12 Proven Sales Approaches to Boost Performance

12 Proven Sales Approaches to Boost Performance

The right sales approach can make a big impact on your overall sales performance. 

Sales managers and the sales reps on their teams need to have a solid understanding of their target market in order to choose the sales approach(es) that are most likely to resonate with their buyers. 

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about choosing sales approaches that close deals and drive revenue, including 12 of our favorite sales approaches, how to choose the right one(s) for your team, and how to implement the approach(es) you choose for your team. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is a Sales Approach?

A sales approach is defined as the set of techniques, strategies, and tactics that sales reps use to move sales opportunities forward and close deals. 

Sales approaches are designed to meet the needs of buyers more effectively so that sellers can close deals more efficiently. 

A combination of factors will determine the right sales approach for you and/or your team, including your personality, sales experience, and your buyer’s preferences. 

Each sales approach has its own benefits and drawbacks and can offer different strengths to your sales process depending on your team’s makeup and your market’s needs. 

databaseWhich approach is working?Eliminate the guesswork with real-time insights, engagement data, and outcomes

12 Types of Sales Approaches

Here are 12 of the most effective sales approaches for sales managers and sales teams to consider.  sales approaches

1. Consultative Selling

Consultative selling is a customer-focused B2B sales approach that positions sales reps as trusted advisors in the sales process that can provide customized solutions. sales approach: consultative sellingThis approach centers around trusting buyer-seller relationships that lead to a deep understanding of customer pain points and customized solutions tailored around solving them. consultative sales processConsultative selling can be very effective in generating repeat sales, cross-sells, and upsells

Consultative selling can take a longer time to master and implement than some of the others on our list, but it’s a very effective approach for many buyers and target markets. 

2. Relationship Selling

Relationship selling is similar to consultative sales in that both approaches focus heavily on building long-term relationships with buyers. sales approach: relationship sellingSales teams that master how and when to implement relationship selling enjoy many benefits.

relationship selling benefits

One easy way to start building relationship selling into your sales process is by implementing regular check-ins with clients. This helps build trust and loyalty.

In relationship selling, the relationship between buyer and seller is more important than the sale itself. 

3. Solution Selling

The focus of solution selling is slightly different than others we’ve covered so far. 

Rather than centering around the relationship, a Solution Selling approach prioritizes finding a bespoke, comprehensive solution that’s customized to the client’s unique needs. sales approach: solution sellingSolution selling is all about solving customer problems as completely as possible and letting the customer’s pain points, challenges, and needs steer the sales process. 

The solution-selling process generally follows the same six-step framework: prospect, qualify, discover, add value, present, and close.  solution selling process

4. Social Selling

Social selling is a sales approach in which marketing and sales teams leverage their social media platforms for sales purposes. sales approach: social sellingThis approach is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason.

The numbers paint a bleak picture:  social selling statisticsSocial selling offers teams a great opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership and to interact with buyers in a more personalized and slightly less formal way. 

And with over 1 billion users on LinkedIn (and growing), social selling is an easy way to make new connections and generate new leads. 

5. Value-Based Selling

Value selling is a sales approach that emphasizes an offer’s value proposition. sales approach: value-based sellingSales reps who want to master this approach need to learn how to communicate their value proposition online, in person, and within phone sales conversations

Value-selling sales reps also need to understand how to create a desire for their product based on its value. 

In a value selling approach, sales reps should be ready to hit pause on a sales opportunity if the buyer isn’t demonstrating that they’re fully ready to commit. 

6. Transactional Selling

Transaction selling is not a typical sales approach in B2B sales. This approach involves quick, one-time sales, which are often found in settings like retail, car dealerships, etc. 

consultative selling vs. transactional sellingTransactional selling examples include: 

  • Selling items like washing machines and refrigerators (consumers typically don’t buy more than one, and when they do, there’s a long time span between purchases)
  • Limited-time membership offers
  • Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales

Still, some parts of a transactional approach can be beneficial, even for B2B sales. You might, for example, offer a limited-time discount to encourage a fast, one-time purchase. 

7. Soft Selling

A soft selling sales approach is one in which the sales rep specifically avoids pressuring the buyer into considering a purchase. 

Sales reps practicing soft selling are encouraged to answer questions, make recommendations, and further educate buyers, but they shouldn’t offer their opinions or try to entice them to buy. sales approach: soft sellingSoft selling is subtle and, like other sales approaches in our list, focuses heavily on trusting buyer-seller relationships. 

8. Hard Selling

Hard selling is the opposite of soft selling and includes a considerable amount of pressure from the salesperson. 

This sales approach is often used when sellers want the customer to buy their product/service immediately.  sales approach: hard sellingEffective hard selling requires tact and discretion. That being said, even when reps are skillful in how they apply pressure on the sale, hard selling is a clearly more direct approach than soft selling.

Some buyers feel that hard selling is too aggressive, but there are certain customer segments and/or sales scenarios in which this approach may be appropriate. Limited-time discounts, for example, can be a persuasive hard-selling tactic that creates urgency and encourages buyers to purchase immediately. 

9. Guru Approach

The Guru Approach relies on a sales rep’s ability to connect more with buyers’ logic than their emotions. 

With the Guru Approach, sales reps let the product do the talking for itself. 

This is a particularly effective sales approach for target markets that do a lot of their own research or for highly technical products. The buyer personas who respond to this approach are typically calm and rational and may actually have an adverse reaction to emotional sales tactics.

Sales reps who want to become successful with the Guru Approach should practice sharing their expertise and need to be able to demonstrate influential thought leadership in their industry. 

Sales teams can adopt strategies like hosting webinars or workshops for prospects and customers, as these offer great opportunities to showcase industry knowledge and establish credibility. 

10. SNAP Selling

SNAP Selling (which stands for Simplicity, I(N)valuable, Alignment, and Priority) helps sales reps keep the customer’s needs at the forefront throughout the entire sales process. 

Many reps use this sales approach when they know their buyer is busy and they need to be efficient.  sales approach: SNAP sellingIn other words, SNAP helps sellers connect with buyers efficiently and effectively. 

In a SNAP Selling approach, the sales rep treats the buyer as an equal, emphasizing respect for their time and expertise. They share a mutual goal of solving the buyer’s problem as efficiently as possible. 

11. Target Account Selling

Target account selling is a B2B sales approach that encourages sales reps to focus their efforts on high-potential, high-value accounts. 

This approach requires sales teams to do extensive research on best-fit prospects before they initiate outreach. 

Sales teams can identify well-qualified accounts by creating and assessing them against ideal customer profiles (sales ICPs) and buyer persona profiles. sales approach: target account selling - ideal customer profile and buyer personaSales automation platforms can greatly benefit target account selling. These tools can help teams quickly identify teams that match their demographic, firmographic, and technographic criteria. 

A target account sales approach is all about prioritizing the quality of your prospects over their quantity. 

12. MEDDIC Selling

MEDDIC is another popular acronym when it comes to sales approaches; this one stands for: Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, and Champion. sales approach: MEDDICThe MEDDIC sales approach helps sales teams pinpoint which prospects are worth their time, energy, and resources. 

This is a particularly effective approach for businesses that sell higher-cost products. 

The framework helps sales reps first determine which prospects meet the criteria for purchasing, and then helps them navigate how to address their pain points effectively. 

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How to Choose the Right Sales Approach

There are a variety of factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right sales approach, including your team’s skills, the industry you sell to, the preferences and needs of your target market, and the specifics of your product/service. 

Above all, the sales approach you choose absolutely must meet the needs and preferences of your target buyer. 

The sales rep’s job within any approach they choose is to help the prospect understand their issue, and come to an understanding about how to solve it. 

In reality, most sales teams choose a mix-and-match approach when it comes to sales approaches. Some work better than others for certain reps, buyers, products, and stages of the sales process — flexibility is key. 

How to Implement Sales Approaches

The key to implementing new sales approaches is to be flexible. It’s perfectly okay to experiment with different approaches, strategies, and tactics until you find the specific components that work best for your team and your target audience. 

Yesware can help sales teams track and monitor the success of their various sales approaches and how well they’re resonating with prospects. 

how to implement sales approaches: YeswareEffective sales training and sales coaching can also make a big difference when it comes to the success of implementing new sales approaches. 

Above all, make sure the sales approach(es) you choose to use with your target market is tailored to meet their needs — not those that fit your team or your product best. 

The more that sales leaders can communicate confidence in their suggested approaches, the more the entire team will be on board. 

Conclusion

The right sales approach(es) can make a big difference in a small business’s sales performance and overall success. 

The most successful sales approaches are ones that have been implemented, tracked, and tested over time to meet buyers’ needs as fully as possible. 

Yesware helps users understand which content and sales approaches are most effective with their target market. Try for free today.

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