Sales Fundamentals and the Key to Success

If you have a SaaS product that doesn't follow a self-service model, you'll definitely need a sales team to skyrocket the product’s sales.

The success of multi-million dollar brands and industry experts is surely impressive but let's not forget that they all started as start-ups. So, what made their brand noticeable in a sea of competitors from the same industry?

A sales organization's success often comes down to the execution and implementation of sales fundamentals along with efficient sales management.

What are these sales fundamentals, and how will they help? That’s exactly what we'll discuss today. Keep reading till the end to find out the key to successful sales.

The 4 Sales Fundamentals That Matter Most

Turning leads into successful sales requires strategies, planning, and implementing the four sales fundamentals to their fullest. Here are the top 4 things you need to keep in mind before you set out to make your first sale:

You Need a System for Prospecting and Selling

The sales process isn't an arbitrary phenomenon. You need to have a plan, strategy, and steps that you follow to make a sale. This is known as a sales process.

Simply put, a sales process is the sequence of actions you plan to follow to take a buyer from the first interaction to the purchase stage.

You can use social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, especially for b2b sales, for lead generation.

One of the most essential factors at this stage is to present your product well, use the right approach to convince your target leads, and handle the objections raised by them.

Also, you'll be required to show how exactly your product is better than the competition. Your clients might also raise pertinent questions or doubts regarding your product. We recommend you equip all your sales professionals with sales battle cards and sales enablement tools to help them out. This way, you'll almost always make an excellent first impression.

Also, focus on your sales message. Your pitch should be convincing enough to give your clients a reason to buy your product.

Using the Right Tools

Whether a startup or a large-scale organization, manually managing your sales process can be super hectic. Hence, you need the right tools to simplify the process.

The first thing you need is an email automation tool. In case you're using cold emailing to reach out to your prospective clients, manually emailing everyone is out of the picture.

Popular tools like Flodesk and Mailchimp allow you to automatically send emails to all the potential clients on your mailing list.

These platforms also allow you to automate email sequences to automatically follow up with your clients or welcome them to your service.

For long-term customer relationship management, you'll need a comprehensive CRM tool. CRM tools like Zoho CRM help you manage your prospects and store their contact and service information.

Having all the customer data stored in one place will ensure a seamless conversion and allow you to offer them impeccable service at each stage.

Get in the Right Mindset

Lack of Need for Approval

Real victory is when you have the right attitude and mindset. If you wish to make a successful sale, you need to prepare your mind for that.

The first thing you need to do is reduce–if not eliminate–the need for approval. When you become conscious of how your customer perceives you, you'll almost always fail to give your 100%.

Controlling Your Emotions

To improve your chances of making a sale, your salesperson needs to learn to control their emotions.

Customers can be annoying at times, the interaction can also lead to opinion clashes but as salespeople, they shouldn't allow their emotions to take control. Instead, they should always maintain a friendly demeanor.

Handling Rejection

Make sure your sales team is prepared to tackle rejection. Not every lead will convert into a customer, and that's perfectly fine! But, if they start to take it to their heart, it'll not only make them seem desperate but will also impact their future sales potential.

Better Prospecting, Better Selling

Selling is the final stage of customer acquisition. The first and most important step is to reach out to your ideal client profile and nurture the prospects.

You need to reach out to people who'll genuinely be interested in your product. Unless they actually require the potential solutions you're offering, it'll be a wasted lead.

After reaching out to the right prospects, you need to design a seamless marketing funnel. The marketing funnel is the representation of the process–the first stage being your clients coming across your service, and the last stage is where they either convert or drop off.

At each stage of the marketing funnel, you need to minimize the possible hurdles repulsing your potential clients. With better prospecting, you'll be able to take more clients to the final selling stage, which will increase your conversation ratio.

What Are the 6 Basic Principles of Selling?

Every successful sales strategy is based on six basic principles that improve your success rate and help you scale your business. Whether you follow an inside sales model or an outside one, these principles will help you chalk out the basic framework that'll govern the way you approach your clients.

Selling is 60% Listening and 40% Talking

Sales is a dynamic field, and it keeps evolving with the changing needs of your customers. Hence, to successfully sell to your customers, you need to understand their needs, pain points, and the solution they're looking for.

The sales industry believes that selling is 60% listening and 40% talking. This means you should first focus on listening to your customer’s problems through client feedback, surveys, and trends and understand what problems your customers are facing and the kind of solution they are looking for.

For example, before you design your next CRM tool, you can run quick research followed by a survey to check the current CRM-related issues your leads face and how the existing products in the market are falling short. Once you have an idea of what your customers want, it's time to do the talking.

Next, design your product to mitigate those pain points. The 40% talking essentially consists of your actions and strategies employed to align your selling strategy with the problems your customers are facing. Instead of selling your product directly, you need to make your leads aware that you are solving their problem.

Focus on Solving Your Customer's Problems

It doesn't matter how new-age your product is or how seamless the interface is; it won't be of any use if it doesn't solve your customer’s problem.

Remember–SaaS products in the business domain are seldom meant for entertainment. You need to find a pertinent customer pain point and design your product to solve the problem.

For example, let's assume you want to enter the business finance domain and help businesses provide a seamless financial solution. First, you need to evaluate the existing financial management software and note down its drawbacks. Next, check the evolved needs of your customers that are not presently being met by any of your competing companies.

Once you have this data, design software that directly speaks to your customers and solves their problems better than anybody else is doing.

Selling is All About Relationship-building

Selling isn't just about pitching to your clients; it’s also about building and maintaining relationships both before and after the sale. Having a relationship with your customer will make you more reliable and improve your chances of sealing the deal with your customers.

To nurture the relationship, make sure you cater to all their doubts and concerns and keep following up with them. Maintain a decent response rate so that your customers are not left hanging with their problems forever. You should also take feedback from your customers from time to time to make them feel like their opinions are valued.

Once you've built a relationship and made a sale, make sure you continue to nurture it. This implies that your selling strategy should not be based on a one-off interaction.

After all, to build a successful brand, you'll need your customers to keep returning to you. Moreover, maintaining friendly relationships with your customers will improve your customer retention rate.

Sales is a Process of Disqualification

An essential part of sales is to know when to disqualify the leads and what can get you disqualified.

Some leads are just not meant for conversion, and your sales rep needs to know how to zero in on your ideal client, discarding the rest.

Similarly, each buying stage will see your customers assessing your product on various grounds. As a brand, you need to ensure that they never face any disqualifying factor which could make them drop you.

People Buy Emotionally

A customer’s buying decisions are often influenced by their emotions. These emotions include the trust and confidence you're able to instill in your client’s minds.

Your customers need to feel that they're investing in the right brand, and their interests will be looked after. Emotions also play an essential role in advertisements and promotions.

You'll often see brands using personal emotional stories to promote their product on visual media channels. These kinds of advertisements majorly influence buying decisions. If leveraged the right way, sales reps can highly benefit from their client's emotions.

People Only Buy When They Have Pain

It's important to understand people will only buy when they actually need to satiate. Unless you sell luxury items, you cannot persuade your potential customers to shop with you regularly. Hence, you need to find customers in need of your service at THAT point in time.

If you're selling to someone who's actually interested in your product, the selling process will become a breeze.

What Does it Take to be a Top Performer in Sales?

Your sales rep acts as the building block of successful sales conversion. Therefore, along with your sales strategy, you should also focus on equipping your sales representatives to maximize your conversion rate.

Ask for a Next Step at the End of Every Meeting

Just like every blog should end with a call to action statement to lead your clients to the next step, your meetings with a potential client should also end with a discussion on the next potential step.

Asking about the future course of action increases the chances of your customers actually going to the next step. Customers need to be guided at every step. If you leave them without proper guidance and direction, they'll probably stray and start looking for other options.

Know When to Move On

Sales reps should give their 100% to acquire a customer, but they should also know when to move on. Some customers are simply dead leads, and nothing can change their minds. Wasting your time on them could mean losing out on other potential clients.

With excess time and investment, you also tend to increase the cost per customer acquisition, resulting in losses if you tend to waste time on dead leads.

Raise Potential Issues and Address Objections Early in the Relationship

It's natural for your customers to have some objections and doubts when first introduced to your service. If you address these issues early in the selling process, they'll not sink deep in their minds, and you'll have a better chance of closing the deal.

Offer sales coaching and training to your sales managers and leaders and guide them on how to help the sales reps under them.

Your Credibility is Dependent Upon Two Factors: Trust and Expertise

Credibility is a must if you want to convince your customers to buy from you. This depends on the trust you're able to garner through your expertise.

Your expertise will be reflected in your past market record, customer testimonials, and the demo & pitch you give to your clients. The key to sales success is confidence, well-planned methodology and action plans, soft skills, and excellent communication skills.

In addition to seamless customer service, client testimonials will also help you build trust. Now to maintain that trust, you need to keep nurturing the relationship you've built with customers through frequent follow-ups and well-planned interactions.

Final Thoughts

Successful selling is more than just glorifying the product or stating its features. You need to get into your customer’s minds to see what they need and sell them the exact same thing.

Sales fundamentals allow you to make your customers' buying process absolutely seamless and ensure you're approaching the right client in the right way.

Greg Tucker

Written by

Greg Tucker

Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Oncore

Greg Tucker is the founder of Oncore. With a background in digital marketing and many years of working with small businesses, he is creating and curating content on Oncore to help others build their own startups.

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