Sales are the lifeblood of most companies. So, if you are part of the sales department, you have a lot on your shoulders.
It can seem overwhelming if there is company-wide change that will directly affect (and likely improve) your sales processes because new tools and strategies are being implemented and at times, it can be hard to keep up with all of the changes. However, don’t worry.
If you use the following advice you can adapt to the changes and boost your sales like never before:
Prospecting is the first step in the sales process, which consists of identifying potential customers, so it is usually the first step where changes will be made. It is the top line of your funnel. Without prospecting, you won’t have anyone in your pipeline to close later on. Understand the importance of doing research before contacting prospects. This can make the initial meeting more likely to convert to a later sale down the road.
You have to know what your customers’ wants and needs are so you can propose the right solution. If you fail to use smart questions in this phase, you might lose the sale before realizing it. Smart questions provide a deeper understanding to the insights of the consumer. For example, asking open-ended questions like, “What is working well and what isn’t working?” can help you to identify why the prospective sale could be hesitant to commit. You might be getting objections when closing the deal when in reality they never had their needs met the entire time. You should be asking about deadlines, restrictions and key decision makers up front.
Influential salespeople are able to win over others. This is not something that you are born with. It can be taught via influence training, which will essentially teach you how to influence your customers’ decision through building credibility, engaging their emotions and demonstrating logic. If you or someone on your team seem to have trouble booking deals, don’t hesitate to get the knowledge that can take you or your co-workers to next level.
If the customer believes you are on the same team, the sale is going to be much easier. This is why rapport is so important. Make sure you are building rapport at every stage. From talking about the sports team to the kids to other similar interests, it is always worth it. Even if you have to slow the sales process down, make sure your customer is like your friend. After all, people buy from those they like, not always the person with the “best” product on the market.
Every sale is going to have objections that you have to overcome. Make sure you are drilling objection handling every day. The first step is to make sure you are not jumping on what the customer says and disagreeing with them. You should be listening to them to drive deeper on what is really keeping them from buying. Practice listening and repeating concerns so they know that you understand them and are working towards a mutual agreement while resolving their concerns.
With only one or two closes, your sales strategy is not going to succeed. You need multiple ways to close a deal. Otherwise, you will suffer from a lack of options when it comes down to crunch time. If you or your team struggles with closing, you can propose a training meeting to deal with those concerns.
Not every sale is made on the first go. Sometimes, you need to follow up to get the business. Don’t be hesitant to get creative with how you stay in contact with your customers. For instance, you can send them cards, invitations to events and tickets to games. Anything that keeps you in front of your customer is going to go a long way in winning the business for your company. Don’t overdo it though. After two or three times of following up, if the customer is still not interested, back off.
A CRM is what keeps everyone on the same page and organized. With customer data in two, you can make better decisions. Make sure your sales strategy revolves around using your tools appropriately to have better results. If your company is not currently using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) service, it is time to tell your superiors about the vast benefits of these systems.
If you want a better sales number at the end of the quarter, you have to apply the changes that your company is implementing. By starting with the core strategies above, you will be able to fully embrace the changes. By being one of the first adopters of the practices, you will show to your company that you are dedicated, willing to adapt and your numbers will reflect that.
Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you upgrade your sales skills and get a great sales job? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!
Jenn Lee is a wife and mother of 2 children by day and a freelance writer by night. Her passion lies in business and mentoring. When she doesn’t have her nose pressed against her computer screen, you can find her spending time with her family.