As featured in the Small Firms Association business magazine:
How to Develop and Improve Sales Results.
Analyse where your business is coming from by examining all of your clients. By doing this exercise, you can confirm the original source of the work. The inquiry at a glance could have come from your website, but what triggered that activity? Once you understand this, you can then start to invest time and effort into these areas, which will make your marketing effort more efficient and effective, and you may uncover a champion for your business.
Often businesses spend time trying to understand why a pitch / proposal was unsuccessful, and this is important as a learning exercise. However, I believe we have so much more to learn by asking what encouraged someone to choose your company or product. This information can then be used in other pitches and it will start to build a picture of what is important to potential clients.
- Follow Up
80% of sales happen somewhere between the fifth and 12th touch-point. The purchasing process is getting longer, with multiple decision makers involved, and this brings challenges for salespeople. Most salespeople give up after three to five efforts, believing the opportunity is gone – this is where sales are lost. Have a followup strategy that is focused on the customer and make sure every point of contact has value. There are numerous ways to stay relevant and deliver value during the buying process.
- Your Current Clients
As business owners, we can be very focused on new business development. In my experience, there is always a great opportunity to get incremental revenue growth from your existing customers. Look at your top ten customers, what additional services or products would be complementary to what they are already buying from you. The key here is it needs to make sense and be a good fit.
- Create Your Sales Story
A conversation that emotionally connects with a buyer will make a difference. Create a sales story for each industry that you serve. Carve out stories based on how you helped companies, explaining what their original situation was, what solution did you provide and what was the outcome.
- Sales Meetings
Regardless of the size of your team, create the time for weekly sales meetings that look at progress and challenges. It’s a time to review and plan and it holds people accountable for their sales activities. I would also suggest using this time to brainstorm challenges and allow people to contribute ideas based on their experience.
As a suggestion topic number 1:
How do we as a team stay relevant and bring value to potential clients during the buying process?.
Get people involved and brainstorm, and get people to take ownership of the ideas generated.
7. Know your numbers
The numbers never lie. Understand your metrics, and drill down on the detail. Sales Activities are what drives revenue, so its all about how people are spending their time.
In my experience, long-term and high-value customers will choose the salesperson that they trust. Focus on how you can build trust with potential clients. Listening is a terrific first step, which is often missed, so focus on listening, which requires planning your questions in advance of any call or meeting.Let listening be your number 1 priority and the rest will fall into place.
Explore how you can support your clients’ businesses on social media. Look at ways to share high value content that is specific to your client.