5 Steps to Level Up Your Sales Strategy

Five ways B2B sales professionals can use strategies from Super Mario to up their sales strategy.

May 19, 2017

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Whether you consider it old school or a pioneering video game that was part of your childhood, Super Mario Bros. provides a fitting framework for navigating the sales process. Mario – the main character – may never have been in sales, but he knows a thing or two about the powers of persistence and working smarter. Here are some of the keys to playing Super Mario like an aficionado – ones you can apply to level up your sales strategy.

Step 1: Realize Sales Isn’t Always a Step-by-Step Process

While each generation of the Super Mario game revolves around a different number of levels, suffice it to say it can sometimes feel like an impossible task to get through each level in order. But, in fact, hidden warp zones in Super Mario Bros. let you skip some levels altogether.

In much the same way, you may find that your buyers don’t follow a predictable, linear path to purchase. They may move backwards at times, and even step off and back on the path over an extended period. As a result, you can’t always count on sales being a structured, clocklike process. Rather than get frustrated by not being able to move forward methodically, meet your prospects where they are. Do your best to help them conquer their current “level.”

Step 2: Know When to Push Turbo

In the game, you can push turbo to propel Mario more quickly through a certain sequence or level. If your prospects have moved ahead to, say, “level 3,” don’t inundate them with “level 1” information just because that’s what you’re supposed to do at a certain point in “your” process. In other words, if your prospective buyers are ready to evaluate vendors and solutions, don’t bog them down with content and insights you’d share with a prospect who’s in discovery mode. Keep pace with your buyers so you can give them the proper guidance and information at every step.

Step 3: Know When to Lay off the Turbo

By the same token, don’t rush a sale when your prospect isn’t ready. Sometimes Mario just needs to take his time getting through a level because there are more opportunities or dangers to navigate. In much the same way, your prospects might need to dig in deeper at some stages of their process.

Perhaps the buyer needs to conduct more research, or needs more explanation from you. Maybe the buyer needs your assistance making a case internally to a key stakeholder to build momentum for the purchase. The key is to be sensitive to your buyer’s place in the cycle and do whatever it takes to help the sale progress.

Step 4: Don’t Be a Hero

Get help. If Mario didn’t have the help of power-ups and items like mushrooms, stars, extra lives, and more, he’d stand little chance of winning. Similarly, the winning sales reps call upon all the resources at their disposal. You may need warm introductions from a colleague or connection to get into the account. Once in, you may need an advocate inside the account to help you understand the organization and meet other members of the buying committee. Then, you may need help from a manager or executive on your team to help you close the deal. Don’t be too proud to take advantage of whatever “power-ups” are available. Getting help often means the difference between winning the sale or watching it fall out of your pipeline.

Step 5: Keep Your Goal Front and Center

Selling isn’t for the weak-willed. And neither is the task set out for Mario in the video game. His main charge is to rescue the princess of his kingdom from her kidnapper, King Bowser. Why else would he keep pushing through all those levels?

So what motivates you to sell and continue pursuing an opportunity, even when the stars don’t align? Take an honest look at yourself to figure out what drives you to be your best and then find a way to tap into that in every situation. Is it that you’re driven to be the top dog and outshine your peers? Is it that you want to help others solve their problems? Is it that you have an insatiable thirst for learning and applying that in new situations? Do you want to pay for your children’s college education so they can avoid student loans?

Though it might take a bit of self-reflection to pinpoint your motivator(s), it’s well worth the effort because it – along with the other steps in this post – will help you level up your sales game. 

For more ways to take your performance to new levels, download our eBook,
LinkedIn’s Definitive Guide to Smarter Sales Engagement.