The sales you make in your business are a result of the activity you or…
As Swiss Toni would tell you sales are the lifeblood of a business and how well and how often your business makes a sale will determine its success. It follows then, that the proper management of the sales team and the sales process is critical.
This may seem obvious but I regularly speak to businesses that have little or no clear sales strategy in place. Also their sales staff receive little or no training and are rarely held accountable…..and we’re not just talking about small businesses here either. Below are 6 essential elements required if you are selling anything, sadly without which you’re inhibiting your growth and long-term success.
Establishing sales targets are the starting point and have to be developed to demonstrate the following:
The overall financial sales target for the company
They need to be broken down to quarterly, monthly, weekly and quite probably daily sales targets
Sales volumes – depending on the product it may be beneficial to break the sales targets down into the number of widgets to be sold. This way sales teams can obtain a very clear view on what products to prioritise. (And of course this will identify stock holdings potentially required too).
Targets may need to be assigned regionally or departmentally as well as to each individual sales rep so that management can track the actual versus plan.
Sales Implementation Plan
Once the sales targets have been clarified, the next step in the process is to develop a very clear but simple sales implementation plan. This should include the sales call cycle, new business opportunities and how you plan to convert those opportunities into sales as well as reviewing the progress being made in this regard. Here Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential to monitor performance drivers that ultimately lead to targets being met.
Clear Sales Process & Scripts
Many companies do not have a clearly defined sales process. The importance of this element cannot be over emphasised. Having a clear process in place means that management can be confident that all their sales staff are following a common sales process. As a result, the company can track sales conversion rates across various stages (e.g. Lead, Suspect, Prospect, Buyer) of the sales process and is then able to take corrective action in order to increase conversion rates.
Sales Pipeline Tracking
Ensure that you are using one of the many robust CRM systems available to be able to track the progress of each lead in the system. This will ensure that you are keeping track of the very important next steps in the sales process, whilst also giving you the opportunity to build a trusting relationship with each of your prospects.
Identify Your Leads Personality style
It is important to identify your lead/prospects personality style as early on in the process as possible. This enables you to adapt your sales style depending on their type. This is an area that is under utilised but that can drastically increase your conversion rates.
Selling is about empowering prospects to make a purchase decision.
There are three main parts to any sales process:
- Build the relationship
- Develop trust
- Allow your prospect to make a purchase decision
This process applies to any type of product, and one needs to ensure that your marketing message and sales process take a prospect through each of these steps if you want to ensure a good conversion rate.
As Toni would say selling is just like making love to a beautiful woman, you need to plan your move, say the right things, treat them well and ensure your pipeline is full.