One of the most important lessons you learn in business development is the fact that you must be prepared to be a learner for life, and this week I did some learning of my own and I am happy to share 5 key lessons from HubSpot sales. The very essence of sales requires you to forever learn and improvise, and this is the mindset that CEO’s and founders have to achieve success and scale their business.
I recently began my sales journey as a Business Development Representative with Venture Accelerator Partners, and we use HubSpot as the primary tool for managing sales cycles, and these are the 5 key lessons from HubSpot sales.
1.The Importance of Active Listening
An industry mentor from Sales Lab previously shared that listening can help you uncover more about a prospect than pitching can, and the HubSpot inbound sales course truly helped me understand that in an age where internet has bridged the gap in information asymmetry, the role of a salesperson has fundamentally changed. It is no longer anchored around that of an information provider, but rather of a guide and counsellor amidst the influx of information available.
Pete Caputa highlights the 4-step process which includes truly listening to the prospect to understand which fosters trust and connection between a salesperson and the prospect because you’re not waiting for cues that could be a potential floodgate for your pitch or your product’s USP. This form of active listening, which blends empathy and authenticity is not only rare to find, but one that prospects can be attracted to, and therefore help your business grow.
2. BANT Won’t Cut It
BANT (budget, authority, need for the product, and purchase timeline) was the qualification framework introduced in the sales culture long ago by IBM. However, in B2B sales, this is a now-defunct mechanism because businesses usually have the prerequisite knowledge for growing through Google and social media. Hence, important opportunities to connect and grow may be missed.
HubSpot suggests the use of another, more relevant framework- GPCTBA/C&I- Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline; Budget and Authority; Negative Consequences and Positive Implications. This guides salespeople to actively listen and uncover a prospect’s challenges. It establishes the feedback mechanism where every stage is a necessary precursor to the next.
For instance, you can’t understand a client’s challenges without knowing what their perceived goals and the plans are, which makes the process effective and agile.
3. Personalize Your Sales Presentations
As salespeople, we tend to forget that prospects want to know how our products and services are beneficial to their business and situation. For instance, one of the biggest deal breakers is when one begins the presentation by pitching the product or service and losing the opportunity to build rapport through reconstructing the prospect’s situation.
Focus on being the advisor and more than just a mediator in the sale, share how your product or solution can solve a problem that they have. Personalize your presentation to be on the prospect’s side because as salespeople know well enough, it’s all about the relationships you build.
4. Get Your Trial Close Questions Right
This is one salespeople often get wrong, trial close is not an attempt to close- it’s beginning the end to the discovery or exploration call. It’s ensuring that both you and prospect are equally engaged in the process of finding a solution. It’s about uncovering objections and dealing with them honestly.
5. Use CRM for Organizing Your Sales
A salesperson’s strategy at any given moment is a multi-pronged and multifaceted one, and it can be easy to get lost in the juggernaut of managing all ends. While it’s customary for almost all businesses to use a CRM to manage their sales, it’s important for the players involved to understand the pivoting role the tool plays in centralizing the entire sales process.
These lessons can help you and your team change your sales process, and build it in a way that propels your team toward success. If you are looking for more ways to grow your business, connect with us.