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Sales Best Practices
19
min read

Complete guide to sales communication to win more prospects

Published on
May 23, 2024

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Prospect: “This looks promising, but we are working with a tight budget right now.”

You: “I understand, but let me show you our top-of-the-line package. The ROI on this is incredible.”

Prospect: “But this is way out of our price range. I do not think this will work…”

Scenarios such as these are all too familiar in the sales world. Miscommunication does not just lead to frustratingly lost deals; it costs sales teams valuable revenue, damages client relationships, and results in missed opportunities.

The good thing is that effective sales communication is a skill that can be learned, practiced, and perfected. 

Why are sales communication skills important?

You might have a great product or service to pitch, but they will not be convinced if you do not clearly explain its value and connect with the customer’s needs. Effective sales communication skill lets you:

1. Understand the prospect’s world

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You can ask the right questions to understand their problems and goals better. This way, you are not just pitching a list of features. Instead, you are offering solutions that truly matter to them and target their specific pain points.

2. Speak their language

Put aside all the technical jargon. Effective sales communication means explaining your product or service in a way that is easy to understand and directly relevant to your prospect’s immediate situation.

3. Build trust and rapport

Good communication is a two-way street. You build a connection with the prospect by actively listening and showing genuine interest. They will feel comfortable with you, making them much more likely to consider your offer.

4. Overcome objections

No matter how good your pitch is, prospects will always have concerns. Strong communication skills allow you to handle objections head-on and confidently explain how your product solves their problems.

5. Close the deal with confidence

When you have communicated the value you bring and built trust with the prospect, the sale becomes a natural next step. They will see your product or service as the perfect solution to their pain.

Effective sales communication skills to close deals faster

Have you ever heard that to be a successful sales executive, you must have the gift of the gab? In reality, it is a skill you can develop with training and experience, rather than a gift. 

Learning these essential components for getting your message across correctly is important to becoming great at sales communication, whether you're trying to put forward your best pitch on sales calls or guiding your team to be their best!

1. Active listening

Active listening in sales communication is all about really hearing what your prospect is saying, not just waiting for your turn to talk. It means tuning into their words, tone, and even the silences. 

Example:

Prospect: “We are so busy right now…”

❌ “I promise this will be worth your time. Our software has many great features that will help with your ROI…”

✅ “I will tell you about the software’s feature which can save you time and streamline your workflow.”

2. Questioning skills

Asking the right questions can turn a good sales chat into a great one. It is not just about what you are selling but finding out what your prospect really needs.

Example:

Prospect: “I am not free to talk right now. Please be quick.”

❌ “Our new software solution is packed with amazing features- file sharing, data encryption, the whole package.”

✅ “What are some of the biggest challenges you face with your current system?”

3. Value-focused messaging

When you discuss your product or service, highlight how it makes your prospect’s life easier or better. It is all about the value you can add for them, not the specs you are selling. 

Example:

Prospect: “I am looking for a new garden hose.”

This one right here is our top-of-the-line model. 50 feet long, triple-wall construction…”

“With how your garden is set up, a longer hose might be a good bet. The flexibility makes it way easier to maneuver around without getting all tangled. Have you tried one of our longer, flexible models? It might make watering less of a hassle.

4. Storytelling

People love stories because they can relate to them. Sharing stories about how others have benefited from your product or service helps your prospects picture the same success for themselves. 

Example:

Prospect: “The timing and the price are just not looking good for me right now…”

Our productivity app offers advanced time tracking and task management features. It is designed to streamline your workflow and maximize efficiency.”

"Makes sense, it is definitely an investment. Honestly, most people we talk to worry about the same thing. In fact, just a month back, I spoke to three people in a similar situation. But what they find is that it quickly pays for itself in the time saved. So yes, it might seem a little much right now, but the long-term pay off begins quick

5. Adapting your sales communication style

Take a moment to observe your prospect’s communication style and tailor your approach accordingly. Tools like DISC assessments can help you understand different communication preferences.

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Example: 

Prospect: “Just need the bottom line- what can this do for me?”

❌ “It is a pleasure to speak with you. Our solution offers several benefits. Let me outline the key features…”

“Absolutely. This solution simplifies [key area] and boosts [desired outcome]. Can I give you a quick overview of how it works?”

6. Understanding non-verbal communication

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Even without visual cues, tone of voice, pace, and word choice give away a prospect’s emotions and level of interest. A quick, excited tone might show they feel positive about what you offer, while hesitancy could mean they are unsure.

Example:

Prospect: Sighs frequently, voice flat

Interpretation: Indicates boredom and/or dissatisfaction

❌ Ignore their tone and continue your pitch without adjustment.

✅ “It sounds like you might be a little unsure about this. Could I tell you about a similar situation where our solution achieved some exciting results? Perhaps that would resonate.”

Sales communication strategies for a smoother workflow

Phone tags with prospects, confusing emails, and missed follow-ups can create chaos and kill deals. The right sales communication strategies can make every interaction count. 

Sales managers

1. Have crystal clear goals

As a sales manager, you often struggle to have enough visibility across deals. Misaligned communication can worsen, leading to missed opportunities and confused teams. 

Break down complex strategies and targets into easy-to-understand action steps for your team. 

Use sales productivity metrics and reports to guide your team’s efforts. This keeps everyone focused on what matters most. 

Example:

Our goal is a 15% market share increase. Let us prioritize high-value lead conversion.”

OR

“Reports show a call volume dip. Let us revisit cold calling techniques next meeting.” 

2. Keep your team motivated

 

Your communication style can make or break your team’s spirit. Acknowledging achievements builds morale. Focus on solutions, not criticism, to help your team improve. 

Create an open environment where your team feels comfortable asking questions and seeking guidance.

Example: 

“Great job closing that deal, John. Let us brainstorm to overcome those objections you faced.”

3. Focus on teamwork

Build strong relationships with other departments to make sure everyone is working towards the same goals. Initiate communication to stay updated on developments from other departments that may impact your sales strategies.

4. Prioritize meaningful engagement

While your team does the heavy lifting, you may still engage directly with key clients. Keep client relationships as a top priority. 

Keep track of your clients’ specific needs, challenges, and organizational changes. Communicate with each client based on their preferred style- formal emails, quick check-in calls, or even in-person meetings, whatever works best for them.

Sales reps

1. Keep your eyes on the pain point

Frontline communication is where deals are won or lost. Ensure your meeting preparation is on point and you always know your product inside out. 

Remember, solving your prospects' pain points is your end goal. See prospects' objections as opportunities to show them the value of what you are offering. Anticipate them and have solution-oriented responses ready. 

2. Be a trusted advisor 

Strong relationships close deals, so always do your homework before going on a sales call or meeting. Research the prospect’s company and industry. Be thorough with your prospect to show you are invested.

Most of all, show that you care about helping them, not just making a sale.

3. Adapt to feedback immediately

Pay attention to tone of voice, body language, and the prospect’s energy level. Adjust your enthusiasm and pacing to match theirs.

Never get defensive. If an objection catches you off-guard, stay calm and ask clarifying questions to understand their concern better. 

Example:

“You seem hesitant about this feature. Can you tell me a little more about your specific concerns?”

4. Integration for cohesion

Understand your individual targets and how they contribute to the team’s bigger objectives. Let your manager know what is working and where you need help so they can offer guidance.

If a client issue needs escalation, follow the established process to make sure they get a quick and cohesive solution.

Sales communication channels & their nuances

Whether you are shooting them an email, giving them a ring, or jumping on a video call, each sales communication channel has its own little quirks. 

Understanding these can help you get your point across better and maybe even score more deals. 

1. Phone calls

A phone call is like having a face-to-face chat without leaving your desk. But making a successful sales call is more than just dialing a number. In fact, it takes just about 18 phone calls to actually connect with a prospect. 

  • Prep like a pro: Know who you are calling and why before calling. 
  • Tune your tone: Speak clearly, warmly, and with confidence. Imagine you are talking to a friend you haven't seen in ages.
  • Listen, do not just hear: Pay attention to what the other person is saying. It is about the words and understanding their needs and feelings.
  • Keep it simple: Be clear and to the point. Imagine explaining something to a friend who doesn't understand the product/service you are offering.
  • Follow through: After the call, send a quick email summarizing your discussion and any next steps. It shows you are on the ball and care about their needs.

Nailing phone calls can turn a simple sales communication into a meaningful connection and, ultimately, a successful close.

2. Email

Emails can be great for sales communication. But to make the most of it, you must follow a few best practices. To make your emails pop, follow these tips:

  • Subject line: Your subject line is like a newspaper headline- it needs to grab attention. Personalization and curiosity can work wonders. For example, instead of "Our Latest Offer," try "We have some exciting news for you."
  • Structure: Keep your email organized and easy to read. Use short paragraphs and bullet points to break up the text. This makes it easier for your prospect to digest the information.
  • Personalization: Address your prospect by name and tailor your message to their needs. Show them you have done your homework and understand their challenges.
  • Precision: While you want to provide enough information, you also do not want to overwhelm your prospect. Be concise and get to the point quickly.

For more tips, check out our blog on crafting sales emails that get responses.

3. Virtual meetings

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Virtual meetings are like bringing the boardroom to your living room. To make the most of them, keep these sales communication tips in mind:

  • Set the stage: Make sure you have good lighting and a clutter-free background. A messy background can be distracting.
  • Tech check: Test your camera, microphone, and internet connection before the meeting. Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with technical glitches mid-call.
  • Dress the part: Even though it is not a face-to-face meeting, dress professionally. It shows you take the meeting seriously and respect the other person's time.
  • Engage and listen: Just like in-person meetings, active listening is key. Show you are engaged by nodding and making eye contact, and look at the camera, not the screen.

For more tips on overcoming meeting challenges, check out our blog on meeting challenges and how to solve them.

4. Live chat

 

When prospects visit your website, live chat can be their way to get quick answers and support. To make the most of this real-time sales communication channel, follow these practices:

  • Be prompt: Respond quickly to messages. Customers appreciate fast service.
  • Personalize responses: Address customers by name and tailor your responses to their inquiries.
  • Be clear and concise: Keep your messages brief and to the point. Avoid jargon or technical language.
  • Offer solutions: Instead of just acknowledging an issue, provide solutions or next steps.

You can opt for AI-powered chatbots to fill in on your behalf when you are away from work.

5. Text message

Text messaging is a direct and instantaneous way to connect with your prospects.

  • Keep it short and sweet: Texts are meant to be brief. Get to the point quickly and avoid lengthy messages.
  • Use clear language: Be concise and use simple language that is easy for the recipient to understand.
  • Personalize when possible: If you have the customer's name or other relevant information, use it to personalize your messages.
  • Include a call to action: End your message with a clear call to action, such as "Reply YES to confirm your appointment."

6. Social media 

Social media can be an effective sales communication channel. Here is how to make the most of it:

  • Know your platform: Different platforms have different vibes. Tailor your message to fit the platform you are using.
  • Use visuals: Images and videos grab attention. Use them to make your posts more engaging.
  • Be consistent: Post regularly to keep your audience engaged. But do not overdo it; quality over quantity is key.

These are the basics of an effective sales communication plan. By utilizing these channels effectively you can build strong relationships with your potential and existing prospects.

How to improve sales communication skills

Improving your sales communication skills takes a promising sales call to a closed deal. Here are some tips to sharpen your skills and make every interaction count:

1. Role-play different scenarios

Role-playing is like practicing for a game or a play. You pretend to be in a sales situation, and someone else plays the customer. It helps you get better at talking to customers and understanding their needs. Here are some tips for role-playing:

  • Practice different situations, like a first-time call or handling objections in sales.
  • After the role-play, ask your colleague for feedback. What did you do well? What could you improve?
  • Try playing the customer, too. It helps you see things from their perspective.

Role-playing helps you hone your skills in a safe environment, preparing you to handle any scenario that comes your way. 

2. Use technology

From keeping track of customer info to chatting with your team, there are so many ways tech can make your job easier. Here are some simple tools you can use: 

  • CRM systems: These are like your personal assistants, helping you manage leads and keep track of customer interactions. 
  • Communication apps: Apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams make it easy to chat with your team in real-time, so you are always on the same page.
  • Email marketing platforms: Platforms like Mailchimp or HubSpot help you create and send targeted emails to engage with your audience.
  • Video conferencing tools: Tools like Zoom or Google Meet allow you to have face-to-face meetings with clients, no matter where they are.
  • Social media management tools: These help you schedule posts, track engagement, and manage your social media presence effectively.

Using these tech tools can improve your sales communication skills, leading to more sales and happier prospects.

3. Study sales communication techniques

Studying different conversational techniques helps you communicate better and connect with your prospects more effectively. Here are some easy tips to improve your sales communication skills:

  • Body language: Learn how to read and use body language to gauge interest and build rapport.
  • Emotional intelligence: Develop your emotional intelligence to better understand and connect with your prospects.
  • Negotiation skills: Study negotiation techniques to effectively close deals and achieve winning outcomes.
  • Persuasion techniques: Read about different persuasion techniques to have a strong hold over your prospect's decision-making process.

These skills not only improve your sales success but also make your overall communication abilities better.

4. Learn time management

Sales reps juggle a lot- calls, emails, follow-ups. Naturally, great time management skills are very important for staying on top of your workload and making sure no prospects fall through the cracks. Here are some tips:

  • Prioritize tasks: Focus on high-value activities that directly impact sales, and learn to delegate or streamline lower-priority tasks.
  • Set realistic deadlines: Give yourself enough time to complete tasks without rushing. This helps minimize the risk of errors or sloppy communication.
  • Minimize distractions: Whenever you are working on important communication tasks, find ways to avoid interruptions and increase focus.

By focusing on clear communication strategies across these areas, you will streamline your workflow and set the stage for increased sales success.

5. Prioritize continuous learning

Stay ahead of the curve by actively seeking out new sales techniques, industry trends, and communication skills improvement courses. Here is how:

  • Follow industry blogs and podcasts: Subscribe to resources that provide insights into your target market and the latest sales strategies.
  • Attend sales training webinars: Many offer free or affordable online training sessions to improve your skills.
  • Seek out mentorship: Take guidance from experienced sales reps or managers who can share their knowledge and offer personalized feedback.

Remember, every interaction can be an opportunity to improve, but only if you are always aware of your current sales communication skills. This includes knowing where you might be going wrong and identifying where a little more work might reap better results. So, most of all, be mindful and aware of how you speak to each client, and try to take some time to think about how the conversation went.

5 difficult conversations in sales

In sales communications, you often have to tackle tricky conversations head-on, but being ready to handle these situations can help you build trust and close deals. Let us take a look at how you can handle them like a pro:

1. Handling objections

Imagine you are selling a new gadget, but the customer says, "It is too expensive." Instead of panicking, listen to their concern and try to understand why they think that. 

Then, explain the value of your product. You could say, "I get it, but think about all the amazing features it offers. It is like buying a high-quality tool that lasts longer and saves you money in the long run."

Price-based objections are one of the many hurdles that can come your way during your regular sales calls. To know more about handling these tough situations, look at our blog on objection handling in sales.

2. Negotiation conversations

It is important to find a middle ground where both you and the prospect are happy. Be flexible and willing to compromise during sales communications. 

For example, if a prospect wants a discount, you could say, "I cannot reduce the price, but how about I include an accessory for free? That way, you get more value for your money."

3. Turning down a prospect request

Sometimes, you have to say no to a prospect's request. When that happens, be polite and explain your reasons clearly. 

So, if a prospect asks for a customized feature that your product does not currently offer, you could say, "I understand the importance of this feature to you, but at the moment, our product does not support customization to that extent. However, I would be happy to explore other ways we can meet your needs within our current capabilities"

4. Discussing gaps in products/services 

Setting the right expectations is important to avoid misunderstandings later on. Be honest about any gaps in your product or service and offer alternatives if possible. This is key in any great sales communication strategy.

Let us say your product does not have a certain feature. You could mention, "Our product does not currently offer that feature, but we are constantly improving and may add it in the future. In the meantime, here is how you can work around it."

5. Delivering bad news

No one likes delivering bad news, but honesty is key. Be empathetic and offer solutions if possible. 

For instance, if a product is out of stock, you could say, "I am really sorry, but the product you are looking for is currently unavailable. However, I can offer you a similar product that might meet your needs."

Tools for better sales communication

Let us be honest- sales can be a whirlwind. You have productive calls and potential leads, and then, poof, some of them vanish into thin air. Wouldn't it be great to have a few tools to make sense of it all and help you win more deals? 

1. Oliv 

It is important to walk into every sales call armed with insider knowledge about your prospect- their pain points, company news, and industry trends. With Oliv's pre-call research, this does not have to be back-breaking manual work.

Let us face it: we cannot remember every single thing from our sales calls. Oliv's AI-powered meeting summaries are like having a note-taker by your side. It captures the important details, customer pain points, objections, and action items, so you never miss a beat. 

Remember how we talked about keeping track of customer interactions through an updated CRM? Well, Oliv's got your back. It connects with your CRM, automatically logging all the important details from your calls. 

2. Keap 

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This is a powerful SaaS marketing automation tool that can help you streamline sales communications and boost revenue. 

It enables highly targeted drip email campaigns tailored to your leads’ interests, increasing click-through rates and driving conversions. Keap also offers customizable templates for cold emails and newsletters, saving you time while keeping your messaging on brand. 

A key benefit of Keap is its robust automation features that makes sure you always have consistent follow-up and reminders. This helps maximize lead conversion and customer loyalty.

3. Drip 

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This is an email and SMS marketing platform designed for growth-minded businesses. It helps you craft highly personalized and effective sales communications. 

Choose from their vast library of customizable email templates or build your own designs using their HTML builder. Drip’s automation tools are great at targeted segmentation and personalization, making sure your messages resonate with the right audience at the ideal time. 

Drip’s email testing feature lets you pinpoint the content and styles that drive the highest customer engagement. This way you can continuously refine your communication strategies for maximum results.

4. Outfunnel 

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Did you know sales reps spend 21% of their workday writing emails? Those killer sales emails are indeed key to closing deals, but that is a lot of time spent on just one aspect of the whole sales process. 

Outfunnel is a sales automation tool designed to streamline prospect management. Its seamless integration with your CRM and marketing tools, along with its ‘App Connector’ feature, makes sure that your sales and marketing data always remain aligned. 

This means real-time sharing of relevant marketing insights, removing delays and keeping your sales team updated with up-to-the-minute information. 

5. EngageBay

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EngageBay offers a robust sales communication automation platform with features designed for targeted email campaigns. Its drag-and-drop interface simplifies email creation, allowing you to easily customize templates with images and social share buttons. 

Its advanced segmentation filters let you target specific customer groups based on location, lead status, and other criteria. You can even personalize cold emails with autofill contact attributes, helping you build relationships quickly. Plus, EngageBay’s campaign performance tracking provides insights to refine your sales strategy and maximize your reach.

What did we learn about sales communication skills?

Sales communication done right is not just about fancy words. It is about building relationships, understanding your prospects, and showcasing your value to their lives. 

  • It is not just about talking; it is about connecting. Active listening, empathy, and focusing on the prospect's needs are crucial for building trust.
  • Adapt your style. People are different. Tailor your tone, pace, and approach to each individual to make the best impression.
  • Technology is your friend. Embrace tools that make your life easier.

Want to see how Oliv could make a difference in your sales communication? Let us know, and we can set up a demo to show you just how it works.

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