Every sales organization wants more sales and quicker results, but how do we accelerate sales?
In an ideal world, we’d have prospects continually contact us, they’d become customers, they’d provide referrals, and revenues would accelerate and increase accordingly. The thing is, we don’t live in an ideal world, so as sales professionals, we have to make the process as ideal or perfect as possible!
In this blog, I’ve tried to suggest a plan of attack to help sales people move things forward, to generate momentum and to accelerate the sales process, so here are my top five tips:
Tip One: Right things, right prospects, consistent approach.
In my experience the process can be improved by doing enough of the right things, with the right prospects, on a consistent basis.
I work with various sales organizations, and one of the biggest obstacles to success is apathy, or lack of consistent activity. So, let’s get real, let’s be professional and set some activity goals, for each day of our working week.
We’re salespeople, so let’s respond to challenge!
Too often, we have insufficient numbers in our sales funnel. Some of these numbers may turn into sales granted, but there’s also the risk that the salesperson deludes themselves (and their peers and their managers); keeping prospects in the funnel who show no sign of buying. This has two outcomes: you focus energy on a non-prospect, and you have insufficient time to focus on ‘real’ opportunities.
Tip Two: Be honest
Get a ‘live funnel’ and take out the prospects who show no sign of buying. Get rid of the dead wood from your sales funnel. Stop wasting energy on sterile opportunities. There’s an old adage: run with the runners, walk with the walkers but don’t sit with the sitters. Be honest and generate real opportunities; your future depends on it.
Tip Three: Don’t confuse working hard with working smart
Sales Managers want more from their sales teams. Clients want more from their Account Managers. I know that in my formative years in sales, I used to mistake working hard for working smart, so my second tip to accelerate sales is not to confuse working hard with working smart – focus on being productive, not on being busy.
Tip Four: Be relevant in your communication
Be relevant in your communication: build the relationship, generate value in each interaction. Buyers are busy people, and haven’t got time to waste, so it’s important that your interaction isn’t met with a ‘oh no not again’ response! Yes, you want to keep in touch, but always consider what the benefit might be for the customer. The sales opportunity might not be ‘now’, but when there is a need, when the opportunity does present itself, if you’ve followed this tip properly, the chances are you’ll have built up enough credit/credibility for the client to come to you as the ‘go to’ partner.
Tip Five: Make your CRM work for you
I work with various sales organizations, and when I raise the subject of ‘the customer journey’, they look at me blankly. Once contact is made with a prospect, they are on a journey with you. How that journey concludes is very much dependent on how we drive them. Ideally, the journey ends at destination ‘client’, but there are other alternative outcomes. We found that the result of the customer journey was enhanced by our embracing a professional and robust CRM system, and automating many of our ‘signposts’ along the customer journey. When I discuss CRM, I get one of two responses – either exasperation ‘it’s more trouble than it’s worth’ mentality, or excitement ‘we couldn’t do what we do without it’ mentality.
My tip with CRM is ‘Make your CRM work for you’, not the other way around – you don’t work for it. Many people using CRM, do so under sufferance and don’t embrace the benefits. A CRM used properly, as a relationship tool, should automate numerous prospect and client communications, freeing up the time of the sales team to research new prospects, to plug into the CRM, and so a new customer journey begins.
We’d be delighted to hear about your sales plans and see whether we can help you with accelerating your sales outcomes. Similarly, if you’d like to discuss how we can help you managing your customer journey then get in touch!
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