Proactive sales techniques: Your best sellers are prescribing solutions

Ashley Sava

March 12, 2020

Today’s top sellers help customers decide not just what to buy but how. In order to drive conversion upward, sales teams must implement proactive sales techniques. They must sell solutions, not products.

While the modern buyer is more informed and savvy than ever before, information overload along with too many options can confuse customers to the point of slowing down or even stopping their purchasing journey. While it’s nice to provide customers with as much knowledge as possible to ensure they’re making an informed decision, ease of sale is directly correlated to customer loyalty. So what’s a sales professional to do?

The key is to prescribe solutions. In other words, walk your potential customers through the decision-making process all the way through the purchase decision.

The benefits of a prescriptive, proactive sales approach

According to a study by Gartner, a prescriptive approach increases purchase ease by 86 percent. Why does using this proactive sales technique make such a big difference?

  1. Prescriptive selling simplifies purchase decisions for customers by breaking the process into clear steps. This prevents analysis paralysis from too many choices.
  2. A prescriptive selling approach builds credibility by providing evidence-based recommendations tailored to the customer's needs. This establishes trust.
  3. Prescriptive selling highlights how your product or service uniquely solves the customer's problem. This gives you a competitive edge.
  4. Prescriptive selling emphasizes the ease of implementation. This reduces purchase anxiety and regret.

How to prescribe solutions like a pro

Follow these best practices to succeed with your prescriptive, proactive sales techniques:

  • Diagnose first. Ask probing questions to fully understand the customer's needs and pain points.
  • Back recommendations with insights. Reference stats and case studies with similar clients to justify your solution.
  • Lead with the problem, not your product. Focus on resolving their issues, not promoting features.
  • Anticipate doubts. Address common concerns proactively to eliminate obstacles.
  • Simplify complexity. Break implementation down into clear, easy steps.
  • Emphasize unique fit. Show how you are distinctly positioned to solve their challenges.

Proactive sales techniques: What do they sound like?

A prescription might sound something like this: “One of the things we’ve found while working with customers like you is that some people will be more resistant to change, and they’ll probably try and recruit others to join them in their resistance. When this happens, things tend to escalate quickly. You’ll want to introduce the concept across all departments sooner rather than later. After bringing it up, they will probably have these common doubts. Here’s how to address those.” 

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Why proactive sales techniques like prescription matter

When done correctly, using proactive sales techniques increases purchase ease and decreases the probability of purchase regret. Suppliers that make buying easy are 62 percent more likely than other suppliers to win a high-quality sale.

When salespeople are prescriptive, customers can distinguish them from the competition. Learning to anticipate and eliminate obstacles for buyers can make the difference between a deal won and a deal lost. Salespeople who are able to use insights to move customers toward a purchase that addresses their business problems will fare well in today’s competitive market.

How to strengthen your agents' prescriptive selling skills

Are some agents naturally better at proactive sales techniques than others? Maybe, but that doesn't mean prescriptive selling is an innate skill. It can be taught, and one of the best ways to coach your agents is to review your team's performance with conversation analytics.

Tethr analyzes sales conversations and provides insights as to what drives your sales conversions and customer loyalty. We even have a SalesRx dashboard that presents all these insights--at the team and agent level--in an easy-to-digest format. You can uncover things like your most common customer objections, most successful rebuttals, most redeemed offers, and sales agent behaviors with the biggest impact on conversion rates. You can also see what your best agents are doing and use those insights to coach lower-performing agents.

By integrating conversation analytics with your sales data, you can increase the effectiveness of your sales strategy and grow your revenue. 

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