May 24, 2017
Understanding the key to better sales
Driving sales is important for any organization. From lead generation and appointment setting, to closing deals and opportunities, sales are responsible for an organization’s revenue. Regardless of where an company stands, it always looks to get better sales.
With all the tips, tricks, and guides to improving sales out there, it all boils down to one thing: understanding.
Sales is all about understanding. Understanding the market, understanding your internal teams and processes, and ultimately, understanding prospects.
Understanding your Market
So you’ve developed a product, a service, a whatchamacallit. We don’t doubt that it’s the best thing since sliced bread but what else is out there? What do your customers want? What do your competitors offer?
Without market intelligence, a sales team will be driving blind in an attempt to bring in opportunities. While even a blind squirrel eventually finds a nut, that doesn’t exactly create reliability or consistency for your team.
Evaluate your environment, define your offering in comparison with a unique selling point in mind and then your team can develop an targeted approach. Understanding your market is a sure sign you are on the way to better sales
Understanding your team
Once you understand your market and where you’d like your company to go, it’s time to release the hounds…. Not quite. We all want lean, mean, selling machines and that takes a little bit of prep but, more importantly, it takes a lot of understanding. Better sales is always playing the long game.
We have worked with both mature companies looking to scale and companies in the early stages hoping to enter the market. Both need the same thing when coming to us: a comprehensive grasp of where they are and where they would like to go.
When we work with an organization, the first thing we ask is what targets they’ve set for themselves. Clients throw out numbers without really calculating what it will take to reach those targets and how their team will get there. Look at your team and how they currently bring in opportunities. Build upon what you have in place to set those new goals and objectives and ensure that they are attainable. It may seem simple but setting S.M.A.R.T. objectives for your team will help to better understand where gaps exists in your process.
To set effective goals for your team, understand your team. In a world where businesses are focusing on niches and becoming more specialized, salespeople are expected to be generalists but that is not the case. Try to know them as individuals and notice how skill sets and motivations vary between team members. Think of your team as farmers and hunters. Some are eager to be on the prowl for new opportunities while others thrive in nurturing current relationships and helping them grow into more fruitful contacts. Understand individuals and their skill set, place them accordingly in your team and they’ll be better equipped to reach those goals and ultimately better sales.
Speaking of better equipped, a team equipped with the right tools can make a world of difference in streamlining your processes. We have run into instances where clients have started using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution out of the box and define their processes to match their CRM rather than developing and developing the other way around. What’s that saying about only having a hammer and everything looking like nails? Avoid this restriction. When deciding on a CRM, and there are a lot out there, make sure it is customizable and works for you, your team, your company. It seems easy to say but it’s often overlooked. Make it part of your workshop rather than just your hammer.
Understanding your prospects
It’s time to start prospecting. You’ve got your systems in place and are ready to start connecting with potential clients. People have said that cold calling is dead and they aren’t entirely wrong. The landscape has changed and customers are becoming more informed thanks to the vast amount of technology available. Because we are spending our days online, engaged in digital strategies and new forms of communications, we forget that people still use phones, for actual conversations. Every business and customer that you are trying to connect with still has a phone, one that you can call. In a previous blog, we’ve discussed how cold calling has become a lost art and can often break through the noise created by all the emails, LinkedIn messages, tweets that we are inundated with every day.
Regardless of how you reach out to clients, research is important. In your conversation with prospects, demonstrating an understanding of their company can provide that foot in the door and have your prospect open up. In the end, we want to get our prospects talking. When they’re talking, we’re listening, learning, and understanding. This lets us address concerns more efficiently, and highlight how our product can help them rather then spewing product features in a verbal shotgun blast and hoping something hit the mark. Before reaching out to a prospect, take a little extra time to browse the company website and the prospect’s LinkedIn profile all the while considering the value of your products from their standpoint. Answer that important question that every prospect asks themselves: what’s in it for me?
See things differently with your sales. Give us a call and lets help better your sales!