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Posts Tagged ‘sales tips’

Writing a Follow-up Sales Email

Friday, March 8th, 2013

It is helpful for a sales person to have a template for a follow-up sales email. Basically, this is an email with information already filled in where you simply change a few details and then it is fast and easy to shoot out the email when needed.

Particularly, this is helpful for a sales person which might be cold calling and sales prospecting because one of the most common objections is prospects that ask that you just send them information. You should try to get around this objection first, but in some cases the only next available step is to send an email to the prospect. If you’re composing emails each time you need one, you’ll be spending a lot of extra time which can be saved by creating email follow-up templates.

Simple Follow-up Sales Email Strategy

You can save valuable time by creating documents or templates with text outlined which can fit different sales follow-up scenarios. Depending on the type of business, the scenarios can vary, but a lot of prospects request basic company information, pricing information, product information as well as customer reference information.

These templates can be kept in a word document stored on your hard drive or if you have a customer relationship management system, you might have the ability to create templates in the system to easily and quickly be sent and documented by clicking a few buttons under the contact.

Advanced Follow-up Sales Email Strategy

Creating a thread of emails which are tied together and sent out to a prospect at different times over a period of a few weeks is an advanced and effective approach. An example is when a prospect asks for information to be sent, an email will be sent that moment, with a second email a week later, and a third email a couple of weeks later.

This approach has strong benefits. First, using multiple emails gives you the ability to provide more information to the prospect by splitting everything up across multiple messages. With those messages being delivered at different times, the absorption of the amount of information can be greater. In addition, this improves your ability to get the prospect’s attention and response by contacting them multiple times.

An important requirement for the more advanced follow-up sales email approach is a CRM application to automate this process. A lot of systems give you the ability to set up the templates in a campaign with the email delivery being scheduled and automated. What is great about that is once you press send on the first email, you can pretty much forget about the prospect, but they’ll continue receiving emails and often feel obligated to give a response by the third email.

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script development tool that will produce a follow-up sales email template.



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Benefits of Using a Sales Script

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

By surveying 100 salespeople, you would conclude that the majority of them don’t use any form of a sales script. Scripts are often perceived as a hassle to develop, but in reality, there are valuable benefits from using them.

Improves How you Sound
You clearly sound better when talking with prospects by using sales scripts. It’ll make you appear polished and prepared for your conversations and meetings.

A lot of people think that using a script makes you appear more amateur if you’re using a guide. The key is to use a script in a way which your prospect doesn’t realize you’re going through prepared statements and questions.

Improves the Impression that You Make
You’ll immediately improve the impression you make with prospects by improving the way you sound. This can be monumental when attempting to improve your results, particularly when applying this to cold calling.

Typically, you’ll only have a few minutes to work with which means you really need to make a great impression quickly and one key way to do that is by using a sales script.

Improves Rapport

You’re more likely to be better at building rapport when you improve the impression made on a sales prospect. When prospects perceive you as prepared and polished, they‘ll have more respect for you which makes them more comfortable speaking with you.

Rapport is critical because prospects buy from salespeople they like. Also, having rapport makes the prospect more responsive during the sales cycle which definitely impacts your results.

Improves Effectiveness

There are a number of different boxes you need to check during short conversations with prospects in being effective. You need to get their attention, qualify them, find pain they may be experiencing, build interest, have the ability to deal with objections, close the deal, etc.

It greatly improves your ability to check all the boxes by using a sales script. By improving your consistency with scripts, you’ll improve your overall effectiveness when speaking with prospects.

Improves Lead Generation

When adding up all the benefits we have discussed so far, it’s safe to conclude that using a sales script leads to immediate improvement in lead generation and sales results.

Decreases Stress

Using a sales script helps to decrease stress while cold calling and meeting with prospects which is a key benefit. Stress results from entering a situation unprepared with no knowledge of what to do and it increases when you face tough resistance and objections from prospects.

A sales script helps make you feel more prepared as well as leads to more confidence and less stress. When interacting with prospects that are being difficult, you’ll have the knowledge to deal with them which avoids stress that would’ve developed otherwise.

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool that helps sales pros to develop their sales script.


Google

Powerful Questions for Sales People (Part II)

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Questions for Sales PeopleThe following are eleven great questions for sales people. At times, to be an effective salesperson, it’s not necessarily regarding knowing all the correct answers, but more about knowing the correct questions to ask.

6. What do you want to do next?

Commonly, sales people push prospects to move forward. Partly, this is trying to have the prospect do what the sales person would like to do next as far as meeting, looking at a demo, reviewing paperwork, etc.

Sometimes it is more powerful to ask the prospect what they would like to do next. You can suggest some directions in which to go, but checking in, obtaining the prospect’s opinion as well as making the forward direction initiate from them, is a healthy direction to go in regards to building relationships and creating good, quality leads.

7. When would you like to meet again?

Like the last question, asking the prospect when they want to meet again or in what pace they would like to move is a good direction to go.

A large majority of sales people will push prospects to meet and move as fast as possible which makes this question powerful. In retrospect, letting the prospect decide how quickly to move can be one of the questions for sales people that will have a positive impact.

8. Currently, how do you feel about your system/provider on a scale from 1 to 10?

Most likely, your prospect is already using something in your area. Whenever that’s the case, you want to find out how things are going with that. For example, are things great, are things OK, or could things be better? By finding this out you are helping with your efforts to create leads as well as qualify prospects.

It is not best to spend too much of your time with prospects that state they’re doing great because they might be tough to get to change. You want to be looking for those prospects that are just OK or could be better. This is one of the questions for sales people that will assist with that.

9. What is the decision making process?

You will always want to find out how much decision making power the prospect has as well as who is the ultimate decision maker. Sometimes, this can be a bit of a touchy subject to bring up, but by simply asking what the decision making process is and mapping it out will significantly help you in identifying where the authority lies.

10. Is there a budget approved for the purchase?

Identifying if the prospect has the budget to spend money is another key area to look at when qualifying prospects. Some questions for sales people which assist with this are to ask if there’s a budget that has been approved for the purchase in which the prospect is considering.

11. What is the range of your budget that you’re trying to stay within?

Finding out how much the prospect is looking to spend is another important area you want to look into. It can be tough, but one way to approach this is by being very direct and asking what the current budget range is that they’re trying to stay within.

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool that provides questions for sales people.



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Habits of Successful Salespeople

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.



Google

Should You Script Sales Conversations?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

There can be significant benefits to planning out what you’re going to say and ask when meeting with sales prospects, but the majority of sales people don’t script sales conversations.

Let’s consider news anchors for a minute. While she’s going through the news of the day, she’ll speak very clearly as well as go through all the information in a very structured and organized way. In addition, she’ll sound extremely knowledgeable about the information she’s talking about.

Because of 3 key details, the news anchor is able to give off this type of impression. First, all the things the news anchor is saying was written out in a script ahead of time. Secondly, the news anchor has most likely reviewed as well as practiced the script a numerous times. Third, the news anchor has the script in front of her so that she can use it as a guide as well as read from it directly.

These things help tremendously with presentation and delivery of the message. Try picturing what the news would look like if the news anchor simply went on the air and “winged it” when going through the news. What type of impression would be made by the news anchor in that scenario?

We can take a look into whether to script sales calls similarly. Air-time is incredibly valuable which is one of the reasons why the news as well as other television shows are scripted. It makes perfect sense to prepare in advance to avoid any mistakes. Look at “air-time” with prospects in the same way because, it too, is extremely valuable.  In addition, we should do whatever possible to give the best performance as well as avoid mistakes.

The following are some areas in which you can script sales:

Qualifying Questions

It is very easy to script out key questions to ask for gathering details and qualifying prospects. Once you have identified what your ideal prospect looks like, it should be easy to compose a short list of questions to ask in order to make sure you’re speaking to prospects which fit well with what you’re offering.

Common Pain Points

You’ll want to be sure to uncover any pain in which the prospect is experiencing in the areas that your products can help. A way to help with this is by scripting out common pain points which other clients have experienced and sharing those in order to see if the prospect can relate and/or has similar challenges.

Building Interest Points

It may seem like building interest is something that will just naturally happen while you’re speaking to prospects. By developing powerful statements ahead of time which communicate how you differ, the value you’re offering, the ROI which you deliver, impacts of doing nothing, and more, you can help trigger interest as well as improve the odds of building interest.

Name Drop Examples

Telling stories about your existing clients as well as how you have helped them is extremely powerful for building credibility. These points can be developed ahead of time when you script sales messaging.

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool to help sales pros to script sales.



Google

Five Keys to Good Calling Scripts

Friday, November 2nd, 2012
calling scriptsIt may seem like a challenging task writing good calling scripts. There are some very clear things which can be done to make your calling scripts more powerful.

1. Confirm Availability

An extremely powerful thing to insert at the beginning of calling scripts is a question which confirms if the prospect is available. A great way to do this is by asking the prospect if they have a moment or if you have caught them in the middle of something.
Some argue that by doing this you’re giving the prospect the opportunity to provide you with an objection as well as giving them with a simple way to exit the call. We can also look at it as if it is like standing at the door of a prospect’s office. When not confirming if they’re available to speak with you, it’s like you’re barging in their office and sitting down which can negatively impact the level of rapport.
You’re going to help increase the level of rapport as well as stand out from other average sales people out there by asking questions to confirm availability. In addition, you’ll get yourself a couple of minutes to work with.

2. Communicate Value

Language that communicates the value that you have to bring to the table is a key thing to include in calling scripts. The positive impact in which your products and services will have on the prospect is value.
Very easily we fall into the trap of speaking mostly about our products and what they do. This may be great, but what the prospects really care about is what’s in it for me and by communicating value, you will tell them this.

3. Qualify the Prospect

Be sure to include questions which qualify your prospects in your calling scripts. Qualifying questions will differentiate if the prospect is a good fit for what you’re offering.
Qualifying questions help make cold calls more conversational as well as decrease the amount of time you spend with prospects that will probably waste your time.

4. Find Pain

Find pain which the prospect is having in the areas that your products and services impact to assist you in fully qualifying the prospect. Anything that’s not working well or could be better is pain.
Your qualifying questions might uncover pain, but, if not, share some pain examples which are common for other clients as well as have some examples in your calling scripts that can help you to have those ready.

5. Build Interest

It is imperative that your call script has the ability to build some interest. When interest is nonexistent, the prospect most likely won’t agree to take any steps forward following the call.
Include some statements in your calling scripts which are designed to trigger enough interest to get the prospect to agree to at least speaking more following the call.
Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool to help sales pros to develop calling scripts.


Google

Top Sales Tips that You Need to Know

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

top sales tipsBelow 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.



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Powerful Questions for Sales People (Part I)

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Questions for Sales PeopleFollowing are eleven good questions for salespeople. In order to be an effective salesperson, sometimes it’s not about knowing all the answers, but more about knowing the right questions to ask.

1. Why are you looking to make a change?

It is valuable to find out the reasons they are looking to make a change when speaking with a prospect that has shown interest in purchasing your products and services. It is key to get them to tell you why, in their own words, they should make a change because it can reveal some valuable information.

You discover that you are not talking to a qualified prospect if they are not able to answer you or do not have a good answer.

2. What happens if you do not do anything?

Even though you may have great conversations ongoing with a prospect, such as you have a really great product and the prospect is ecstatic about it and seems very interested. Now, what will happen if the prospect does not purchase from you or does nothing?

When salespeople see that there is not a big impact if the prospect does nothing, this could cause doubt as to whether the deal is real and if the prospect will pull the trigger. It is important to look for prospects where there is a noticeable impact if they don’t buy so that there will be more justification to make the commitment when it is time to purchase.

3. What other options are you considering?

Typically sales people assume that they are the only option that the prospect is considering or can often either forget to find out who the competition is or feel intimidated to ask.

Always assuming that the prospect is talking to other vendors is the best practice. With that said, a very direct question asking what their other options are is very appropriate and productive.

4. How do you feel about your other options?

Identifying that the prospect is considering other options is important because you might hear the competitors’ names that they are considering and immediately know how you compare. What truly matters is that your knowledge about the competitive landscape may not be similar to the prospect’s.

By delivering one of the direct questions for sales people and asking them how they feel about all of their different options, this helps to identify how the prospect perceives things and how each option compares to each other.

5. How long have you been looking at them?

When a prospect in conversation with other vendors, it is imperative to ask questions for sales people to find out the time frame they have been speaking with them. In the case that they have been speaking with other vendors for months and you are barely getting involved, it is likely that there are strong relationships and rapport built on already and you may more of an outsider to them.

That is not a game stopper, but it is a valuable point to tell you where you stand and possibly how much time you should invest. There may be an even playing field in terms of relationships if there is not a big difference in time.

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool that provides good questions for sales people.


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How to Maximize Sales

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

How to Maximize SalesEvery 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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What to Say on a Cold Call

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

It can seem like a tough thing to figure out what to say on a cold call. There are things you can do to improve your ability to know what to say keeping in mind that all calls are unique and you cannot predict what direction the call will go.

Using a Cold Call Script

Using a cold call script is one of the first steps that can be taken to improve knowing what to say on a cold call. Initially, focus on adopting a script in your process. Many people either don’t see the value in a script or don’t want to take time to build and use one.

Spending time to build a script can greatly help you with knowing what to say on a cold call since you will be prepared for what to say ahead of time. The process alone of building a script and reviewing it can greatly increase your ability to have some talking points while cold calling.

Building a Cold Call Script

Building a script that should be read word for word or using more of an outline structure that outlines all of the key points and questions are some ways to build a cold call script.

With an outline structure, it can sometimes be a more effective tool than a word for word script by helping you to know what to say on a cold call due to it is less to memorize along with providing more flexibility with the different directions that the cold call can end up. It will be more of a guide to cold calling by summarizing and logically listing out different questions and statements that should be made to create a productive and successful cold call.

What to Put in Your Cold Call Script

The cold call script and what to say on a cold call is a mix of statements and questions.

Cold Call Questions

You should have a few questions prepared for the prospect during your cold call and these are helpful for a couple of reasons.

It is important to qualify a prospect a little bit during the cold call to identify if they are the correct person to spend your valuable time speaking with. Not to mention that having qualifying questions in there can also make your call more conversational and can help to draw in the prospect.

Cold Call Statements

Key statements to trigger interest should be put in your script. An example is “silver bullets” that can be fired away to get the prospect’s attention and help get their commitment to schedule a meeting or formal conversation.

Launch Pad Solutions provides a sales script tool that helps sales pros with what to say on a cold call.



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