20 Proven Sales Tactics That You Should Know [2022]

Dave Cherrie
November 7, 2022

Is your team still using the same old tired sales tactics and strategies from the 1990s — or older? It’s time for a refresh.

Updating your sales tactics for today’s potential clients helps your sales reps build trust and close deals. Modernizing your sales strategy empowers your sales team to better engage with existing clients as well. Plus, by implementing new tactics into your sales training, you’ll ensure that your team is aware of and using ethical selling strategies.

Use these 20 sales tactics to get a head start on updating your strategy and establish trust with your potential and existing customers.

20 proven sales tactics that work

1. Get curious and ask questions

Questions not only help you uncover a potential client’s needs, but they also show you genuinely care. 

All questions should be open-ended if possible, and each one should help your sales rep get to know the client better. Some example questions include:

  • Can you tell me about your business?
  • What’s the business problem you’re trying to solve?
  • What do we need to cover today to make this call worth your time?
  • What do you think about our product so far?
  • What’s preventing you from meeting your goals?
  • How much time do you currently spend doing X?

2. Ask for customer referrals

Customer referrals can build your brand awareness quickly, and as a bonus, referrals can act as an automatic lead qualifier. 

Because the value of referrals is so great, you shouldn’t leave it up to chance. Instead, build a referral program into your sales strategy, and coach your team on how to ask for a referral. Some tips for getting a “Yes!” in response to asking for a referral include:

  1. Ask clients who are willing to promote your brand.
  2. Send your request when it’s most convenient for the client.
  3. Ask for a referral when clients are happy.
  4. Personalize the ask.
  5. Only ask after you’ve shown your value.
  6. Use email templates to nail the tone.

3. Listen to what clients say (and don’t say)

Listening is an art unto itself, and it takes practice to actively listen to what a client is saying. And sometimes, what’s left unsaid can be more revealing than what’s verbalized.

If you haven’t already, enroll your sales reps in active listening training and coach them on how to listen for client pain points and needs. Key tips for active listening include:

  • Restating what was said to clarify
  • Summarizing
  • Using verbal and nonverbal encouragement to keep them talking
  • Validation
  • Pausing or remaining silent

4. Acknowledge and talk about your competition

Let’s talk about your competition. If this topic makes your sales reps squirm, that’s understandable. But sales leaders should also encourage their teams to acknowledge and talk about the competition in a polite manner.

After all, your clients are likely to bring them up and ask how your product or service can provide more benefit than competitors. Be ready with an answer. 

5. Keep your sales team motivated

Gartner’s recent finding that 89% of sales reps feel burned out at work is shocking. If you suspect your sales team is bogged down and less than inspired, it’s time to take a step back and assess how you can re-engage your reps.

Some potential ways to improve employee engagement include:

  1. Ask your employees about the tasks and environments contributing to their burnout.
  2. Empower your sales team to make decisions.
  3. Provide clear feedback — both positive and negative.
  4. Create opportunities for growth through training sessions and promotions.
  5. Switch things up by gamifying the sales experience.

6. Learn how to tell a story

Storytelling is a compelling factor in some of the most successful sales strategies. Not only do stories keep your sales pitch conversational, but they also help address potential client objections.

Nancy Duarte, CEO of the Duarte design firm and a well-known presentation designer, distills successful storytelling strategies for using data to bring decision-makers on board. Among her tips:

  1. Simplify the data by using visuals.
  2. Address at least one of the six metrics used to measure executives’ performance (revenue, costs, market share, time to market, retention, and risk).
  3. Avoid going off on tangents — decision-makers are busy.
  4. Trim down the amount of data you share and make sure it’s what the decision-maker needs to know.
  5. Be intentional about what the verbs you use are asking others to do, such as change, continue, or finish.

7. Keep building relationships even after you close

Good sales reps build relationships while they work to close a deal. Great sales reps keep building on those relationships even after they close.

By routinely reaching out, you establish trust and show clients you’ve bought in to their success. Reaching out after a deal closes is also an easy way to spot and address new issues as they arise for your customer — these could reveal a chance to upsell your client or build your brand’s reputation.

A quality CRM software, like Salesforce, Zoho, or Pipedrive, can help your team continue to build relationships with clients after the fact. Many of these automate relationship-focused tasks like lead nurturing, customer service, client interactions, and even data entry.

Tip: Did you know you can integrate Arcade’s sales gamification platform with Salesforce, Slack, and other tools?

8. Speak clearly and use a script

If your sales team still uses cold calls to find and qualify new leads, make sure they have a sales script on hand that helps them qualify a prospect.

Preparation is also key since a script won’t necessarily personalize a call. Sales reps should know whether a prospect matches your company’s definition of an ideal customer, and spotting common interests can help break the ice and warm up the call.

9. Mirror your client

Mirroring is nonverbal behavior that copies the gestures, posture, and tone of voice of another person while you communicate with them. It’s a natural way to express friendliness and interest. 

Salespeople can use mirroring to create a positive experience for their clients. Even if you’re on the phone, you can use mirroring to match a customer’s tone of voice, language, and energy level. This, in turn, can benefit your relationship with clients and prospects.

10. Follow through on promises

If your sales rep makes a promise to a client, make sure they follow through. Nothing will destroy trust between your company and a client faster than unfulfilled agreements.

Of course, sometimes issues arise that can’t be avoided. If a delay or problem pops up that affects your commitment to a client, let them know as far ahead of time as you can. This shows you respect their time and gives you a chance to remedy the situation.

11. Survey your potential and existing customers

Ever wondered why a prospect didn’t buy from you? It could be worth asking. 

Surveying your potential clients and existing customers can help you identify sales tactics and strategies that are most effective, as well as those that aren’t. Surveys can also help you spot customer pain points or needs you might have missed in your initial pitch. 

Best of all, a survey shows prospective clients that you still care about their opinion despite not making a sale. That means the next time you reach out, you’ll have already started to build a relationship.

12. Use social media to generate leads

In 2021, Sprout Social found that 90% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media. That’s because social media creates data that shows what types of content resonate with your prospects so that you can create leads through educational articles, white pages, and other resources. Social media also adds the following benefits:

  • Businesses can sell directly on social media.
  • Customers can chat directly with your brand on social media.
  • You can use social listening to discover more about your ideal customer.

If your sales or marketing teams don’t have a social strategy yet, Sprout Social’s latest research can help you craft one personalized for your ideal customer.

13. Build a content library

Content marketing is used by hundreds of well-known B2B companies across the world to create brand awareness, build trust, and educate audiences. 

The Content Marketing Institute’s 2022 B2B Content Marketing Insights found that 62% of top-performing businesses have a documented content marketing strategy, and 57% of those businesses use their strategy to generate sales successfully. The same report found that virtual events, webinars, and online courses produced the best results for B2B content marketers.

If content marketing is foreign territory for your company, learn how to get started with the Content Marketing Institute’s beginner guide — or contact Arcade to learn how we can boost your company’s reach through content.

14. Record conversations with clients

Auditing the conversations your sales reps have with clients is an excellent way to spot areas for improvement. It can also help you spot which sales tactics worked well and which ones didn’t.

These insights can help sales managers update the sales playbook or coach the team on best practices. In fact, recording and auditing client conversations (with permission, of course) should be an ongoing practice so you can constantly evaluate your approach.

15. Don’t give up, follow up on prospective customers

According to Maverrik, cold calling has 2.5% success rate, meaning the cold call leads to a follow-up meeting or appointment. This goes along with multiple statistics that back the claim that cold calling is a dead strategy.

But, with a little perseverance, cold calling could still be an effective sales tactic. If you don’t get an answer on the first call, leave a message (30 seconds or fewer is advised) and set a reminder to call back again. It may take more than a few calls to successfully reach your prospect, but the end result could be well worth it.

16. Create different sales techniques for different types of leads

No two leads are the same, so why should your sales process be an exact duplicate for all your potential customers? Instead, craft different strategies for each type of lead.

For example, if you’re interacting with information-qualified leads, ditch the sales calls and focus on educating them about your business, products, and services instead. Blog posts, emails, webinars, case studies, and other content will meet your target audience’s needs in this scenario.

On the other hand, sales-qualified leads are more likely to appreciate a phone call where you chat with them about how your product or service can benefit them.

17. Offer guarantees on your products and services

A guarantee on your product or service shows your customers that you’re confident in its quality. This is especially key for new customers who haven’t yet had a chance to try your business’s offerings, and it’s also helpful for launching a new product.

There are a few different types of guarantees you can offer, so pick one that works best for your ideal customer: 

  • Money-back guarantee
  • Free trial 
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Best-price guarantee
  • Free sample

18. Use social proof to your benefit

Coined by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology and Power of Persuasion, social proof is the concept where people copy the actions of others to try to match their behavior. 

In sales and marketing, social proof is a powerful way to close more deals. This is because it appeals to prospects looking for reviews, ratings, and recommendations that tell them that copying the actions of someone else — or in this case, buying your product or service — is a good idea.

And if you’re still not sold on the power of social proof, consider this: Trustpilot found that 9 out of 10 consumers read reviews before they make an online purchase.

19. Optimize your ad campaigns

Optimizing your ad campaigns not only means you might boost your conversion rate, but you could also reduce profit loss as well. There are several different ways to optimize your ads, but some of the most efficient include:

  • Pinpoint your target audience and customer needs.
  • Run A/B tests.
  • Design for mobile.
  • Dig into your analytics.

20. Use hard data to close more deals

There’s no denying hard data, so use it to optimize your product or service — and your sales pitch. Gather data about how current customers use your product, when they use it, how long they use it for, and whether they run into any bugs or issues.

Hevo, a data pipeline platform, advises offering a free trial so you can gather data and focus on users with the highest buying intent. Using this data helps you optimize your sales tactics and gives you insight into how potential buyers could use your product or service to meet their needs.

Using the best sales tactics available to your team helps you boost lead generation, meet your quotas, and best of all, build stronger customer relationships. 

Just remember, your sales tactics are only as strong as your team. Book a demo today and find out how Arcade can keep your sales reps motivated with a gamified approach to tracking sales data.

Dealer Cheatsheet
New call-to-action
New call-to-action
New call-to-action
New call-to-action
New call-to-action
New call-to-action
New call-to-action
Drive ROI for Your Company with Gamification
Automotive Performance Engagement Platform | Arcade
Arcade Retail Product Brochure

e-book, Sales Compensation: Motivating Toward Success

Keep it simple: Simple sales compensation plans are cheaper, easier to administer, and yield better results than complex plans.

Download now

Recommended Articles