Channel Best Practices: 5 Sales Tactics That Close More Deals
Customers today expect a much higher level of personalization and service than before. This means that the traditional funnels and channel sales processes need a second look.
In Big Data, Analytics, and the Future of Marketing & Sales, partners at McKinsey reveal that personalizing the customer experience can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and lift sales 10% or more.
This article will introduce you to 5 sales tactics that will help you increase channel sales.
- TWEAK PRESENTATIONS TO THE NEEDS OF YOUR CUSTOMERS
The most powerful word in sales and marketing is the word “YOU,” as in “you, the customer.” The only reason your prospects are interested in what you have to offer is that they believe that with your product or service they will accomplish their goals faster and more efficiently. Therefore, your entire sales process should be positioned to solve the specific needs of your customers.
Smart companies figure out ways how to make their products about the customer even when the products are extremely sophisticated.
For example, take a look at this screenshot from Apple’s website:
“Anything you can do, you can do better” is a brilliant headline that is not about the iPad, but about the customer. The following page from Apple’s website is a page about iOS 10. Notice how many times the word “you, ” and its variations appear here, from the copy on the page to the picture of the iPad on the right.
This is how you want your sales presentations to look and feel, too. Your channel sales materials should be enabling your prospects and customers to envision how their users will benefit from your solutions and what they will get from using your products or services. A product pitch without full discovery on what makes your prospect tick keeps them up at night or delights them is a missed opportunity to deliver on their expectations.
Don’t forget this stat: 89% of business buyers agree they expect companies to understand their business needs and expectations.
2.PROVIDE TECHNICAL DEMONSTRATIONS
Don’t be afraid to get into the details. During the sales process, many sales teams focus on the features of their products. In most cases, your prospects have no doubts that your software or hardware has the features you claim it does. However, they are concerned with the finer details- ease of use, updates, and implementation costs. They want to know how much time and money they will need to spend on training and how steep the learning curve will be. For this reason, you want to have not just sales presentations, but also technical demonstrations.
One of the best sales tools you can have is a video library that shows step- by- step, how users can accomplish various tasks in your products. This is very different from providing a static reference manual. A manual is an A-Z about a product. A library is typically positioned and organized in a way that allows prospects to accomplish specific tasks and find specific content.
Fundamentally, you want to make the library as simple as possible. Allow your customers to type in a question or a keyword, quickly get an answer and be able to implement the information easily, not just learn what your product can or can’t do.
Going back to our examples from Apple, Genius Bar and its excellent support is one of the reasons Apple customers are so loyal. Consider offering free workshops, which fundamentally are technical demonstrations and training. Here’s an example of a schedule for Apple events in New York City:
3. HAVE DISCOVERY SESSIONS
A discovery session can be a really powerful sales tool because during your conversational Q&A session you can learn more about the needs and problems of a prospect and present your solution in a way that resonates.
Let’s use the example of a medical diagnosis. The process starts with diagnostics, during which a patient talks about his or her specific issues, concerns, goals and pain points. A doctor writes a prescription only after a diagnostic is complete. Every prescription is individually tailored to the patient.
Using discovery sessions in selling is a way for channel partners to replicate this highly-effective process. Learn more about your prospects individually, ask specific questions, present your solution in a way that is individually tailored, tied to their goals and your conversion rates will go up significantly.
4. TAILOR YOUR SALES MATERIALS BY INDUSTRY
Every industry has its own issues, pain points and language. One of the best things you can do to increase your sales conversions is to tailor your product messaging and services to specific industries.
Salesforce is a perfect example of a company that is doing this right. Here is one of the menus on the Salesforce website homepage:
You can see solutions separated by need, role, business type and industry. When you click on any of the industries, you see industry-specific language and descriptions tailored to that industry. Here’s how Salesforce talks to prospects from the manufacturing industry:
5. FOLLOW UP
If you are prospecting large clients or have a complex and expensive product, you most likely are accustomed to seeing a longer sales cycle. For a purchasing decision to occur, three things need to happen simultaneously:
1. A prospect and his/her team of stakeholders has a need or a want
2. A prospect has a reason to buy now
3. A prospect has sufficient funds
Think about anything you’ve bought in the past and you will realize that all three requirements were at play no matter what you were buying. You have no control over budgets or the business needs of your prospects. As a sales professional, you can only influence factor #2, giving your prospects and customers reasons to buy now.
One of your leads may have a need and reasons to buy but not have sufficient funds at the moment. Your best option a scenario like this is to have a strong follow-up process.
“80% of sales require at least five follow-ups.”
Make sure that you touch base regularly using all of the tools at your disposal- social, email, newsletters, invitations webinars and events, and share valuable marketing materials like case studies and success stories.
For more tips and expert advice on scaling your channel for success, click here to learn about our partner training and channel enablement services.
CGS’s channel partner program is centered on five services:
We have the ability to drive revenue by identifying partners who align with each vendor’s core markets and solutions, establishing relevant training, accelerating sales ramp-up time with the right mix of sales aids and messaging, and providing ongoing first-, second- and third-level support based on vendor requirements.
We have over 30 years of experience recruiting and supporting over 45,000 partners for IT vendors, including Red Hat, Citrix and IBM. For more details on our industry-recognized approach to channel enablement, contact us at [email protected]