NEEDS based selling & automation: your way to 5x sales in 2024

Last Updated on 
April 22, 2024
Automating Boring Work
Automating Boring Work

What’s the best way to sell a product or service? Ring up your prospects and see how many features you can spew out before they hang up? 

That might’ve worked in the hay-day of telemarketing and door-to-door encyclopedia sales, but not in the modern era. It’s no secret: the best sellers are those who first understand needs and then offer solutions. 

That’s why NEEDS-based selling is the premier method for closing deals in 2024.

NEEDS-based selling framework statistics about customers

Just consider the numbers:

  • 69% of buyers want someone who will listen instead of pressuring them.
  • 80% are more likely to buy from someone who can tailor their experience.
  • 84% are more likely to buy from a rep who understands their goals.

Needs-based selling is the path to giving buyers exactly what they’re looking for. And AI sales automation can transform that path from a dirt road into the Autobahn.

Necessity: examine, explore, determine & solve

When does a good doctor pull out his prescription pad? After he examines the patient, runs tests, and figures out exactly what’s going on. Likewise, a good salesperson listens and understands before she prescribes solutions to meet her prospect’s needs.

This is the approach Apple uses with its retail staff, training them to probe and listen deeply before suggesting products. Amazon essentially does the same thing. Only, instead of employing human salespeople, they “listen” to customers’ purchase and browsing history to suggest products that will meet their specific needs.

Apple and Amazon show there’s more than one way to understand a prospect’s needs. And technology is an effective tool for learning more about them without having to burn time and energy.

Say, by using an automation or playbook to extract information from their LinkedIn profile. Here’s how:

Whatever the tool or method, the core of this needs-based approach to selling remains the same. Its essence can be expressed in the NEEDS acronym:

  • Necessity - What do they need to accomplish?
  • Examine - What have they tried so far? 
  • Explore - What’s worked? What hasn’t?
  • Determine - Where do our products and services fit into the picture?
  • Solve - How do we close the deal and provide ongoing support?

That’s a helpful overview, but without a roadmap, it’ll leave you driving in circles.  Let’s break down the needs-based selling process and look for ways to automate throughout. 

NEEDS based selling methodology acronym description

Automating the NEEDS-based selling process

Your prospect doesn’t give a rip about all your fancy products and services. What they want is for you to understand their problems and help them find solutions.

So, what if you could speed that up and generate prospect research reports at scale, using AI, starting just from an email address? Sounds helpful.

When it comes to needs-based sales, grandpa’s wisdom very much applies. Nobody will care how much you know unless they know how much you care. Using the CARE model (Connect, Analyze, Reflect, Enlighten), let’s break down the needs-based selling process.


Before anything, you’ve got to get your prospects’ contact info.

Getting contact info

You could spend hours running down contact details and copying them into a database. You could deploy an automated AI web scraper tool and set it up, reducing what used to be an hours-long slog into a matter of minutes. Or, you could use our prebuilt automation, to:

Getting ready to build rapport

There’s more to getting connected than just getting someone on the phone. Every good NEEDS-based seller knows how crucial it is to build rapport:

  • establishing a personal connection, 
  • relating over common interests, 
  • showing empathy, 
  • earning trust.

The best way to prepare for that is to gather details about the prospect and his or her company before you call. This can take a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to. Especially if you use AI to do the research for you.

Building your database

Enriched data on all your prospects is gold. But all that data is only as good as your ability to keep track and make use of it when you’ve got your prospect on the line.

With the right AI, it’s easy to scrape data directly into Google Sheets. Taking it a step further, you can even automate a process for gathering and queuing up prospect info every time you schedule a call.

When it comes time to connect, you’ll have instant access to the information you need to start building a connection from the start. Here’s the workflow for that:

Keeping in touch

Building a connection often takes more than just one call. Salespeople struggle to find good, organic reasons to touch base. Thankfully, it’s easy to set up signals & triggers to “watch” for new opportunities to connect.

Say, when a prospect updates his LinkedIn profile. A Slack notification and a new line in a spreadsheet later, you’ve got an organic reason to reach out, “Congratulations on finishing your degree!” 


Building rapport is just one important part of a NEEDS-based framework.

Asking questions

Once you’ve connected and earned trust, it’s time to really start searching for needs to fulfill. Thoughtful questions are crucial:

  • What are the big challenges that will keep you from reaching your goals?
  • Have you been satisfied with your current way of addressing them?
  • Where do you see room for improvement?

These are just a few sample questions. A good salesperson will develop the skill of asking insightful questions that draw out the prospect’s needs and provide opportunities.

He’ll also look everywhere for insights and data to help ask even better questions. Here’s an automation for Facebook:

Logging answers

For keeping track of contact info and prospect research, a robust CRM can be one of your very best friends. But keeping track of and analyzing all the data you gather is a chore.

By integrating Salesforce with LinkedIn or Google Sheets, you can simplify the process and save yourself a whole lot of time and energy. Here’s one of our most popular automations:

Managing the process

Systematically tracking and nurturing leads can eat up time that would be better spent on the phone connecting with prospects and closing deals. This is another opportunity for Bardeen to shine.

Automating Pipedrive and other popular CRMs helps salespeople manage the lead process from start to finish:

  • handling key tasks
  • scheduling follow-ups
  • and more

So that you can focus more on the prospect than on a spreadsheet.

NEEDS based selling methodology - understanding core needs


It’s important you understand the prospect in a needs-based approach to selling. 

Following up

It’s even more important that you respond so that they know you understand them. This will earn trust and allow them to correct any misunderstandings.

But responding well doesn’t just happen in the moment. It happens in every single touch-point between the first contact and a closed deal.

In part, that means following up when you say you will. You might want to send an email reminder after a meeting, so here’s how to automate it for Google Calendar events:

Offering value

One way to nurture leads organically is to provide valuable resources that speak directly to their needs. For example, a quick summary of a thought-provoking YouTube video or article would be a fantastic resource for you to share with prospects.


At this point in the needs-based selling process, you’ve done the heavy lifting. 

Pitching the product and making the sale

  • You’ve connected
  • Understood the customer’s needs
  • Established yourself as someone who can help

All that’s left is to show which of your products and services fit the bill. If you’ve used automation to integrate Salesforce into your needs-based workflow, then the road ahead is straightforward.

Copying a Salesforce opportunity to your database, triggering notifications for all the relative players on your team, kickstarting fulfillment workflows - all these things can be automated to ensure nothing is missed.

Enhancing the sale

One last note: NEEDS-based selling doesn’t just put you in a position to make the sale. It helps you to connect additional products and services with the customer. 

According to recent sales surveys, 91% of sales professionals upsell and 87% of them cross-sell, each bringing in an average of 21% of company revenue. In a word, an automated NEEDS-based approach helps you get more sales bang for your buck.


At the end of the day, needs-based selling is a common sense approach to connecting your solutions with your customers’ problems. As with any human relationship, getting to know a buyer so that you can put yourself in a position to help takes time and energy.

In the brave new world of AI web agents, even for sales, you can automate all the impersonal aspects of selling so that you can focus on the personal. That’s where deals are closed, money is made, and advocates are formed. Satisfy their needs, and they’ll satisfy your need for a pipeline of high-quality referrals and future sales.

So go ahead and download Bardeen’s Chrome extension, you won’t regret it. It’s free forever!

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