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Consultative Selling Examples
It might seem counterintuitive, but the last thing that a customer wants from a sales rep is a sales pitch. According to recent research from Salesforce, 86% of businesses are looking for a trusted advisor. They want someone who understands the challenges they are facing and can help them figure out the best way to solve them. However, only 73% of businesses say that’s what they are getting. Most report that their interactions with sales teams feel too transactional.
We get it. You’re excited about your product, and you want everyone to understand the impact it could have on their company. But when you start pitching a product, today’s customers are likely to stop listening. How do you get a customer to hear what you have to say? Be the one salesperson who is providing them with the expertise they are looking for. If you do that, we guarantee you that your customers are going to pay attention.
Traditional sales methodologies were all focused on one thing: selling a product. A sales team’s job was to guide a customer toward which of their products was right for them. But today, customers are looking for more than just a person who can tell you about their line of products. They want an authority on their type of business who can guide them through the buying process. They want someone who can make them feel confident that they are investing in a solution that won’t have to be replaced down the road. And they want a simplified, streamlined process.
But that’s not all. According to Abe Awathi, Senior Manager of Digital Customers at Deloitte, B2B customers have gotten used to the personalized experiences they receive as consumers. They expect the same service when they are buying for their companies. “Three-quarters of business buyers expect companies to anticipate their needs, make relevant suggestions, and deliver the right level of engagement across the buying journey,” said Awathi. “It’s not enough for sellers to stand behind their products. They need to become partners in ensuring success for the individual buyer and the organization.”
All of this shows why consultative selling is important. This sales methodology isn’t just about making a one-time sale, it’s about establishing a long-term relationship with a customer. The consultative selling process starts when you connect with a prospect. Your first step is to take the time to research their company and figure out their pain points. By the time you sit down with them, you already know as much as you can about their problems and the potential solutions. The types of questions refine what you know about their company. Some examples of open-ended, probing questions include, “What’s the biggest challenge you’re having with your social media strategy?” and “When did your team start feeling overwhelmed by the onboarding process?” As they start sharing details about their pain point, the customer begins to look at you as an advisor who can help them navigate the decision-making process.
Whether you’re new to sales or have years of experience under your belt, consultative selling training can help you master these techniques. To understand the impact of sales training on your company, consider the wide range of educational opportunities offered by Winning by Design’s Revenue Academy. Its open courses, private classes, and coaching sessions provide the fundamental skills and processes for all members of your customer-facing team. This includes providing them with consultative selling examples that emphasize the importance of helping customers reach their goals. The leader in accelerating and optimizing recurring revenue for B2B organizations, Winning by Design provides the training that’s integral for modern sales teams.
Consultative Selling Skill
According to a report from Gartner, 77% of companies say that their last major purchase was more complex than they anticipated. Companies have more decision-makers than ever for major purchases. With advances in technology, the number of options they have is increasing exponentially. The amount of information available online continues to grow. No wonder they are frustrated. But you shouldn’t look at this as a problem. It’s an opportunity. Your customers are looking to you to make their purchasing process easier. You do this with consultative selling skills.
What are some examples of consultative selling? Suppose that you are an account executive for a software company that uses a recurring revenue model. If you were using traditional sales techniques, you’d listen to a prospect talk about their challenges and suggest one of your products. But with consultative selling, you’d dig deeper. Before your first meeting, you’ll do research into their company so that you understand what they do, the growth they are experiencing, and where their pain points might be. When you finally sit down together, you’ll ask questions that help to pinpoint what their problems are. You use all of this information you learn to help diagnose the problem and come up with the best solution for them. This is a key consultative selling skill that is a stepping stone to building trust with a client.
Many people ask us how to develop selling skills geared toward today’s customers. Learning professional selling skills requires hands-on experience like the kind offered by Winning by Design. The courses offered through our Revenue Academy are taught by people with years of experience in the field. They guide participants through real-life experiences they have encountered and help them solve issues they are facing at their own company. Even the best consultative selling books can’t offer the same type of experience.
Consultative Selling Questions
As the name implies, consultative selling involves a series of questions. If a prospect’s pain point involves managing their customer base, you’d start out by asking probing questions about their process. Questions can be closed ended or open ended, depending on the information you’re hoping to get from them. Closed-ended questions are used to define a situation. They provide context and help you get to the point faster. An example would be: “Your company has been the leader in your industry for the last five years? Did I get that right?” The answers to closed-ended questions are often just yes or no. They show you’ve done your research and help to earn a customer’s confidence.
Moving ahead, you’ll want to ask customers open-ended questions to pinpoint the challenges they are facing. Some examples of open-ended questions for consultative sales might be: Can you describe how you currently manage customer relationships? What has made this process more difficult for your team? As you start to understand the pain points, ask a few high-impact questions that focus on the urgency of the situation. A few examples of high-impact questions include things like: What’s stopping you from solving this problem? What would the impact be on your business if you could solve this problem right now?
Remember that there are two types of impact: rational and emotional. Rational impact is all about dollars and cents. Does this software help increase revenue? Is it able to cut your costs? Emotional impact isn’t quite as easy to pin down. It’s how the customer feels about the issues that you’ve just identified. Studies show that people tend to make emotional decisions first, then back them up with facts and figures. That means emotional impact can be incredibly important. So make sure some of your sales questions and answers focus on emotional impact, such as: How frustrating is this bottleneck for your team? Will solving this problem help your teams work better together? Together, all these types of questions help you to diagnose your customer’s pain and understand the impact they want to achieve.
Consultative Selling Script
We know that there are a lot of people are doing online searcher for phrases like “sales scripts that close every deal” and “sample script for selling a product.” But the truth is that a sales script that works for one company isn’t necessarily going to work for another. That’s because even if you’re in the same industry or sell the same type of product or have a sales team of roughly the same size, you can’t expect to succeed using the same sales script template. You need to have a sales strategy that is tailored for your company’s needs.
What is a consultative selling script? How do you put one together? Rather than a document your team reads word for word, a sales script is more of a list of talking points that will help your team stay on track during a sales call. It’s easy to get distracted when talking to a new client. A sales script helps everyone on your team — especially those who might be new to the industry — understand how to position themselves as experts who are ready to help customers find the right solution.
When it comes to learning consultative sales, Winning by Design has tools to help B2B companies optimize their process. We dig deep by analyzing the conversations your account reps are having with your customers. We evaluate all their points of contact with customers and make recommendations about what is working and what can be optimized. On top of that, we have classes where your team members can improve their skills and coaching to help them put these skills to work.
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