful elements. Prove to your prospects that your tools perfectly solve their needs and problems.
- Our Solution and Implementation Way: you accurately describe your support and the implementation of your solution.
6. The Customer Centric Selling Technique
The Customer Centric Selling technique in French “client-centered selling” is a method that comes from the United States and more particularly from the book by Michael T. Bosworth. As its name suggests, it promotes the enhancement of the customer relationship before the sale.
This commercial strategy has a sales cycle in several points, here are the ones to remember:
- Prioritize conversation over presentation: rather than reciting your commercial speech for long minutes, favor exchange and fair dialogue instead. Warmer and more conducive to revealing needs, the discussion is more engaging and dynamic than a sales pitch, even if it required a long preparation beforehand!
- Ask relevant questions: the goal of Customer Centric Selling is not to impose your vision of things, but to understand how your customer perceives them. Asking him the right questions allows you to discover precisely what his specific needs are.
- Target decision-makers rather than consumers: it’s obvious, but terribly effective! Even if users can brag about your items to buyers, it is better to argue directly with the people who have real decision-making power in the company.
- Prioritize buying rather than selling. The customer remains the main decision-maker and the sales representatives do not force their hand to conclude the sale at all costs. A customer prefers to buy rather than to feel that someone is trying to sell him something.
7. Active listening, a formidable sales technique
Of all the sales techniques, active listening is certainly the easiest to implement and also one of the most effective. Effective active listening is based on the principle that to communicate well, you must first listen carefully to the other.
However, active listening is more than just listening! Indeed during your sales interview, show yourself totally available for your prospect. As you have time, you are also calm and you focus on your interlocutor.
To be sure to assimilate your prospect’s information and not forget anything, taking notes is an effective technique. Reformulation is also recommended, because it allows your client to understand that you have understood his request and that you are attentive to his words.
The process of active listening is rather simple in appearance, however, the goal of this sales technique is not only to exchange, but to discover the needs of your prospects and by which methods and which tools it is possible to answer it. The ultimate goal is of course to sign a win-win contract, based on mutual trust.
Commercial technique to conclude
- SIMAC (Situation, Involvement, Mechanism, Advantages, Conclusion) is a method to strengthen your power of persuasion and structure your speech.
- SONCASE (Security, Pride, Novelty, Comfort, Money, Sympathy, Environment), this sales technique makes it possible to identify the prospect by assigning him 1 or more adjectives corresponding to the initials. This allows you to establish your profile and adapt your commercial speech.
- SPIN selling, based on listening and dialogue, this method advocates 4 phases: Situation, Problems, Involvement and Need-payoff (need to be met). The goal is to explore and understand your prospect’s needs in order to offer the most suitable solution.
- CAB is all about following and applying 3 main rules during your presentation: Features, Advantages and Benefits.
- Challenger Sale invites salespeople to become challengers, because it is this profile that generates the most sales.
- Customer Centric Selling, a sales technique centered on the customer which favors fair dialogue, benevolence and which allows the customer to be completely in control of his purchase.
- Active listening, simple and effective, this method allows you to identify your client’s needs by listening attentively to what he or she has to say and practicing active reformulation.
Commercial technique, to summarize in 4 questions
What are the sales techniques?
There are many effective techniques, here are a few:
- The SONCAS sales technique;
- The SIMAC method, to improve your conversion rate;
- The CAB technique, to boost your sales;
- The Challenger Sale sales process, in order to discover a new way of selling and therefore, to convince your customer;
- Active, simple and effective listening to accurately identify the needs of your prospects;
- Customer Centric Selling, from prospecting to professional appointments, is a sales method that exploits the potential of human relationships. In French, it actually means “customer-centric selling”.
What is a commercial approach?
The commercial approach is the contact of a company with a customer or prospect. Several marketing methods make it possible to create an effective commercial approach. Advertising, emailing, distribution of content such as blog articles or cold calling, for example. The sales profession generally excels in finding a catchy sales and marketing approach.
What is the CAB method?
The CAB method is a sales technique that allows you to structure and direct your commercial speech, in order to make it relevant and effective. The CAB method is an acronym which stands for:
- Characteristics ;
- Benefits ;
The argument is framed by the presentation of the product’s functionalities (characteristic), then the advantages of your offer compared to the competition and finally the value brought to your customer (benefits).
What are the 7 steps of the sale?
In a sales process, there are 7 main steps:
- Preparation, gathering information on the prospect and his company;
- Making contact ;
- The discovery of the needs and expectations of the prospect;
- The argument phase;
- Dealing with the prospect’s objections;
- The commercial negotiation process;
- The conclusion of the sale, also called closing;
- Taking leave.