What is consultative selling, and how to automate this sales process?

What is consultative selling, and how to automate this sales process?

Consultative selling is a sales process in which sales reps are advisors and trustworthy business partners to their potential customers. Their role relies on listening to buyers and asking about their difficulties and needs. This kind of sales strategy is very demanding for a sales rep. So, can we automate it?

Different ways to achieve a goal

Sales strategy contains decisions, plans, actions, and goals that lead to generating revenue. The sales managers are responsible for providing your sales organization with a well-defined strategy for the future.

The sales strategy usually contains crucial information such as KPIs, sales goals, competitive analysis, SWOT analysis, the structure of the sales teams, buyer personas, and methods of reaching potential customers. It can include the pain points – problems or inconveniences with your product or service that can discourage your clients.

Happy customers become repeat customers, therefore, it is wise to take their perspective into account. However, the methods chosen to gain new customers depend on the business model and the details of the sales processes.

Companies can have different sales strategies – inbound sales or outbound sales.

Inbound sales are defined as the strategy that attracts clients interested in the products or services that you offer.

Sales strategy can consist of different elements. Consultative selling.
Fot. 1. Sales strategy can consist of different elements.

If customers have problems they want to solve, they look for answers from different sources. If your marketing team creates high-quality content that is interesting, they will visit the website of your company and be your qualified leads (with prospects for the future). They will create a customer base that includes many potential loyal customers (qualified buyers).

On the other hand, outbound sales use a strategy where salespeople do not rely on marketing efforts, but on their own sales force and being convincing. The outbound strategy is related to cold calling, and customers do not have to have a previous interest in your company’s products.

Cold calling does not focus on relations. Consultative selling
Fot. 2. Cold calling does not focus on relations. Try consultative selling.

Among those two sales strategies, we also have to mention different approaches to sales processes. Consultative selling and transactional selling are supposed to attract new customers and persuade them to buy your product or service.

They both follow the marketing strategy prepared by marketing teams, however, sales reps work in different ways, and they use various methods to boost sales.

What is transactional selling?

Transactional selling is often popular among sales teams because some sales reps are of the opinion that it allows them to sell quickly their product or service and deliver a sales pitch. They want to make another step in the sales pipeline and sign a contract.

Sales reps do not waste their time holding long conversations with their potential customers, sending e-mails, or consulting. Their aim is to achieve success and increase sales.

They inform prospective customers about the features of the product or service. Moreover, their winning sales strategy is based on showing them advertising leaflets and catalogs. It is not a good solution for every company, maybe you consider the advantages of consultative selling.

You need to have the well-defined sales strategy.
Fot. 3. You need to have the well-defined sales strategy.

What is consultative selling?

This is an effective sales strategy that is based on the belief that a sales rep is also an advisor and consultant who always knows the target audience.

Of course, salespeople are focused on the company’s sales goals, but also on an extended sales cycle. They create a connection with customers by maintaining relations with them and holding sales conversations about their challenges. They are good listeners and are eager to know about clients’ needs.

A buyer's journey is meaningful
Fot. 4. A buyer’s journey is meaningful, specially in consultative selling.

Sales reps who follow this method and sales strategy take care about the details of the buying process and the buyer’s journey. They want to gather as much information and business data as possible. On this basis, they can choose the best option and describe the advantages of using the product or service.

As far as consultive selling is concerned, salespeople are reliable experts who know the offer of the company, analyze the customers’ needs, and suggest them the best solutions.

The most important stages and rules of consultative selling

This kind of sales process consists of several stages and elements that you need to remember about if you want to follow a successful sales strategy and improve customers’ experience.

There are several elements of sales process. Consultative selling
Fot. 5. There are several elements of sales process.

Search for new customers

Your sales team does not deal with cold calling, but searches for customers who are likely to use the products or services of your company. You have to know who your target customers are, and if you are able to give them the solutions they expect. Therefore, you ask target questions to have valuable insight into their problems.

You hold a conversation instead of delivering a monolog

Your sales strategy plan is based on having good relations with customers. You are aware that sometimes small details are decisive and can affect business processes.

Therefore, you try to get to know a person you have a conversation with. You are open-minded, listen to your customers, and think about their problems. What are their expectations and hopes? That you take care of customer interactions and try not to discourage them.

You should take care of your customer interactions. Consultative selling
Fot. 6. You should take care of your customer interactions | Consultative selling

You are the expert and provide your customers with the information

Let’s be honest, you are the expert and the sales rep in one person. You have vast knowledge about your company’s products and try to find the best solutions for your new and existing customers. This should enable you to provide your clients with a unique value proposition.

Remember to explain your opinion and tell about the advantages of this choice. If you become a reliable business partner as well as an authority, your customer relationships will be deeper and more profitable. Be sure that everything you say is understandable.

Remember about your personal brand.
Fot. 7. Remember about your personal brand.

Do not forget about yourselfand your own marketing strategy are you present on social media? What about building your own personal brand? If you are an active expert on social media, tell your customers about it.

It is a good way to be more trustworthy and to share your knowledge. It is possible that your customers will recommend you to their business partners and you broaden your target market.

Use social selling to build your personal brand and be present on LinkedIn to encourage other people to visit the website of your company.

Present the offer in an attractive way

A great sales strategy has small details that are not so obvious. It is good if you know what your client’s needs are. However, do not forget about presenting your offer in an interesting way. It is an important element of the customer acquisition.

Think about how you can be better than your competitors, and talk about the product or services with passion. Consider arguments and data that lead to your customer success.

If you are too pushy and think only about the next level in the sales pipeline, your efforts can be not enough. Instead of having a winning sales strategy, you will lose your customer.

Think about the way you present the offer. Consultative selling
Fot. 8. Think about the way you present the offer.

Think about the end of the transaction

This is almost the end. You have to be sure that your contract has everything which is essential to your customer and if it is clear for both sides. This is the step when prospecting customers turn out to be paying customers.

After sales support

The sales process is ended and your customer signed a contract. Do not forget about maintaining relations and make a phone call from time to time. Ask about their satisfaction and if they need any extra help or products.

Do not forget to make a phone call to your client. Consultative selling
Fot. 9. Do not forget to make a phone call to your client.

Who is a present-day customer?

A present-day customer is a challenge for industry leaders and sales and marketing departments. It is not so easy to meet the expectations of modern clients.

The sales process understood as a meeting with an expert, gives customer service an additional meaning. Nowadays it is not enough to have a catalog in vivid colors or tell customers about lower prices and bonuses. Companies and sales teams need to think over their sales strategy and target customers.

A modern sales team is aware that customers need something more and they will not be satisfied with the basic service – the nice sales rep who tells about prices and the offer is not enough anymore.

A modern customer needs something extra. Consultative selling
Fot. 10. A modern customer needs something extra.

Some companies hire a person called the chief strategy officer who is responsible for improving the conversations with clients. Others create the customer support team within an organization. There are many ideas on how to make a client important.

A buyer’s journey is important and many facets can affect it. It can start even on your website. Does your sales strategy plan has any information about the importance of good content?

Do you have engaging sales enablement content on your landing page? Can in turn leads into qualified buyers? You need to follow the trends.

Do you have any sales enablement content on your website? Consultative selling
Fot. 11. Do you have any sales enablement content on your website?

What is their way of thinking?

Sales processes and sales strategies have changed over the past years. Why do many sales leaders still think that the same methods are enough? The modern customer is more conscious than before.

Your new and existing customers are present on the Internet, they search for information, and have different options to choose from. They compare products and services, are active on social media, and broaden their knowledge all the time. Your sales team and marketing team have to keep up with them.

The role of a sales team in consultative selling

Modern customers do not need the help of a salesperson who tells them the same information that is online on your website. They want to gain professional help and look for an expert who is devoted to their cause.

Is it possible for a salesperson to have enough time for such a demanding target customer? Can a sales team perform all its duties at the same time?

Your sales team has to follow trends. Consultative selling
Fot. 12. Your sales team has to follow trends.

Modern challenges and your sales strategy

As we have said, there are different sales strategy examples. Regardless of the sales process chosen by your company, you face up some challenges.

The inbound sales reps as well as outbound sales reps have to put more effort into contact with clients. It does not matter if they deal with a small business or a big company.

One of the reasons for that is the strong competition among companies. Businesses search for new ideas and innovative tools that will help them distinguish themselves from others. If they change their sales strategies, they have to take several factors into account.

Every change will influence the work of a sales team, sales and marketing department, and sales management. It will also affect current customers and potential clients, therefore, decisions have to be reasonable. The sales plan is not without meaning to the annual revenue.

Building trust in business and the reality

How can you define trust? If you trust someone, you can rely on this person, and you are convinced that they are honest. This is the kind of certainty that cannot be built during one meeting. We trust people who we perceive as experts.

Features that can help build trust

Many people say that the following features can build trust in business:


A salesperson should analyze the customer’s needs in order to give the best solution. The customer needs analysis can provide them with valuable insights about their target audience.

However, the sales process is complex and a salesperson is not always able to remember all the necessary information. Obviously, salespeople can make notes, but is it professional? Do they find details in a pile of documents?

A salesperson should use the exact data which are not always reliable if they are in old company catalogs. It would be easier if a sales team had a modern sales enablement tool. If a given company does not use it or has an old CRM system, a sales rep has to work overtime and type the data into the system.

You need modern tools in your company. Consultative selling
Fot. 13. You need modern tools in your company | Consultative selling


a customer has to be certain that a salesperson takes care of the business, and will find the time to present the best value proposition.

The reality in sales teams is not so optimistic. Salespeople have many existing customers and new clients. Their expectations are similar – professional customer service.

In order to implement the sales strategy, salespeople have to do many tasks at the same time. They meet with clients, arrange new meetings, make phone calls, search the information about the target market, and analyze pain points.

How is it possible to find the time to analyze the sales plan? What to do to meet the client’s expectations?

Salespeople have to many tasks to achieve their goals. Consultative selling
Fot. 14. Salespeople have to many tasks to achieve their goals.


Obviously, salespeople think about signing the contract and effective sales strategy. However, they cannot think about customers only as factors that affect an increase in sales. Salespeople should have empathy and think about the customers’ situation.

Always think about your customer's position. Consultative selling
Fot. 15. Always think about your customer’s position | Consultative selling

At this point, we should ask one question. Is a salesperson able to find the best solution for a client?

Let us assume that a salesperson is a good listener and knows about the problems of the customer. A sales rep remembers a similar case and tries to find more information in the CRM system. However, the data is not available there because someone from a sales team forgot to type it into the system.

The documents with the necessary information are probably lost. The company has been running for years and managers are not eager to change their sales strategy.

What about sales automation?

As we have mentioned earlier in this article, there are several stages of consultive selling. How can they be affected by sales automation? Are automated processes helpful in gaining new clients? Do they change sales strategies and make them modern? What kind of tools should you know?

Have you heard about the modern sales automation platform from Salesbook? Thanks to this tool, repetitive tasks can be automated, and, therefore, they accelerate the sales process in your company.

Many operations are performed automatically by Salesbook instead of your sales team. Read about how Salesbook can affect the work of salespeople and their communication with clients.

Searching for new clients by sales teams

You can ask yourself questions about how to align sales and marketing teams. However, you can reach new customers not only because of the work of your sales and marketing departments.

If you want to ask your customers about recommendations and contacts to other potential clients, you can send them ready-made form templates.

Furthermore, if you use a modern app from Salesbook, you can use the Reference customers module, and the system will gather the information for you.

If you have access to the most important data and company details all the time, you can use them during a meeting with a customer. You can tell them about other successful arrangements and show examples. The next step is to convince a client and sign a contract.

The reference customers module is very helpful.
Fot. 16. The reference customers module is very helpful.

The effective sales meeting with Salesbook

Regardless of whether you run a small business or you are an owner of a big company, your sales strategy should involve Salesbook. A well-planned sales meeting is crucial to your business. In what way can Salesbook help you with that?

Salesbook is a complete sales automation platform that can help you to make a good first impression during a face-to-face meeting.

A salesperson who has a tablet can upload all the information about your company – add a logo, videos, and images associated with your work. A sales rep can tell clients about the history of your business and show the most successful products or services.

It is a useful tool for every sales team because its members do not have to take a lot of catalogs and folders to a meeting.

An automated offer – be sure what your customers know

The next important element in your sales strategy is the automated offer. Salespeople do not have to remember about taking notes and typing data into the CRM system. They are advisors and experts who can focus on conversations with customers and the implementation of a sales plan.

If salespeople want to have valuable insight into the customer’s expectations, they can use the Calculator. The Calculator has the information about client’s needs as a result of the previous conversation between the salesperson and the customer. It is ready to generate an automated and personalized offer. Moreover, the salesperson will know if a client opens the offer after receiving it via e-mail.

You can send the automated offer to your customer.
Fot. 17. You can send the automated offer to your customer.

Automated follow-up e-mails

During meetings, salespeople spend a lot of time with clients. They build relations, make phone calls, talk about the details, and make sure that everything goes well. It is obvious that after a meeting a salesperson sends a follow-up e-mail to the customer.

Thanks to Salesbook, a salesperson does not have to spend time typing data into the CRM system. The app allows a sales rep to gather all important information during a meeting. As a result, everything is already in the system. The salesperson has to just send a follow-up e-mail with a summary.

Always send follow-up e-mails to your client.
Fot. 18. Always send follow-up e-mails to your client.

Automated reports – what you will know from the sales analysis

Salesbook has much more to offer when it comes to sales automation. The app provides you with hard data which allows you to analyze the whole sales process and change your sales strategy.

If a salesperson uses Salesbook during a meeting, your CRM system gets data automatically. You can generate a report that you need at any time.

You can generate a report that you need at any time.
Fot. 19. You can generate a report that you need at any time | Consultative selling

Thanks to the Reports module, you will know who is the most effective salesperson, and what they do to increase their sales. Moreover, you will have information about the sales value in relation to periods of time.

Furthermore, you will find more about the effective and ineffective meetings with the current customers. How often does a salesperson contact them? What went wrong?

Thanks to Salesbook, you will gather more information that you need to improve your sales strategy and boost sales. For example, you can check the sources of your new leads. Do your new clients know about your company from their business partners or because of events organized by your marketing teams?

All these factors affect your sales strategy and increase sales.

Find out more about sales automation from Salesbook

Check how sales automation from Salesbook works. Make an appointment and try the free demo.