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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistTue, Jan 3, 2017 5 min read

5 Signs Your Sales Team Needs to Update Its Selling Techniques

{}When no motivation speeches, contests, or incentives work to boost sales performance, it may be time to consider that your sales people need to update their selling techniques. Sales is an ever-changing, never-stagnant industry, and sales people need to continuously change and adapt in order to stay relevant and continue to achieve success.

Buyer behaviours have changed in recent years, and your sales team’s selling techniques must change as well. Not sure if the selling techniques and strategies that your sales team uses are out of date? Look for these signs.

1. They’re Cold Calling

If your sales people are still relying on cold calling to make most—or all—of their sales, it’s a telltale sign that your sales people need to update their selling techniques. Cold calling may have been effective in the past, but it isn’t anymore. And there a wealth of sales strategies that work better, are more in tune with today’s buyers, and will improve your profits.

Cold calling doesn’t have a place in the modern sales process. Most buyers refuse to buy from a cold call, no matter the circumstances. And the majority of the time, your sales people will only waste time and resources as their calls get ignored, they get sent directly to voicemail, or they get hung up on.

Your sales people need to switch their focus on inbound sales strategies instead, such as creating warm leads, social selling, and thought leadership.

2. They Have Poor Engagement Rates

Successful selling in today’s sales environment requires engagement and connection. If your sales reps are sending out cold emails in an attempt to sell, they likely have a poor engagement rate. The emails are ignored or quickly deleted because the buyers don’t know who they are.

Buyers will be more likely to engage if they are familiar with your sales people, or at least your company, before they are contacted. Thus, sales people need to update their selling techniques to prioritize visibility, thought leadership, and the creation of rapport and bonds with prospects—before trying to sell. Using social selling to identify prospects online, engage with them, and add value before reaching out will go a long way to increasing engagement and response rates.

3. They’re Aggressive or Manipulative

Some persuasion sales tactics can help move a sale along. But there’s no place for aggression or manipulation in today’s sales environment. Buyers are inherently distrusting of sales people. If your sales people rely on pressure, lies, or hostility in their selling, they’ll only push wary buyers further away.

To make more sales, your team needs to prioritize trust building, credibility building, and relationship building instead. This will allow them to abolish scummy sales people stereotypes that buyers hold onto and will help them get the sale.

4. They’re Not Following Up

If your sales people believe that their jobs are done after the sale is complete, it’s a sure sign that they need to update their selling techniques. There are vast opportunities to delight customers after the sale, and your reps should be taking advantage of them all. By following up post-sale and continuing to nurture relationships with customers, your sales people can enhance their reputations, generate word-of-mouth marketing, generate more revenue through upselling, and gain referrals along the way.

5. They’re Focused on Themselves, the Sale, or the Product

Sales people whose selling techniques revolve around the sale, instead of the customer, are in serious need of an update. These types of strategies don’t work, and your sales team will continue to lose out on sales opportunities if they don’t switch their focus to the buyer. That’s because people don’t want to be sold to and they know when all your reps care about is making the sale. Instead, your reps should be focused solely on increasing their knowledge and thought leadership, on adding value, on identifying buyer challenges and pain points, and on meeting customers’ needs.


Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.