Posts Tagged ‘imrproving salse performance’
Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Every business and sales professional has the desire and need to achieve sales growth. With the difficulty to get prospects on the phone, it is critical to incorporate an email strategy that is effective at getting the prospect’s attention and getting you in the door. Even though that is a reasonable thought, it still can be challenging to figure out how to best utilize the valuable tool of email marketing.
It is important to know the environment that you are operating in in order to figure out how to best operate. The first thing to be cognizant of is your prospects are likely getting a large volume of emails from sales people like you. And to add another challenge to that, your prospects are likely extremely busy.
This is the environment. There is nothing that you can do to change any of that. Acknowledge this. Be aware of what you have to deal with so that you can design the best approach.
The Good News
The good news is that there are some very clear and practical things that you can do to improve your results and effectiveness. We will share those with you and if you apply some of the tips that we share, you will likely see an immediate improvement in your results.
The Solution – The Magic 5 of Email Content Based Email Campaigns that Drive Sales
SalesNexus recently released a series of 6 Sales Growth Webinars and accompanying eBooks that outline the process of targeting prospects, engaging them with emails and drawing them toward your business as long term customers. The first of these is “The Magic 5 of Content Based Email Marketing that Drives Sales.”
Start with these three sets of five emails. They should be easy to identify and create.
5 PAINS: What are the most common pains your service addresses? When you work with your ideal client, what problems do you solve? You want to look beyond the technical pain of what needs fixing to the business pain that causes them economic loss. The most effective way to develop trust is to dig deep into discovering the REAL pain…what causes them to lose sleep?
5 QUALIFYING QUESTIONS: How do you know when they’re ready to buy? Can you quantify what sort of clients brings you a higher average sale? Don’t spend much time on demographics. Instead, focus on identifying the decision maker and budget. You can easily determine your qualifying questions by tracking the data on your CRM.
5 FAQs: What questions are most commonly asked by those who are interested in what you offer? Do they ask about the set up process or delivery time? When they are ready to buy, do they want to know the difficulty of set up or installation? Do they inquire about your customer service option or refund policy?
It really is easy to start developing relationships with your prospective customers when you use a CRM solution to manage the sales process and gather data. When your email program is integrated into the CRM, it is even easier. Check out what is possible by attending a series of Sales Growth Webinars at no cost to you.
The Magic 5 process is the key to filling your pipeline with quality leads that your sales team can close now. The Sales Growth Webinar series dives into the specific components of identifying your customer’s pain, qualifying sales leads, managing your pipeline, forecasting future sales, sharing information with your team and effective sales messaging.
View the entire series of webinars on video at your convenience and download each ebook here or choose the specific topics you’re most interested in:
The Magic 5 of Content Based Email Marketing that Drives Sales
A simple 5 step process to create on-going, automated email campaigns that engage your audience and identify highly qualified prospects.
Building a Successful Marketing and Sales Process by Identifying Your Customer’s “Pain”
How to identify the emotional circumstances that cause customers to buy from you, how to question prospects to diagnose their “pains” and build sales processes that win!
How to Qualify Sales Leads and Focus on Sales Growth that’s Profitable
Use simple questioning techniques to determine if a sales lead will purchase and the powerful impact of consistent qualifying.
Manage a Sales Process of Actions that Lead to Sales Growth
What should be measured in every sales process, how to set goals for and measure it and how to manage sales people to achieve business growth.
360 degree View of the Customer Relationship for Business Growth
How strong relationships between customers and companies drive business growth and the risk of mistaking a customer to sales person relationship with a customer to company relationship.
The 4 Pillars of a Sales Messaging Strategy that Drives Growth
How to communicate what your products and services do for your customers, get their attention and understand their needs, with Michael Halper, author of “The Cold Calling Equation”
By simply taking some of the concepts discussed in these books and modules, you are likely to see immediate results in terms of sales growth.
Sunday, March 3rd, 2013
The following is a sales script sample. Following the example, we’ll break down a few of the main parts of the script to help you to build one similar for your product and business.
Sales Script Sample
Hello, I’m trying to connect the director of IT. Can you point me in the right direction?
Hi, Tom. This is Tina Jones with Latitude. Have I caught you in the middle of something at this time?
Great, the purpose of my call is that we assist businesses with improving the reliability of their business services.
I actually don’t know if what we provide is a good fit for you, so I just had a couple of questions.
- Are you currently doing active monitoring of your applications and infrastructure?
- Are you knowledgeable about problems before or while they occur?
Common Pain Examples
As we speak with other IT directors, they express concerns with:
- There are so many alerts that they don’t know where the real problems are
- Problems occur and they never receive notification
- Don’t have knowledge of what business services the problems are impacting
Which one of those can you relate to the most?
Building Interest Points
Based on what we discussed, it might be productive for us to talk in more detail.
As I said, I’m with Latitude and we provide application and infrastructure monitoring as well as management solutions.
We differ from other options out there by our technology predicts problems before they occur.
We typically reduce time to repair by 15 to 20%.
Since I’ve called you out of the blue, I don’t want to take any more of your time to talk right now. If you have interest, a great next step would be for us to schedule a 15 to 20 minute meeting where we can discuss your needs in more detail and share what amount of value and insight that we have to offer against that. How does your schedule look next Tuesday or Thursday?
Explanation of the Sales Script
The following is an explanation of the main sections of the sales script sample:
Introduction: You’ll likely need two introductions in every sales script, one being for the gatekeeper and one being for your target prospect.
Value Statement: To grab the prospect’s attention and tell them why they should spend the next 2 to 5 minutes speaking with you, give them a value statement at the beginning of the sales script.
Disqualify: There’s a statement to disqualify the prospect in the sales script sample. This helps decrease the prospect’s guard, stir up curiosity as well as build some rapport.
Qualifying Questions: Because not every prospect will be a fit, you should ask some qualifying questions to ensure it makes sense for both parties to keep speaking.
Common Pain Examples: You increase the number of leads if you increase the amount of pain you are able to find. A way to uncover pain your prospect may be experiencing is by sharing examples which other prospects and clients have experienced.
Building Interest Points: Share some powerful points to trigger more interest on the prospect’s side toward the end of the call before going for the close.
Close: In every conversation with a prospect, there is something you are trying to close. This sales script sample gives you some language for setting an appointment.
Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool to help sales pros develop a sales script sample of their own.
Sunday, February 17th, 2013
It can be the difference between success and failure being able to develop sales scripts that sell. Commonly, it is believed that there’s not much which can be done to make a sales script better as well as it’s really simply the product that’s going to sell. In reality, there are fundamental things which can be done to improve the effectiveness of your script. They are outlined below.
Effectively communicating the value we have to offer to prospects that we speak with is one thing often left out or forgotten when developing sales scripts that sell. Of course we are great at explaining what our products do and how wonderful they are, but that doesn’t communicate the value that we have to offer.
“What is in it for me?” is the main thing prospects are concerned with and the value that you offer answers that question. How your product helps is value.
Qualify the Prospect
Questions which qualify the prospect are another thing to include in sales scripts that sell. Qualifying questions check to see how if what we have to offer is a fit for the prospects.
Attempting to sell to everybody that we get the opportunity to speak with is one common mistake made. Realistically, not everybody is a good fit so we should ask some qualifying questions to help qualify or disqualify the prospect.
Find Prospect Pain
By developing your qualifying questions correctly, it helps to find pain when you go through them with the prospect. One of the important keys to developing sales scripts that sell is having the ability to find pain.
When a prospect presents no pain, there isn’t a reason for the prospect to make a purchase. On the flips side, the more pain that we are able to uncover, the higher the likelihood of the prospect to move forward with a purchase.
People sometimes think that the prospect will find out what your product is about and either have interest or not. This is not exactly true because there are many things which you can say about your product and your company to create interest as well as you can develop your sales script so that it contains powerful building interest points which are vital for creating sales scripts that sell.
One of the major keys to success is building rapport because people buy from people that they like as well as establishing rapport assists in getting the prospect to be responsive, share information, and be in agreement to commit to the next step. There are some small things which can be added to develop sales scripts that sell.
Building credibility is often skipped. When trying to develop a powerful sales script, you it is helpful to include name drops as well as customer examples which help to establish your credibility early on and this develops sales scripts that sell.
Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script development tool that helps to create sales scripts that sell.
Sunday, December 9th, 2012
The concept of a sales funnel is one of the most common models for managing sales activities and teams. You put in an amount of activity into the top of the funnel and out of that you get a certain number of conversations. Then, from those conversations, you’ll obtain a certain number of firm appointments. Out of the appointments set, you’ll get a certain amount of sales leads. This pattern continues leading up to the fact that a percentage of leads produced should be closed and this is what comes out of the bottom of the sales funnel.
There are three pitfalls that can limit the reliability and consistency of this model.
1. Assuming Effort = Results
When subscribing to the sales funnel model, we’re believing that putting in an amount of activity in the top of the funnel will lead to some amount of results. But, effort alone is not guaranteed to lead to any results in the world of sales. With hard work and a high level of effort, but bad messaging and technique, we could see little or no results. The business world is very competitive and if we come in second, we won’t get any kudos for trying real hard. In conclusion, if we put just any amount of activity in the funnel with an expectation that results will be produced, we are creating an expectation built on a weak foundation.
2. Assuming Ratios are Static
Believing the ratios throughout the sales funnel are somewhat fixed and should be the same for everybody is another pitfall we can fall into. This would hint that the expectation for everyone on the sales team should be to have the same conversion rates throughout the funnel – creating conversations from cold calls, converting conversations to meetings, and for converting leads to closed deals. It would be unrealistic to have expectations for different members of a sales team to have similar funnel shapes due to there are many factors involved as well as every sales person is unique.
Also, we can get caught up on assuming the conversion rates are what they are as well as there are not a lot of things we can do to improve them. There may be belief that hit rates, lead rates, and close rates are possibly fixed. In addition, it may be believed that the main variable we need to focus on and manage is activity level that is put into the top of the sales funnel.
3. Only looking at the top of the funnel
We can easily get caught up on only focusing on the top of the sales funnel and the level of activity that we’re putting in. Because we need more sales, we throw more callers and actual dials at the problem. Obviously, we need to make calls because we can’t just wait around for prospects to call us, but this strategy is flawed if our message or our technique is off. We could be doing more of a misdirected approach and the extra effort might not yield results which is a waste of time and money.
Launch Pad Solutions provides sales consulting helping managers to improve the sales funnel.
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
Typically, successful salespeople have certain sales habits which lead to their consistent results. If you’re motivated to improve your sales performance, you can incorporate some of the following habits and you’ll see an improvement in your results.
1. Being more organized
Being a salesperson can be very hectic. This can be due to having a full schedule of things to do and things often move at a fast pace. By focusing on improving your ability to stay organized, you can deal with this while remaining effective and efficient.
Some areas where being organized can help improve results are how organized you are with your time and schedule, managing customer and prospect information, and managing pipeline information.
2. Getting in front of target prospects
Being successful in sales depends on a salesperson’s ability to get in front of target prospects. The key to effectiveness in this area varies for different sales positions.
Successful salespeople create a way to make this happen and there are things you can do to improve your ability to do the exact same thing. Some examples of areas to invest your time and energy to improve results are by using tools like cold calling, professional networking, and social media.
3. Build relationships
Commonly, prospects buy from salespeople that they like. As a result, successful salespeople are effective at building rapport and relationships with their prospects.
You may think that you are who you are and prospects will either like you or not. But there are some clear and practical things that can be done to make prospects more comfortable around you as well as increase the level of rapport.
4. Qualify prospects
A sales person can only work so many hours weekly. Because of this, you must squeeze as much as you can out of each hour you have. In order to do that, spend as much time as possible with high quality prospects, meaning prospects which fit well with what you’re offering and that have the ability to purchase.
Successful salespeople are effective at qualifying prospects when they’re able to minimize time wasted with prospects which have a low probability of purchasing. The key to success in this area is to ask good qualifying questions.
5. Manage sales cycles
The choice is yours, either let the sales cycle control you or you control the sales cycle. Clearly, there are sales process stages that you should be moving deals through and there are things in which you can do to manage this as well as increase your effectiveness at moving deals from one sales cycle stage to the next.
One thing you’ll want to focus on is identifying different sales stages for your selling process. Also, you’ll want to identify where the prospect is in their buying process as well as when they’ll need to make the purchase. From that point, there are things you can implement in order to facilitate and move forward with the close.
Launch Pad Solutions provides sales consulting to businesses helping them to produce successful salespeople.
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Below are top sales tips that can have an immediate improvement in your sales results. They are very easy and practical to implement regardless of your level of experience and knowledge.
Use a Sales Script
Having a very negative impression of using a sales script is very common among sales people. This is partly due to many people think of a script being a long document that we read from and dictated word for word.
In reality, a sales script can be as simple as a bullet point list of questions and statements that we go through when speaking with prospects. It greatly improves our execution by having the list.
Prepare for Objections
Objections will be faced throughout your sales process. Prospects may say they are not interested, they are not looking to make a change, or that your prices are too expensive, it is definite that you deal with these responses.
Simply preparing for these objections is one of the top sales tips. Realistically, there are only between 10 to 15 objections that you will repeatedly run up against. Due to this, we can easily list out the objections that we anticipate and proceed to script out the best responses.
Focus on Qualifying
It is easy to find ourselves trying to sell everybody with the ever present need to find business and close deals. The poses a challenge due to not everybody is a good prospect for what we are offering which can lead to us wasting time speaking with prospects that have a very low probability of buying.
By using the tops sales tips to go from chasing everybody and shift towards qualifying prospects, we will look closer at prospects and be more selective with prospects that we spend our valuable time with. In using this step alone, you can improve your pipeline management and close ratio.
Try to Find Pain
Always trying to find prospects that have some level of pain around the products and services that you sell can improve results. Ask them, Is everything great, just OK, or could be better?
Finding pain is key due to if there is not any pain, there will not be a valid reason to make a change, resulting in things stalling out as the prospect might not have the justification to move forward. This is even if you have been persuasive enough to get meetings and create a lead.
Effectively Collect and Manage Information
Likely information is collected with every prospect interaction. Whether it is collected while doing research before sales calls or it is gathered from prospects directly. By being better at gathering and managing this information, it will make all of your discussions more productive and that leads to better lead generation.
The top sales tips discussed here will help you to obtain more information around your prospects. You can use many different tools and processes from there to ensure the information can be easily accessed throughout the sales cycle.
Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool helping sales pros to implement the top sales tips.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
Every business owner has how to maximize sales as a top priority and there are many areas that can be worked on to be consistent and successful in accomplishing this goal. Improving the people that are on the frontlines selling is an area that time and effort can be spent.
Hire Good Sales People
A critical area which often doesn’t get enough attention is trying to make the best hire possible in terms of the sales resources that are added to the team. Selling and running the business is what most sales people and managers want. Due to recruiting and interviewing being a distraction from that, we can be not as thorough in the vetting process.
We can stand to get hit in a couple of areas in terms of costs when we don’t hire the right resources. The first cost is we can spend a tremendous amount in terms of staffing and training on someone that doesn’t produce or stay for a long period. Secondly, the other and more significant cost that hits us is the opportunity cost from all of the deals that are missed and lost while we don’t have the optimal resource in place.
Spending more time and being more thorough when looking to add or replace sales resources and improve how to maximize sales is the solution. It is important to add more steps to the process, use more structure in the questions and analysis as well as look at both qualitative and quantitative metrics.
Provide Solid Sales Training
With the right resources in place, what is the process in place to get their level on knowledge and skills where they need to be for how to maximize sales? Is any type of sales training program and process in place?
Commonly, sales managers and business owners hire sales people that have experience and have the mindset that they have experience and know what to do. In reality, they may be new to the company and the industry and there is training needed in those areas. Also, in the area of sales skills, there is always room for improvement and development.
Provide Direction through Sales Coaching
The grooming of sales resources does not stop when the direction and knowledge has been established. There is a need to continue to develop and guide through sales coaching.
With sales coaching, there is an ongoing activity where we work with the frontline sales resources to identify goals, problems, opportunities, and more. Likely, you can have more clarity with how to maximize sales by continuing to work with the resources to make sure they are progressing and staying on track.
Minimize Sales Staff Turnover
When the right resources are in place, and you have invested a large amount in them in terms of training and coaching, and they are now producing, this results in you doing everything you can to keep those resources and minimize sales turnover.
Sales staff turnover will always exist, but there are things that can be done to minimize it. Such as consistent management, well structure compensation plans, empowerment, communication, and coaching to decrease turnover.
Launch Pad Solutions provides sales coaching helping business with how to maximize sales.
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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
One of the main critical things for being successful is being great at handling objections in selling. This is important due to objections will definitely arise throughout your sales cycle. The following are three objection handling options.
Comply with the Objection
Complying with the objection is always an option. This is generally in order to agree or give in to the objection.
It is imperative to realize at some point, complying with the objection is the best way to go. At this point, we could cause damage to the level of rapport with the prospect if we continue to try to pursue other objection handling options.
Using complying as our initial objection response every time will lead us to minimal sales results. One way in avoiding this is to attempt two or three approaches to alleviate the objection before complying.
Overcome the Objection
Overcoming the objection is another avenue that we have when handling objections in selling. This is simply in order to attempt to defuse or resolve the objection.
By trying to overcome an objection, you are trying to change a prospect’s mind and that can be very challenging. There are certain periods where trying to overcoming an objection makes sense, but at other times, it does not.
Taking a little time to plead your case is vital in changing someone’s mind in order to be effective. Trying to overcome an objection during a cold call can be a very low probability direction. Simply, there isn’t the time and attention from the prospect that is needed to truly be effective at defusing the objection.
When you are in more formal meetings and discussions with prospects, trying to overcome becomes a good option for handling objections in selling. During a demonstration or presentation, if an objection arises, you then have the time and attention that you need to really face the objection head on and give a good try at resolving the prospect’s concerns.
Redirect the Objection
Redirecting the objection is a third option for handling objections in selling. This is simply in order to redirect the conversation into a new direction. Following is an example of that:
Prospect: “We are already using something for that.”
Salesperson: “Oh great. Do you mind if I ask what you all are using today?”
We did not comply and move on in the above example. Also, we didn’t attempt to overcome the objection in order to convince the prospect that they should change. What we did do was we kept the conversation going by asking a question that redirected away from the objection but stayed in a related area.
When facing objections in cold calling, redirecting is an ideal strategy. There isn’t time to effectively deal with and respond directly to an objection at that time. Redirecting will improve your ability to keep conversations going which helps to improve results.
Launch Pad Solutions provides web-based sales training to help with handling objections in selling.
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Saturday, September 8th, 2012
The management of a sales team can be greatly improved by knowing how to measure sales effectiveness. You will not have the information you need to make the minor adjustments to help increase your sales, if you don’t know what individuals are doing well and what areas need improvement. Following are six areas to observe when measuring sales effectiveness.
1. Sales Revenue
The obvious point is to use sales revenue to measure results. Every sales manager presently uses this metric to measure performance. Importantly, where the problem lies is that many sales leaders only look at this metric when managing a sales team.
There could be negative impacts in the areas of turnover and employee development due to a manager only rewarding and reprimanding based on sales revenue results. Long-term sales revenue will not be maximized when turnover is high and employees are not growing.
2. Activity Levels
When figuring out how to measure sales effectiveness, we can look at activity levels. Where the number of cold calls leads to a number of appointments which leads to the level of lead generation there’s definitely a sales funnel at play.
One way to provide very valuable data that should be factored in when measuring sales performance is to use a system to monitor and track activity levels in terms of calls made, appointments set and completed, and leads produced.
3. Hours Worked
How much is the sales resource working? This is a key question as many sales positions have certain amounts of freedom from a lack of fixed hours and schedule. Is the sales resource putting in the right amount of hours per week or taking advantage of this freedom?
Of course, a manager might not care how much time is being put in if the sales resource’s performance is well. If performance could be better, this is an area that could explain what is going and is fairly easy to adjust.
You get a metric of productivity by dividing the activity by the hours worked. A very important metric to look at is how to measure sales effectiveness as it can show if the resource is efficient and working hard.
There may be a reason to look into what the employee is doing if the activity levels are high, but it takes too many hours to get there.
5. Sales Messaging
It’s not enough to just look at how hard and how much the sales resource is working. It is also necessary to measure as well as monitor what they’re doing while they’re working in terms of sales messaging.
When talking with prospects, are they saying the right points and asking the right questions? Having the wrong messaging, no matter how hard they have worked, will not yield the best results.
6. Tactics and Techniques
Lastly, the thing to look at with how to measure sales effectiveness is identifying if the sales resource is using the right tactics and techniques. Is the resource utilizing the tactics and techniques they have been trained on?
Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool that helps with how to measure sales.
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Thursday, September 6th, 2012
Many business owners and sales managers continuously pursue trying to identify how to enhance sales. The great thing with that is there are well-defined and practical adjustments and investments that can be made to improve sales results.
Decrease Sales Staff Turnover
Sales staff turnover will always exist at some level. The problem here is that in many sales organizations, there is commonly a continuous cycle with sales people always coming and going.
Turnover in the sales force is one of the most expensive factors that can hit a business. Not only is it costly to recruit, hire, and train new resources, but there is also a tremendous amount of opportunity cost that can occur from business that is lost or missed.
There are some very well-defined and practical adjustments and investments that can be made to increase sales staff retention and that is one way to assist with how to enhance sales.
Utilize Sales Training
Sales differs from other business functions by the fact that it is a skill, something that can be learned and continually conditioned.
Some companies focus less in the area of sales training or they provide sales training when a new sales resource is hired. The problem with that is in order to achieve how to enhance sales, sales skills need to be continually conditioned and improved.
Implement Sales Coaching
The terms, sales training, sales coaching, and sales management are commonly intermixed. And while all are parallel, each is different and serves its own purpose when driving toward how to enhance sales.
Sales coaching differs from sales training by it is typically provided on a one-on-one and recurring basis with sales professionals. For instance, a sales coach meets with a client for 30 minutes once weekly or for an hour once monthly.
A sales team can have more comprehensibility as to goals, challenges, and direction by facilitating and constituting sales coaching. Brainstorming, action planning, and progress tracking are practices that have immediate improvement on sales results.
Augment with Sales Outsourcing
Multiple companies have aspiration for expansion which is greater than what the existing sales force can facilitate due to scalability challenges. One workaround, sales outsourcing, is essentially partnering with service providers to get external resources to help with part of the sales cycle. Lead generation, cold calling, and appointment setting is typically the area that businesses outsource.
Launch Pad Solutions provides sales consulting helping businesses to identify how to enhance sales.
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