RAIN Group Sales Blog

Your source for sales advice, tips, research, and insights to unleash sales potential.
Virtual Consultative Selling: 8 Things Sellers Must Do
Virtual Consultative Selling: 8 Things Sellers Must Do

Selling virtually is a challenge for even the best sellers.

You have to change the way you sell and use different technologies to maximize your success. While many of the principles of consultative selling remain the same (i.e., you have to build rapport, uncover needs, inspire with new ideas, build an impact case, etc.), how you go about doing these in a virtual environment is drastically different.

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How to Write a Proposal
How to Write a Proposal

"Can you send me a proposal?"

Sellers love to hear these six words from buyers. Once you submit a proposal, you can move forward to the win.

While a good proposal summarizes what you've already discussed and agreed to, a proposal is, at its core, a persuasive document that communicates to buyers why they should buy, and why they should buy from you.

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7 Questions to Uncover Impact and ROI
7 Questions to Uncover Impact and ROI

Show them the impact.

Make a strong ROI case.

Sell the value.

Sales pros tout the benefits of making a strong ROI (return on investment) case all the time. Yet we see sellers time and again who don't know how to calculate and communicate the impact of their solutions.

They focus on features in their conversations and highlight the benefits, but don't convey what it means for each individual buyer and the difference it can make for them—financially, personally, and emotionally.

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Asking Questions in Sales - What You Need to Know
Asking Questions in Sales - What You Need to Know

This RAIN Group Article was originally published on the InsideSales Blog.

Asking incisive sales questions is essential for success.

The questions you ask help you uncover buyer needs and desires, connect with buyers, and demonstrate your expertise.

By asking questions, you can discover the buyer's buying process, learn about the key decision makers involved, and qualify the opportunity. Questions allow you to ensure that you and the buyer are on the same page.

A lot of sellers do too much talking and presenting, and when they do ask the buyer questions, it's the same old "What keeps you up at night?" clichés.

Asking your buyer the right questions not only provides you with a treasure trove of important information, but it can also differentiate you from the sea of sellers vying for the buyer's attention.

To help you make the most out of your meetings, we've outlined different types of questions you can ask and why they're important to use in your sales conversations.

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5 Insurance Sales Secrets for Millennial Agents
5 Insurance Sales Secrets for Millennial Agents

This article was first published on PropertyCasualty360.com and is republished here with permission. All rights reserved.

The way millennials purchase insurance is worlds apart from the approach taken by baby boomers.

A Gallup Panel Study revealed that millennials are more than twice as likely to buy insurance online, and are the least likely to be engaged with insurers.

So what happens when millennials, the largest generation in the U.S., are the ones now selling insurance? How do you sell to baby boomers who don't buy and think the same way you do?

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[Infographic] The Sales Leaders' Guide to B2B Sales Growth in 2019
[Infographic] The Sales Leaders' Guide to B2B Sales Growth in 2019

Seventy-five percent of purchases are strategic, meaning the buyer is making an investment and not required to buy.

Yet only 14% of buyers discover these strategic opportunities from sellers.

If you want to grow your sales in 2019, the opportunities are out there and very few sellers are taking advantage.

How can you build a team that closes this gap?

In this infographic, we share the biggest opportunities—according to our research from both buyers and sellers—for B2B sales growth in the year ahead.

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3 Steps to Communicating Your Value by Painting a New Reality Picture
3 Steps to Communicating Your Value by Painting a New Reality Picture

One of the greatest difficulties in sales is helping buyers understand what outcomes they will achieve when they work with you.

Creating a picture of what outcomes are possible with the solution you present is imperative for two reasons:

  1. Buyers need to be convinced of the positive outcome—and that you can achieve it—or they likely will not purchase.
  2. If your buyer doesn't fully understand what you're able to do for them, they can't communicate it to the rest of the influencers in their organization and your sale may get stuck in endless internal discussions.

Helping buyers to understand the value of the solutions you provide is an exercise in teaching and learning. Buyers need to understand what will be different for them and their organization if they purchase from you versus not doing it at all or buying from a competitor.

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9 Tips for Success in Financial Services Sales
9 Tips for Success in Financial Services Sales

Written by: Mike Schultz and Gord Smith

When it comes to selling financial services, professionals are usually faced with three common challenges:

  • Creating new conversations with potential clients
  • Leading conversations and winning business against stiff competition
  • Maximizing business with current clients

The good news is that you can overcome these hurdles. There are specific things you can do in each of these areas to be more successful. 

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9 Keys to B2B Sales Success
9 Keys to B2B Sales Success

There are a lot of opinions on what to do to drive sales success. I Googled the topic and found over 60 distinct pieces of advice for what to do and not to do, but most of the advice was, indeed, just opinions. Any references to research or proven success was tangential at best.

You deserve better!

Based on our work with B2B sales teams around the globe, as well as data from the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research, where we relentlessly study what the top sellers do and what buyers are looking for, we have gleaned 9 keys to achieving success in today's B2B sales environment.

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6 Ways Selling is Changing
6 Ways Selling is Changing

Selling like it's 1987 (or even 2007) doesn't work like it used to. The way buyers and sellers interact—and will interact—is changing significantly.

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What is Consultative Selling?
What is Consultative Selling?

Since Mack Hanan coined the term in 1970, consultative selling has been the most widely accepted—and most pursued—sales approach. The approach is characterized as understanding buyer needs and positioning offerings as solutions to problems.

While this has been the go-to approach for many sellers, massive changes in buying technology and the vast amount of information on the internet is significantly changing how buyers buy at an unprecedented pace.

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Advanced Consultative Selling: Selling in the Blue Ocean
Advanced Consultative Selling: Selling in the Blue Ocean

For the last 50 or so years, consultative selling has been the go-to approach for most sellers.

In traditional consultative selling, the buyer states a need and the seller positions their offerings as solutions to problems. This used to be enough to win the sale. But today’s buyers often perceive sellers and their capabilities to be somewhat interchangeable.1 This leaves sellers stuck in a capabilities battle, fighting price pressure.

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[New White Paper] The Future of Consultative Selling
[New White Paper] The Future of Consultative Selling

Since the term was coined in 1970, consultative selling has been the most widely accepted—and pursued—sales approach. For the following forty years, advice for how to sell had mostly been a variation on the consultative selling theme.

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The Secret to Selling Professional Services
The Secret to Selling Professional Services

Selling.

What images come to mind when you see this word? Close your eyes and say the word out loud.

How does it make you feel?

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6 Business Development Tips for Professional Services
6 Business Development Tips for Professional Services

When it comes to business development for professional services, one of the biggest challenges professionals face is finding time to do it all. After all, you don't sell full-time. Your work, whether it's consulting, accounting, IT, financial services, or engineering, is what you do full-time. And that makes it very difficult to find time to create and develop the relationships necessary to bring in new business.

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How Consultative Sales Methods Need to Change
How Consultative Sales Methods Need to Change

Call it what you like: solution sales, consultative sales, consultative selling—at the core of each of these concepts is diagnosing and connecting the "pain" of the buyer with the products, services, and overall capabilities of the seller as "solutions."

Pain + Diagnosis + Offerings as "Solution" = WIN!

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On Relationships, Solutions, and Challengers
On Relationships, Solutions, and Challengers

Having spent two decades in the sales training and consulting world, I get asked all the time what I think about this or that sales approach or book. When I do, it tends to make for productive discussion and learning. Importantly, it helps people decide what’s right for them when it comes to selling.

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