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Posted by: Matthew Cook

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Have you noticed your sales numbers are slipping the wrong way down the chart? Month after month, you’re posting negatives. This is despite an increase in your sales efforts or an expansion of the sales team. You know everyone’s working hard, so what’s happening here?

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You have to solve the problem. Now you’re left wondering, how do you increase sales?

There are many ways to increase sales, from adopting new selling techniques to motivating your sales team more effectively. Providing the right training is key. Having the right content to support the team is another cornerstone, as is generating and qualifying leads.

There’s a common culprit behind plummeting sales, however, and there’s one way to fix it. If your sales are dropping, chances are you’re still using outdated techniques. It’s time to adapt to the new way people buy.


You’re Trapped in a Time Warp

Think about the techniques you encourage your sales team to use. Are you still asking them to cold call prospects? You might put your weight behind old-school mass marketing techniques, focusing on wide broadcast activities like TV ads and glossy pages in magazines. You don’t put much stock in things like SEO and search engine marketing. You don’t know what social selling or personal branding are.

If this sounds like you, you’ve just discovered the #1 reason your sales are still dropping. Your techniques are outdated. Your leads and clients have moved on past these techniques, and you need to move on as well.


What Does the Modern Buyer Want?

Why don’t older techniques work like they once did? The answer is that buyers have changed. Today’s buyer is more savvy and skeptical than ever before. They’re more likely to start researching your company and product than they are to look at your ad.

Modern buyers tend to seek out information on their own. They’re usually motivated to do so by an issue they feel needs to be solved. In turn, they don’t pay much attention to wide-broadcast ads, emails from your reps, or cold calls. They prefer a much more interactive approach.

Modern buyers are often halfway through the buying cycle before they even contact a salesperson. They’re informed, and they’re ready to make decisions for themselves.


Adjusting to the New Buyer

How can you adjust to this new generation of buyers? The first step is to understand the rep’s role in the process.

Buyers will turn to your sales people as consultants and advisors. They look to your reps to provide information and insights. They want your team to support them as they make their decision. They’re much less interested in a pitch. They’re also interested in building a relationship with your brand. When they have a question, they want to know you’ll be there for them to turn to.


Think Relationships and Information

Once you understand the role the modern buyer wants your reps to play, you can begin adjusting your company’s sales tactics to support them. Instead of focusing on pitches, think about providing interesting and useful information through content and interesting web links.

You should also think about relationships. When your reps follow up, they might be following up in hopes of getting a sale, but they should think about following up for the sake of following up. If your reps haven’t heard from someone in a while, they should reach out to ask them if they have questions.

Staying in touch to share information and updates will help the buyer learn to trust your reps. Your sales people are not there to pitch to them. They’re there to help prospects resolve the issues they’re encountering.

This focus on relationships will help your reps both attract and retain customers over time. This, in turn, can help you increase sales.


Implement Sales Enablement for Better Sales

Adapting to the new buyer requires a shift in mindset. Sales enablement and other training initiatives can help your salespeople make this adjustment. If you’re not sure how to get started, just talk to the experts.

Increasing sales is a goal well within your reach.


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