Sales and distribution are two primary ingredients for any business success. Thus, starting from the best practices for your sales team is the first step toward building a profitable business. Of course, once you have mastered those the time is right to start experimenting with new sales strategies that none out there is doing. Yet if you’re missing the best practices, this is an excellent place to start.
Salespeople have to act and do it as quickly as possible. Procrastination is the first enemy as the more time you spend thinking, the less you’ll have time to act and start for instance sending those emails that can lend you new clients or calling those contacts you have on your desk.
However, to make your action more effective, a plan is needed. An action plan is merely a set of predetermined steps you will take and a workflow you’ll need to make your effort more oorganized
One key ingredient to make sales processes successful is the ability of the sales team to target the right leads. Indeed, imagine the case of a salesperson contacting a hundred people and closing none.
In many cases that happens when the salesperson doesn’t know who’s the ideal target that can benefit from the company’s service or product.
When a company has mastered lead generation by automating part of the activities from its marketing department it is easy to have salespeople forget about the first and hardest stage, get in touch with people that don’t know your brand.
Instead, have your salespeople spend a part of their time doing sales canvassing or contacting with cold calls or emails people that don’t know your brand. When they master this process, they can also uncover insights about why your business didn’t manage to be recognized among valuable segments of the market as well.
When a company starts up, you’ll probably have one or two salespeople that have a weird profile. In short, they are not typically just people that mastered the sales process; they are more like renaissance men and quick learners.
They ventured in the business world when none or few people knew your brand and built the company from the ground up. Thus, those people know your company and product better than anyone else.
Therefore, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time. Instead, have the new team members of the sales team take advantage of scripts that cover up the main concerns and questions potential customers might have and how to address them. Keep in mind that the script is just a tool to guide the sales force, but it is meant to be improved over time.
Just like scripts, email templates can be a great help to salespeople to use what has already worked and rolled it out on a larger scale.
It is essential to keep improving those templates to allow sales emails to gain higher and higher conversion rates. Even though templates do work, it is vital to let for at least a small part of it to be personalized.
Thus, while you can have a template, you still need to do your research and make sure you offer some valuable information to get the lead interested in what you’re saying. Why would anyone listen to you if you’re sending out the same message to anyone?
Before contacting anyone make sure to do your research. People are interested in listening to you when you can deliver to them solutions to their problem.
None cares about your product or service or who you are (unless you’re a rockstar). Thus, before sending our that message, are you providing something valuable to the person on the other side?
One of the less understood aspects of selling is the fact that you only need to pick up the phone as many times as you can and sell your product.
However, while this is a prerequisite, it is not really what makes the difference. When you’re reaching out to someone, you need to understand what motivates them, their value proposition.
Marketing usually can deliver a value proposition and make it seen by as many people as possible. But that value proposition will be not tailored. In short, your product or service doesn’t have a single value proposition, but it will have as many as many potential clients exist out there.
The salesman has to be able to find the value proposition in the product or service that most suits the potential customer on the other side. That is how you get attention.
10x goal setting
Among the most misunderstood things about sales is the goal setting process. Many believe that is fine to set reasonable goals. Thus, they won’t shot to the moon but rather be happy with a discrete objective.
For instance, they might say, “why don’t we increase sales by 50% this year?” And for many, this is a massive increase. Yet if you are not ambitious enough not only you won’t reach the objective but you won’t even take the necessary actions to get there.
In short, to reach massive results, you need to have quite ambitious goals, and targets. Those will ask for the kind of actions that will get you motivated in the long run.
Understand the client business model
If you’re selling to another business, you need to understand its psychology. While indeed when you sell to a consumer, you want to understand their necessities.
When it comes to the business, you want to study their business model indeed. How do they make money? Who are their customers? What do their customers want? What cost structure does the business have?
All those aspects will be critical to understanding what the person, on the other hand, is motivated by and get you closer to deliver the solution that works best for them.
This is the most critical word in sales, yet many neglect it. When you’ve spent hours in prospecting, researching, and meeting a client you’ve done only part of the work.
However, when you don’t follow up, you’ve wasted your time. You could have well not done the work at all. The follow-up is probably the thing that requires the least effort (that is more a matter of organization), yet that is what gets you to close the deal.
Until the potential client gives you an answer which might be positive or negative, you need to follow-up!
Fill your pipeline, always!
In some cases, you might think your pipeline is good enough. That is when you start losing ground. To avoid the risk of being left with an empty pipeline, you need to be prospecting at all time.
Some deals might take way longer than expected to be closed, in that scenario you need a backup plan, which is your pipeline and how full it is.
Keep in touch
When you’ve closed a deal or received a No as the answer, you can’t just leave it up there. You need to keep in touch with that person as what might have prevented to close the deal might have been timing.
On the other hand, if you already closed a deal with that person keeping in touch might allow you to understand when that person has additional needs and whether you can help with your company to fulfill them.
Deliver value before closing
Many think of selling as closing a deal. While closing is part of the process, you’re selling (or serving) at all time. The common mistake is to think you have to deliver value only when the customer has been acquired and he has given you the credit card.
Instead, you need t deliver value as soon as you start interacting with a potential client. Why does she/he need to trust you?
That person doesn’t know you, how she can be sure you’re the person she wants to have business with. There is only one way to prove it, to deliver value before the sales are closed.
After you’ve closed the sales, it isn’t like your work is over. If you provide a service the most delicate part of it is the first stage of usage of that service by the new customer. Indeed this is still a process in which the person needs to understand whether you can be trusted to deliver the value you promised.
Therefore, you need to be on top of it. The way you support the client once she has acquired your product or service determines how much your business can be trusted. Also, an essential part of any sales funnel is the referral side.
When you’re providing outstanding support not only you’re retaining valuable customers, but you also have those people refer your business to others.
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