Sales Consulting – Your Ultimate Guide
Sales consulting can be a very lucrative career and business choice and is only going to increase in popularity as more people move into consulting roles due to business technology disruption.
But what is sales consulting?
And could sales consulting possibly be the right career choice for you?
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What is sales consulting
- The responsibilities of sales consulting
- Skills of high performing sales consultants
- The training required to become a successful sales consultant
Sales Consulting – Your Ultimate Guide
What Is Sales Consulting?
Sales consulting is a role in which a Sales Professional bridges the gap between your company, and your potential clients wants and needs.
This gap may be needing more information about what you sell, finding solutions to their problems and pain points, and of course selling and serving new and current clients.
Sales consulting can be involved in many industries; and most companies that sell either business to business, or business to consumer using a face to face sales process, will have sales consulting as a part of their business.
Some examples of industries you’ll find sales consulting a factor are:
- Process management
- Risk management
- Corporate finance and lending
- Litigation and legal
- Real estate and property
- Training and development (such as ourselves)
- Employee engagement
- Conflict resolution
- Marketing and social media
- IT and data
- Business management
- Human resources
- Financial and wealth management
- Image consulting
- Career coaching
Of course; these are just a few industries to give you an example of how vast sales consulting really is.
As mentioned – any business that sells to other businesses or sells to consumers using a face to face sales process, will most likely have sales consulting as one of their departments.
Roles & Responsibilities Within Sales Consulting
Depending on your industry, sales consulting can overlook various roles within the business; but there are a few that remain generic across the board.
Some roles include cross selling; meaning up selling existing client’s other related products or services, and sometimes working with other departments in something called team selling.
Team selling is working with other departments to leverage intelligence, data, and relationships to open new relationships, and close more sales.
Below is a list of other general roles that are expected within sales consulting.
One of the key roles within sales consulting is putting together a sales targeting strategy, so that you can identify who your ideal and potential clients are, where they hang out, and how to reach them.
When you have this information, the next step is understanding what mediums and platforms you’ll use to reach them effectively, and what kind of message you’ll send to build rapport and open up the lines of communication.
To learn how to do this, read the related article below for more information.
Further reading: Sales Targeting Strategy – Your Complete Guide
An important part of any Sales Professional’s role as well as a key ingredient in sales consulting, is proactive prospecting.
Proactive prospecting is the activity of getting your message and communication in front of your ideal clients.
There are generally two prospecting types. These include:
Inbound prospecting is the approach of putting together a sales funnel and driving traffic and the attention of your ideal and potential clients towards your business.
There are many forms of inbound prospecting; but is usually involves content marketing, SEO, pay per click advertising, landing pages or your website, and an email sequence or contact form.
Inbound prospecting can be very beneficial to your sales consulting business, because it works when you’re not working- meaning you can automate a lot of the systems, which’ll drive leads even when you’re not trading time to do so.
You can set ads and bring in leads. Perhaps you write content, and through SEO – you capture emails of your ideal clients that are interested in the topic of what you also sell.
Inbound prospecting should be a must if you wish to be successful at sales consulting, because it leverage’s something you’ll never get back and your most important asset – time.
Outbound prospecting is the activity of proactively and manually reaching out to your potential clients.
This can include sending emails, letters and flyer drops, cold calling, and cold canvassing.
In sales consulting, cold prospecting could be a very useful and lucrative activity if you’re dialled in to your ideal prospects.
By ideal prospects, we mean potential clients who would greatly benefit from your product or service and will also mean a monetary benefit/ healthy profit to you and your business too.
To learn about prospecting in more detail, read the linked article below.
Further reading: The Two Types Of Sales Prospecting Methods For More Sales
Understanding Your Products In Detail
To be successful at sales consulting, you need to be crystal clear on how your products and services can serve your ideal and potential clients.
Many Sales Professionals focus on the features and benefits – the detail about what makes your product, service or business special.
However – focusing purely on the features and benefits can be damaging to your sales efforts.
Although it is very important to know your features and benefits in detail, your potential clients aren’t buying your products or services for those reasons.
Instead and more importantly – they are buying what it will mean once they own your products or services.
In sales consulting, you should not only focus on your products and service features and benefits in detail, but also know exactly what it will mean when someone’s owns it.
What do you resolve, and how?
What does it mean when they own it, and what pain points are alleviated when someone makes an investment with you?
These questions are crucial and critical to be successful at sales consulting, because you’ll need to speak to both these things in your sales presentations with your potential clients.
Your competition in the sales consulting space will also be presenting their solutions and products to your ideal clients.
The biggest difference, and ultimate who will win the sale; is the sales consultant who is able to get down to an emotional level with your potential clients, and truly understand what it means to have the issues they face on a daily basis.
By presenting a solution with your product or service that speaks to those pain points, you’ll have a higher closing rate, and be a lot more successful than those competitors in your sales consulting space.
Attention To Detail
Successful Sales Professionals involved in sales consulting within their respected industries, know that it is crucial to keep good records of your current clients, as well as potential clients and the dialogue you engage with them.
Generally – people involved in the sales consulting space use something called CRM software; or Client Relationship Management software.
A CRM allows you to keep you keep records in a centrally stored space, so that your data is available when you need it and secured safely for future reference.
According to insights from analytics, there are eight benefits of paying attention to detail, and maintaining a CRM. These include:
- Better client relationships
- Increased team collaboration
- An improved ability to cross sell
- Better efficiency
- Higher staff satisfaction
- An increase in profit
- Cost savings
- Less client attrition
Each of these points are very important to be successful in sales consulting, which is why paying attention to and storing details should be a key activity of yours too.
Networking & Relationship Building
Another key ingredient to successful sales consulting, is your ability to build relationships with your ideal clients. This may include networking and meeting individual prospects to open up the opportunity for new business.
We’re massive advocates of building rapport the right way – meaning you don’t overdo anything, and you make yourself empathetic, available, and present when speaking and meeting with your ideal clients.
To help you with this, read the related article below to learn how.
Related article: A Guide To Building Sales Relationships/ Building Rapport
Skills To Be Successful In Sales Consulting
To be successful in sales consulting, there are a set number of skills you need to be well versed in.
Each of these skills have been captured in our sales process called The 5% Sales Blueprint.
A sales process is a step by step sales structure, in which helps your sales consulting efforts by guiding your potential clients on a buyer’s journey.
The buyer’s journey is important, as it not only gives you the information you need to close the sale; but when done correctly – also helps your potential client sell to themselves.
Although in the sales consulting space there are various sales methodologies, our is a little more detailed; so that you maintain control and position yourself as a trusted adviser and consultant.
Our steps include:
- Building rapport
- Setting a pre-frame
- Asking questions to learn about their current pain points
- Deep diving into what it means to have that pain
- Learning about their ideal outcomes
- Talking about money
- Handling objections
- Asking for the sale
We’ve detailed in each of these steps in the article below. Read on to learn how you can implement this into your sales consulting business.
Related article: The Sales Process – A Step By Step Guide
Should You Get Involved In Sales Consulting?
Sales consulting can be a very beneficial, exciting and lucrative career.
Depending on what industry you’ll be involved in, sales consulting has many benefits because unlike many other jobs – it isn’t necessarily repetitive.
Sales consulting roles are generally quite flexible; meaning you can work hours that allow you to meet your potential clients, giving you the flexibility of sorting out your own hours depending on what your prospecting activities, and calendar looks like.
Furthermore; most people involved in sales consulting work within a team environment.
You’ll not only be working with people from different departments but depending on your business size – you may be working with other sales consultants.
Every day is different – and you’ll definitely have your problem-solving skills challenged.
By falling back to a sales process, you’ll have a handy road map to help direct you through challenging times.
Lastly – you don’t necessarily need a degree to become successful at sales consulting.
As long as you learn your business well, your products and services in detail (as well as what it means when they buy) and master the sales process – you can potentially make an excellent income.
If you’re thinking of entering sales consulting, you may be interested in the article below.
Further reading: How To Become A Sales Consultant – Your Final Guide
Sales Consulting Training
An important part of sales consulting is continually working on your personal development and investing in your sales education.
The most successful people in sales; no matter the industry – are those that up-skill themselves with relevant training, and bridge the gap from where they’re at, to where they want to be.
Online sales training can especially be very beneficial if you’re involved or wish to be involved in sales consulting; because it allows you to learn remotely, and usually at a fraction of the price of traditional in person sales training.
To learn if online sales training may be beneficial for you and your sales consulting career, check out the related article below for more details.
Related article: 5 x Benefits Of Online Sales Training
Final Thoughts On Sales Consulting
Sales consulting is an excellent career choice if you’re ambitious, determined to make a difference, and if you genuinely want to serve people with an excellent service or product.
Most Sales Professionals are involved in sales consulting not just for the potential profit – but to help people solve their problems and pain points.
People who do excellent in sales consulting approach it differently. They want to find an industry and role in which they can be passionate; yet still make a good income to help realise their goals and help those around them.
If you think this maybe you; give sales consulting a try – it may be just what you have been looking for.