No doubt the rapid growth of diverse markets offer abundant opportunities for modern salespeople, yet there are a few complex marketplaces that are still tough to crack.

Industries that sell basic goods and services like manufacturing, distribution and heavy equipment fall under this category. Since these markets offer different challenges from usual niches like technology products, apps, or cloud computing services, the routine sales strategies often fall flat on their face.

The sales reps need well-devised plans that work in these laggard markets. This is where you need creativity and finding the common denominator which makes sales reps ready for the tough scenarios.

Kelly Riggs is an author, speaker, and recognized sales leader who’s spent years working in the manufacturing and engineering industry. In an insightful discussion with Jack Kosakowski, Global head of social sales at Creation Agency, Kelly discusses how the new-age innovative strategies could help a modern sales rep in the unconventional industries.

Check out a few game-changing takeaways from the riveting discussion.

#1 – Why one-size-fits-all mentality of social-selling doesn’t work?

The social networks offer some of the greatest platforms for selling to your prospects. Yet, it’s important to know that every industry should use them differently.

You need to discover the repeatable problems of your prospect and customize your strategy to solve them. It all comes down to being creative and framing a different strategy for each platform and prospect.

Creativity in the sales process is something that doesn’t get much space and intellectual discussions within the industry. If you think about it, creativity is, probably the best competitive advantage in the sales process.

An effective salesperson would analyze what is available to them and apply to the market they are in.

#2 – Should salespeople market themselves?

The answer is a resounding ‘YES’. Meaningful personal marketing can never get old. In fact, it is advisable that you move and walk in the circles where your prospects live, breathe and interacts.

You have to build a brand around yourself. A brand that gives you credibility and enables prospects to see you a little bit different from your competition. Staying available, offering value, creating content, increasing your credibility are 4 important components of a successful sales strategy.

#3 – What’s the role of ‘creating meaningful content’ in a sales process?

The best way to get attention to yourself is to create awesome content. The process is quite simple. Just observe the normal sales objections that come your way and you’ll easily find the topics for your next content piece.

That’s a great way to know what your next content should be and what the buyers in your industry need to be informed about.

“Content will create value and value creates credibility and credibility gives you the opportunity to be different from other people – Kelly Riggs”

Creating quality content is the only way you take the lead in a crowded market. When people observe you producing lots of content they look at you as an authority. This is how you drive a spark from day one.

It will also be much easier to lead them to the right conversations. You also get to constantly update your knowledge when you create fresh content. It’s a never-ending learning curve that keeps you ahead of your competitors.

“Great salespeople never stop learning. It’s not just learning about selling. It’s learning about business, it’s learning about the application. It’s learning about the world that your customers live in. So that you can bring value to them – Kelly Riggs”

#4 – Why and how you should focus on key influencers first?

One of the important processes is to research and find out the exact role of the influencer you’re planning to interact with. That influencer could be at any level in the organization.

Their rank and reputation should not affect your own sales process. For instance, it’s not unheard of to hear about big deals that are blown off because of a receptionist.

You should always focus your energy on key influencers that are reading your content and constantly comparing your offers with your competitors. This is usually a young person who works just below the high C-level executive.  Analyze their social presence and use every bit of information you can gather to build a relationship and strengthen it.

#5 – What are the three kinds of salespeople?

“You can basically put salespeople into three buckets. There are professional visitors, there are product pushers, are then there are really effective salespersons – Kelly Riggs”

Let’s get one thing straight. Professional visitors and product pushers belong to the last generation. Ideally, a modern sales rep should train themselves to be an “effective consultant” who is actually looking to solve the problem and help people to create a successful business.

Everything that you do as a consultant is designed to bring value to your clients. You should think about ‘value’ before you think about ‘sales’. The biggest mistake that salespeople make is they are heavy on sales touches but don’t think about the value touches.

#6 – Why most sales training programs are absolutely crap?

Most sales training programs are structured to deliver readymade tips and techniques, while completely missing out on ‘context’. These techniques and tactics are helpful but they can only go so far.

Once you have the right influencer in front of you, you should have the context of what is actually going on in their mind. With forced techniques and tactics you just get better at “being a bad salesperson”. For starters, you need to work on two aspects:

  • Deliver value to your clients in any form
  • Learn the art to ask really great questions

‘Just being a listener’ is not enough and you should learn the art of asking some real value-driven inciting questions.

#7 – How can you prepare for the new sales challenges?

To begin with, know your industry better than anybody else. The knowledge would also position you as an expert making you good at building a conversation. Second, always be available on relevant social platforms because that’s where all prospects will hang out.

For the laggard markets, staying available is a crucial strategy.

A thorough analysis of your current sales strategy and its performance will help you discover where your biggest opportunity lies. Once you figure out the weak points, focus on improving the areas that need the most attention, so you can start making your sales processes far more effective.

If you’re faced with a challenge and want some real-life examples about specific sales situations,  sign up right away! The lively training discussion is available on demand.


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